Summary Statistics Display Format

This example uses the data file survey_sample.sav. See the topic Sample Files for more information.

Custom Tables attempts to apply relatively intelligent default formats to summary statistics, but there will probably be times when you want to override these defaults.

  1. From the menus, choose:

    Analyze > Tables > Custom Tables...

  2. In the table builder, drag and drop Age category from the variable list into the Rows area on the canvas pane.
  3. Drag and drop Confidence in television below Age category in the Rows area, stacking the two variables in the row dimension.
  4. Right-click Age category in the table preview on the canvas pane and select Select All Row Variables from the pop-up menu.
  5. Right-click Age category again and select Categories and Totals from the pop-up menu.
  6. In the Categories and Totals dialog box, select (check) Total and then click Apply.
  7. Right-click either variable in the table preview on the canvas pane and select Summary Statistics from the pop-up menu.
  8. Select Column N % in the Statistics list and click the arrow key to add it to the Display list.
  9. Select (check) Custom Summary Statistics for Totals and Subtotals.
  10. In the Statistics list for custom summary statistics, select Column N % and click the arrow to add it to the Display list.
  11. Do the same for Mean.
  12. Then click Apply to All.

    The placeholder values in the table preview reflect the default format for each summary statistic.

    • For counts, the default display format is nnnn--integer values with no decimal places.
    • For percentages, the default display format is nnnn.n%--numbers with a single decimal place and a percentage sign after the value.
    • For the mean, the default display format is different for the two variables.

    For summary statistics that aren't some form of count (including Valid N and Total N) or percentage, the default display format is the display format defined for the variable in the Data Editor. If you look at the variables in Variable View in the Data Editor, you will see that Age category (variable agecat) is defined as having two decimal positions, while Confidence in television (variable contv) is defined as having zero decimal positions.

    This is one of those cases where the default format probably isn't the format you want, since it would probably be better if both mean values displayed the same number of decimals.

  13. Right-click either variable in the table preview on the canvas pane and select Summary Statistics from the pop-up menu.

    For the mean, the Format cell in the Display list indicates that the format is Auto, which means that the defined display format for the variable will be used, and the Decimals cell is disabled. In order to specify the number of decimals, you first need to select a different format.

  14. In the custom summary statistics Display list, click the Format cell for the mean, and select nnnn from the drop-down list of formats.
  15. In the Decimals cell, enter a value of 1.
  16. Then click Apply to All to apply this setting to both variables.

Now the table preview indicates that both mean values will be displayed with one decimal position. (You could go ahead and create this table now--but you might find the "mean" value for Age category a little difficult to interpret, since the actual numeric codes for this variable range only from 1 to 6.)