SPSS Statistics

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  • 1.  SPSS open dataset and output files, but syntax files cannot get open -> blank page

    Posted Fri June 09, 2023 10:47 AM


    I experienced recently troubles to open my syntax files with SPSS. When I double click to open them, an empty dataset opens, but the syntax file does not open. The page is blank. 

    I tried to re-install the software, but the problem remains. After reinstallation, I could open a existing files once and then no more. I tried to open a new file. It works once, but now I cannot open any new syntax file. 

    I do not have any problem with dataset. 

    What can I do to open my syntac files? 

    Thank you in advance for your support with this matter. 


    Odile Chevalley

  • 2.  RE: SPSS open dataset and output files, but syntax files cannot get open -> blank page

    Posted Fri June 09, 2023 11:55 AM
    Edited by David Dwyer Fri June 09, 2023 11:56 AM

    Hi @Odile Chevalley ,

    • What version of IBM SPSS Statistics (or Statistics Subscription) are you using?  the initial splash screen when you launch the product will tell you the version and build.  Also you could use the "Help -> About" menus on Windows or the "SPSS Statistics -> About IBM SPSS Statistics" menus on macOS.
    • What platform (macOS or Microsoft Windows)

    This could be several things.  Immediately, I'd think of a problem with file associations on your computer.  In my idealized Technical Support world, I would be overjoyed is all users would first launch the program using the program icon and then open files using the "File -> open" menus from the Data Editor, Syntax Editor, or Output Viewer.  But I realize that's not how users do things in the wild.

    • But let's start there.  If you launch IBM SPSS Statistics from the program icon and then use "File -> Open -> Syntax", are you able to successfully open your file?
    • I just tried to replicate the behavior you describe, using my IBM SPSS Statistics (macOS).  My mac launched SPSS Statistics and then opened the 'clicked-on' syntax file.  THEN it opened a blank Data Editor right in front of the open Syntax Editor window.  I had to use the "Window" menu to bring my Syntax Editor window back to the front.  Is that what's happening to you?

    David Dwyer
    SPSS Technical Support
    IBM Software

  • 3.  RE: SPSS open dataset and output files, but syntax files cannot get open -> blank page

    Posted Mon June 12, 2023 04:35 AM


    Currently, I'm using the version on Microsoft Windows version 10. 

    Before this weekend:

    • I tried to open directly from the saved files (double click on the syntax file). It didn't work. I also by starting the software and then using open>syntax> and select the files, but it didn't work either.
    • The file (syntax) was saved on a secured sever. I thought it could be the reason. I moved the file to the desktop. But id didn't work.
    • With the IT service at University, we re-installed the software. We were able to open the file (from the desktop) once and then when we tried again to confirm, it was not working anymore. 

    This weekend, I tried to open the file following these steps:

    • Windows menu > IBM folder > Start SPSS Statistics > open a recent file > select syntax file on desktop > file do not open properly
    • Screen shot (dataset window is open, syntax is only a white scare on the bottom, but does not open properly): 
    • Open Windows menu > open IBM SPSS Statistics folder > start IBM SPSS Statistics software > ignore pop up window (open file) > go into file> open> syntax > and select the file on the desktop. As above the file does not open properly. 
    • When I try to open a new syntax file, the results is the same. The window does not appear, it is only in the white scare in the Windows toolbar. (same output as the screenshot above)

    Is there anything I am not doing properly? What can I try next? Do you have an idea? 

    It is confusing for me, because I could work easily with the files about 2 months ago and now it does not open properly anymore. 

    Thank you for your support. 

    Kind regards, 


    Odile Chevalley

  • 4.  RE: SPSS open dataset and output files, but syntax files cannot get open -> blank page

    Posted Tue June 13, 2023 12:51 PM
    Edited by David Dwyer Tue June 13, 2023 12:53 PM

    Hi @Odile Chevalley 
    I agree, it definitely sounds like something in your environment is blocking IBM SPSS Statistics from properly functioning.  Please have your University IT open a Support case and  let's really troubleshoot this issue.

    Have them follow the "Group Home" link at the top of this page.  Then follow the links for opening a Support case:

    David Dwyer
    SPSS Technical Support
    IBM Software