To change data type
You can change the data type for a variable at any time by using the Variable Type dialog box in Variable View. The Data Editor will attempt to convert existing values to the new type. If no conversion is possible, the system-missing value is assigned. The conversion rules are the same as the rules for pasting data values to a variable with a different format type. If the change in data format may result in the loss of missing-value specifications or value labels, the Data Editor displays an alert box and asks whether you want to proceed with the change or cancel it.