[R] SPSS long variable names

Robert Baer rbaer at atsu.edu
Wed Oct 14 14:45:34 CEST 2009

>>>>> The problem is the limit of 8 characters long on variable
>>>>> names.
And again, my answer is that one approach would be to map SHORT names to 
long variable LABELS.  This was a common use of labels before variable names 
supported 64 bytes.  After reading into R with read.spss() you and easily 
replace the short R names with the long LABELS to form long R names.

If for for some reason you are unwilling to give up some existing LABELS 
that are not, you could create some dummy variables for just this mapping 

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Orvalho Augusto" <orvaquim at gmail.com>
To: "Robert Baer" <rbaer at atsu.edu>
Cc: <r-help at r-project.org>
Sent: Tuesday, October 13, 2009 10:39 AM
Subject: Re: [R] SPSS long variable names

> No!
> That is variable labels.
> Caveman
> On Tue, Oct 13, 2009 at 4:52 PM, Robert  Baer <rbaer at atsu.edu> wrote:
>>>> I am wondering if there is a patch for the SPSS reading
>>>> code on the
>>>> foreign package, in order to be able to read long variable
>>>> names.
>>>> Right now read.spss() just trunc the names to 8
>>>> characters.
>> This sequence seems to access the long filenames for me if I know what 
>> you
>> are asking for:
>> library('foreign')
>> a<-read.spss('fil.sav')
>> lnames <- attr(a,"variable.labels",exact=FALSE)
>> Rob

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