Welcome to my SPSS pages!

I started to use the SPSS software in 1992. Being an actuary, I use it mainly to

  • screen data,
  • analyze insurance claims severity and frequency,
  • fit distribution functions to claims
  • perform risk analysis using Monte Carlo methods and (unexpectedly...)
  • analyze survey data.

I also find SPSS's graphs features very powerful and useful to "visualize" the data.

Since December 1998, I have participated to the SPSSX-L mailing list and the comp.soft-sys.stat.spss newsgroup. This has had the effect of increasing my knowledge of SPSS by a factor of about 25. I have learned from many strong SPSS'ers such as:

John Hendrickx, Hector E. Maletta, Rolf Kjoeller and David Marso.

In turn, I have answered about 2,100 questions posted to these two discussion groups. It is more fun to learn SPSS by answering real questions rather than just reading the books and "making up problems" to solve. I find the diversity of problems and situations encountered in these groups to be fascinating. (This probably tells you a lot about my "personality"  :) ).

See the Site Map for a bird's view of the site.


Purposes of this site

The main purpose is to present useful code and techniques to increase productivity of all level of SPSS users. Your feedback is welcomed!

I wrote most of the 700+ sample syntaxmacros and scripts included in this site, to answer questions posted to the 2 groups mentioned above (or addressed directly to me by email). However, I also include pieces of code I got from those two sources, from SPSS AnswerNet or from the web.

The site includes a small blog, unifying such topics as FAQ, tips pages, a Newbie's Corner, and links to free online SPSS Tutorials and more. See the Site Map to get the full picture :-)

There is also a section to support the book SPSS Programming and Data Management. I am the author of that book published by SPSS. You may download a free acrobat version for SPSS 14,18,19 and 20.

Share what you know, learn what you don't!

I invite you to contribute to the improvement of this site.

For instance, if you have a syntax, macro or script which does something not covered in this site, send me a copy (or send me the link) and I will add it with proper credit. Such code should be self contained, that is, it should either

  • refer to (work on) one of the data file which comes with SPSS or
  • contain dummy data (ideally using DATA LIST or INPUT PROGRAM statements)

as well as a brief description of its purposes. Don't be shy! Upon request, I will not mention your name but simply state that it comes comes from an anonymous contributor. As a bonus, If I find the code can be improved on, I will send you a copy but will nevertheless credit you for the improved version (assuming you don't mind). You have nothing to lose! Help me make this the best possible SPSS site. Send me an email and include your code as an attachment.

Topic suggestions for new syntax, macro, scripts, FAQ or Tips are also welcomed.


This site is not sponsored by IBM Corp. and was not sponsored by SPSS Inc. as well. I am just an enthusiastic user of SPSS software.

Although I am not sure of the legal significance of the following, I am stating it anyway (just in case it is necessary to protect rights of authors whose code is reproduced in these pages):

"All code shown here remains the property of the original author, stated here or not. By downloading code from this site, you agree that you are fully responsible to ensure that the code meets your requirements and that the authors are not liable for any loss resulting from the use of such code."

This being said, the code I wrote may be freely used or posted on your website (with credit)  but may not be sold or otherwise distributed to third parties without written authorization. As far as the web site itself is concerned, it may not be copied without my written authorization.

Have fun!

Raynald Levesque

Montreal, Canada