Does SPSS remember the formula used in Compute?

January 19th, 2007 andris

This week Eamonn send us the following question about the Compute function:

When using transfor/compute – say to create a construct from a set of Likert
Scale items – does SPSS save the formula used to create the new variable, or
is it lost once you compute?

SPSS does not save the formula in your data file. It does keep the formula in mind if you keep SPSS open. So if you want to use the same formula again, but than with different variables for example, you can open the Compute screen again, and there your old formula is. But if you close SPSS and open it again, the formula will be gone.

Entry Filed under: 2. Enhancing your data,3a. Analysing your data,Questions and answers


  • 1. Laura  |  January 21st, 2007 at 7:25 am

    Make sure to use the journal file in SPSS, set to append. It will keep all the history of the jobs that you have run.

  • 2. andris  |  January 21st, 2007 at 12:12 pm


    Thank you for your addition. I did not use this kind of options (saving the Syntax would also be an option) in my answer, but I think it will help Eamonn in solving his problem. Thank you!

  • 3. Daniel  |  April 4th, 2007 at 2:20 am

    Also, you have the option to display the Syntax in your output file.

  • 4. murad  |  May 23rd, 2007 at 1:54 am

    you can use the formula as alable of the new calculated variable

  • 5. Mohammad  |  January 20th, 2009 at 10:07 am

    Dear sir
    I write formula as: “q * ((temp – Tmin) ^ ni * (Tmax – temp ^ mi)” in model expression. but a problem occur as: warning # 206 in column 37. text: ^
    would you please help me to solve this problem?
    Thanks a lot

  • 6. Abdul Mannan  |  February 11th, 2009 at 1:34 am

    Dear Sir,

    I want to change some variable by syntex
    actual age like 18/19/20/22/23/24/25/26//27/28/29/30

    i need 18 to 22 = 1
    23 to 28=2
    29+ = 3
    please tell me formula


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