Help using Base SAS procedures

Importing character strings from SPSS

Occasional Contributor SSG
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 12

Importing character strings from SPSS

I am running SAS 9.3 trying to import an SPSS file using the following SAS syntax:


            DATAFILE= "L:\Student Employment\Data\IUPUI_Student_Employee_Survey_raw.sav"


This SPSS file contains several String (Character) variables with a length of about 2,000.  This should be well within what a character variable in SAS can handle.  However, SAS is still breaking the text fields into multiple character variables with a length of $255 (i.e. the default).  I could dump the SPSS file into a .csv, but I'd like to maintain the labels on some other variables in the file. How can I specify the length of character variables when importing from SPSS?  Will I need to do a data step_ 

Super User
Posts: 13,583

Re: Importing character strings from SPSS

One approach might be:

Import as you have, modify settings like length and drop the multiple text bits for single variables. Save as a 0 observations data set.

Then import a CSV and append to the previous.

Or try accessing the SAV file using the libname statement instead of Proc Import.

If I had access to SPSS I would see about exporting to SAS from there. The last time I was working with SPSS one option would export the value labels as a SAS format for use as well.

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