Copy and paste issue with SPSS 16

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Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 6:13 pm

Copy and paste issue with SPSS 16

Postby kmg190 » Mon Aug 18, 2008 6:33 pm

I am working with several very large data sets (314,000+cases each). I need one of the variables to be copied and pasted into a new variable. However, this new variable needs to be offset from the 1st by one case/row. For example, if variable 1, case 1 has a value of 13, I want variable 2 case 1 to be blank and variable 2, case 2 to be 13.

I've encountered several problems:
1.) If I highlight the entire variable by clicking the variable name, copy, then paste, I have the identical variable, but cannot just insert a cell in order to offset variable 2 from variable one (like I can in Excel).
2.) If I highlight case one in the column and scroll down to the end of the column and Shift + click the last cell, the computer will copy, but not paste the data. If my computer doesn't freeze in the pasting process, it will only paste the first 81 of my values and leave the rest of the cases blank.
3.) I've tried copying anywhere between 2500-10,000 rows at a time and the computer will copy and paste only some of the values. My first hundred+ values are correct, but then I'll have random zeros placed in several cases. Then, once again, it will have normal values for a while followed by zeros again.
4.) The largest amount of cases I've been able to successfully copy and paste without any issue has been appx 1500. This is a HUGE problem given my data size.

Thus far, my only solution has been to open the same data into a new SPSS sheet, delete all unnecessary rows, shift the one I need down one row and then copy and paste it into the original document.

This works, but it seems like SPSS shouldn't have such a huge copy and paste problem to begin with. Am I missing something?
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Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2008 8:01 pm


Postby Bep » Mon Aug 25, 2008 8:12 pm

I've got exactly the same problem as kmg190. I'm trying to copy/paste some 3000 cases of one Variable. But SPSS always leaves some values empty - apparently randomly because when I copy/paste only a subset, then other cases stay empty.

I use SPSS with Windows Vista on a brand-new laptop. Filesize is 124 Variables times 115'000 cases.

What's the reason of my(our) problem? Does it have to do with lacking RAM (1GB)?

Thank for your answers.
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Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 6:13 pm

computer specifications

Postby kmg190 » Mon Aug 25, 2008 8:47 pm

I've had this copy/paste issue on desktop computers and we are using Windows XP, so I don't think it's a Vista issue or a laptop issue.
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Location: Florida, USA

Postby statman » Mon Aug 25, 2008 9:07 pm

I can't replicate this so suggest you contact

Be sure to include as much info as possible and also your SPSS registration
See the note below

NOTE: Please read the Posting Guidelines and always tell us your OS, the SPSS version and information about your study and data!

Statistical Services
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Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2008 12:11 pm

Losing data during copy/paste between datasets

Postby qmove » Mon Sep 01, 2008 3:06 pm


Any updates on this?

I'm having the same issue, I've got 3 datasets A, B, C which contain 150 or so variables with different variable names but I want to group certain variables together - i.e. add them as cases to new variables.

So, I've got another dataset M, I copy the 500 cases of variable A1 from A to variable M1 in M and I find that it's replaced 70 or so of the cases with 0 and 20 or so with missing values. I copy 100 or so cases of B3 from B and paste after M1 in M and they seem to appear fine. Pasting 300 cases of variable C6 from C after M1 in M again gives me about 20 0 and 10 missing values.

It seems to happen when there are more than 200 cases being copied.

It's definitely an "on copy" error as when I paste the values into a text editor, i get the correct number of values but the 0s and missing cases are there before I paste back into SPSS.

Quite a show stopper of a bug!

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Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2008 9:01 am

Copy Paste Errors

Postby stewlin » Mon Sep 15, 2008 9:59 am

I too have had these experiences and have logged with SPSS in Australia.
There are known issues with xls compatability. They suggested I use other Office programs in place of xls.

I now only use Ver 15 for my edits- Ver 16 has been to the say the least can be highly unreliable.

regards Stewart
Júlio Boaro
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Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2008 1:49 am

Postby Júlio Boaro » Sat Oct 25, 2008 1:51 am

Because this issue, I used SPSS 14 for copy and paste columns.

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