[R] read.spss Error reading system-file header

Jacob Wegelin jawegelin at ucdavis.edu
Wed Nov 5 02:37:59 CET 2003

Thank you for your responses.

Here's the workaround.  In SPSS, I saved the file EXvideo.sav as
Excel.  Still in SPSS, I read in this Excel file, and saved it
under a new name, EXvideo-SPSStoExceltoSPSS.sav, as an SPSS file.
This file I was able to read into R with no problem, using read.spss.

The dataload utility was able to convert some other SPSS files to
xls, but not EXvideo.sav.


On Tue, 4 Nov 2003, Thomas Lumley wrote:

> On Tue, 4 Nov 2003, Jacob Wegelin wrote:
> >
> > Is there any documentation on what kind of SPSS file can and cannot be
> > read by read.spss?  Alternatively, how can one modify or "clean" an SPSS
> > file to make it readable by read.spss?  What properties must a *.sav file
> > before read.spss can read it?
> >
> I don't think this is known.  The read.spss code is taken from code in
> PSPP, which was going to be a GNU implementation of SPSS.  Judging from
> some of the comments in the code, at least part of the format was worked
> out from files, not documented.
> I haven't run across any problems in using it to read SPSS .sav files, but
> most of the ones I have tried were created by the same people and don't
> represent independent confirmations.
> 	-thomas

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