Using SPSS for Windows

note. These instructions are specifically written for using SPSS on LAB12 in the Simmonds Center in the School of Nursing at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. However, the instructions are applicable to other Windows based machines running SPSS.

Once you have logged on to the machine, click on the Start button. Click on Programs, then click on SPSS V7.5 for Windows folder, and finally click on the SPSS 7.5 for Windows icon to start SPSS.

You are now looking at a spread sheet (the SPSS Data Editor).

If you are creating a new data set, you can begin to enter data. Double click on the gray box at the top of the column to bring up the variable menu box. You can change the name of your variable and make sure that your variable has the appropriate format (in most cases, this will be a numeric variable and you will want to carry the number out to at least two decimal places).

If you are using a preexisting SPSS data set, click on File on the toolbar and select Open and then Data. Click on Drives and then select drive A:. Then scroll down to the file you want, and then double click on it. This will bring up the data set in the editor.

Once the variables are entered, you can compute your statistics.

SPSS will then run. This may take a minute and you will then be looking at your output. To print your output, click on the printer icon on the toolbar or click on File and then select Print. If you included a chart in your data run, your chart will be included in your output file. If you want to save your output, click on File and then select Save As.

While the above steps only give you descriptive statistics, the process is very similar if you want to compute t-tests, ANOVAs, or correlations and so forth.

When you are all done exit from SPSS by clicking on File and then Exit or by clicking on the X in the upper right corner of your screen.


SPSS for Windows online course - This document is based on a document written by Nick Cook, University of Leeds. It is written for SPSS version 6, but much relates to version 7.5.

The Stat/Math Center at the University of Indiana - This site provides an overview of SPSS, examples, documentation, and links

FAQ about SPSS at the University of Texas - Austin

SPSS - home page for SPSS

Return to the Statistics Page