General options

Application Mode

Provides settings that determine how output is presented.
Classic (Syntax & Output)
The default setting displays output in the classic Viewer format. For more information, see Viewer - Classic.
The Workbook option bridges the SPSS® Statistics backend ability with a notebook approach that provides an interactive method for running syntax and viewing the corresponding output. Workbook documents (*.spwb) consist of individual paragraphs. The paragraphs contain the individual output elements (syntax, procedures, charts, and so on). Syntax paragraphs provide full syntax edit and run capabilities. Non-syntax paragraphs provide full rich-text editing capabilities. For more information, see Viewer - Workbook.

Variable Lists

These settings control the display of variables in dialog box lists. You can display variable names or variable labels. Names or labels can be displayed in alphabetical or file order or grouped by measurement level. (For more information on measurement level, see Variable measurement level.) Display order affects only source variable lists. Target variable lists always reflect the order in which variables were selected.


Some dialogs support the ability to pre-select variables for analysis based on defined roles. See the topic Roles for more information.

Use predefined roles
By default, pre-select variables based on defined roles.
Use custom assignments
By default, do not use roles to pre-select variables.

You can also switch between predefined roles and custom assignment within the dialogs that support this functionality. The setting here controls only the initial default behavior in effect for each dataset.

Maximum Number of Threads

The number of threads that multithreaded procedures use when you calculate results. The Automatic setting is based on the number of available processing cores. Specify a lower value if you want to make more processing resources available to other applications while multithreaded procedures are running. This option is disabled in distributed analysis mode.


No scientific notation for small numbers in tables
Suppresses the display of scientific notation for small decimal values in output. Very small decimal values are displayed as 0 (or 0.000). This setting affects only the output with the "general" format, which is determined by the application. This setting does not affect the display of significance levels or other statistics with a standard range of values. The format of many numeric values in pivot tables is based on the format of the variable that is associated with the numeric value.
Display "<.001" when significance value is less than 0.001 (the observed value is observed)
When this setting is selected, small significance values are presented as "<.001" in table output.
Apply locale's digit grouping format to numeric values
Applies the current locale’s digit grouping format to numeric values in pivot tables and charts as well as in the Data Editor. For example, in a French locale with this setting enabled the value 34419,57 is displayed as 34 419,57.

The grouping format does not apply to trees, Model Viewer items, numeric values with the DOT or COMMA format, or numeric values with a DOLLAR or custom currency format. It does, however, apply to the display of the days value for numeric values with a DTIME format--for example, to the value of ddd in the format ddd hh:mm.

Display a leading zero for decimal values
Displays leading zeros for numeric values that consist only of a decimal part. For example, when leading zeros are displayed, the value .123 is displayed as 0.123. This setting does not apply to numeric values that have a currency or percent format. Except for fixed ASCII files (*.dat), leading zeros are not included when the data are saved to an external file.
Measurement system
The measurement system used (points, inches, or centimeters) for specifying attributes such as pivot table cell margins, cell widths, and space between tables for printing.
Controls the manner in which the program notifies you that it has finished running a procedure and that the results are available in the Viewer. When the Raise viewer window is checked, the Viewer appears on the foreground on completion of a procedure. The Scroll to new output option, auto scrolls to provide a view of the latest result.


Look and feel
Controls the basic appearance of windows and dialog boxes. If you notice any display issues after changing the look and feel, try shutting down and restarting the application.
Open syntax window at startup
Syntax windows are text file windows that are used to enter, edit, and run commands. If you frequently work with command syntax, select this option to automatically open a syntax window at the beginning of each session. This is useful primarily for experienced users who prefer to work with command syntax instead of dialog boxes.
Open only one dataset at a time
Closes the currently open data source each time you open a different data source by using the menus and dialog boxes. By default, every time you use the menus and dialog boxes to open a new data source, that data source opens in a new Data Editor window. The data sources open in other Data Editor windows remain open and available during the session until explicitly closed.
When you select this option, it takes effect immediately but does not close any datasets that were open at the time the setting was changed. This setting has no effect on data sources opened using command syntax, which relies on DATASET commands to control multiple datasets. See the topic Working with Multiple Data Sources for more information.
Display native macOS file dialogs
When selected, file selection dialogs in the macOS version of SPSS Statistics are presented in native macOS format. Historically, file selection dialogs are heavily customized to accommodate specific SPSS Statistics file features. This allows you to set the default file selection dialogs to native macOS format.
Note: This feature is available only in macOS environments.


These settings control the IBM® SPSS Statistics automatic recovery feature. Automatic recovery is designed to recover unsaved files and content in instances where the application quits unexpectedly. You can select to enable or disable the automatic recovery feature (the feature is enabled by default), select a time interval (in minutes) between saving files. You can also set the maximum number of restore points to save, and view or change the auto-recovery file location.
Note: Selecting to save files too frequently (for example, every 2 minutes) may result in decreased system performance.

Upon relaunching SPSS Statistics after an unexpected exit, you are presented with an IBM SPSS Statistics error report, which asks you to enter information about your session before the unexpected exit. After leaving the exit report, you are presented with the Document Recovery dialog, which provides options for recovering prior session data or deleting the saved session data. For more information, see Auto-Recovery.