The IBM SPSS Pivot Table Editor

There are various types of windows in IBM SPSS Statistics:

The Data Editor Window – used to manage your data pond.

The Viewer Window – where all results of your data analysis are displayed.

The Chart Editor Window – here you can change the colors, select different type fonts or sizes, switch the horizontal and vertical axes, rotate 3-D scatterplots, and even change the chart type.

The Text Output Editor Window – all of your text output (that is not displayed in a pivot table) can be modified with the Text Output Editor.

The Syntax Editor Window – here you can easily create, edit and save command syntax for use in subsequent analysis sessions. 

And the subject of this post:

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The Pivot Table Editor Window – using the pivot table editor, all of your output that is displayed in pivot tables can be modified by editing text, swapping data in rows and columns, adding colors, creating multidimensional tables, and selectively hiding and showing.

If you consider that a lot of results from statistical procedures are displayed in pivot tables, you soon learn to like the SPSS Pivot Table Editor. Highlights include:

  • The ability to select a statistical term in a pivot table and access its definition. This is done by selecting and then right-clicking a term and selecting what’s this?
  • The ability to transpose the tables rows and columns to better fit your expected presentation
  • Reorder the data presented in the table
  • Resize the table
  • Utilize the pivoting trays feature. With this feature you can move data between columns, rows, and layers just by dragging and dropping
  • Change table formats. You can change the font name, font size, font style (bold or italic), and color
  • Hide unneeded data from being presented in the table

Reformat the data in the table for example numerical percentages, currency, number of decimals, etc.

   Image is everything!


The format of your pivot table is a critical part of providing clear, concise, and meaningful results. If your table is difficult to read, the information contained within that table may not be easily understood. If the above features fall short in your effort to produce a professional grade pivot table, than you can utilize the “TableLooks” dialog to select a predefined professional table style or, if you are inclined, build one of your own.

Almost all aspects of a table can be customized, from the background color to the border styles:

All of these features are extremely easy to use “right out of the SPSS box”.

“Why do I do the things I do?  Was I born this way or am I a self made fool?” – Chris Knight



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Jim Miller

Mr. Miller is an IBM certified and accomplished Senior Project Leader and Application/System Architect-Developer with over 30 years of extensive applications and system design and development experience. His current role is National FPM Practice Leader. His experience includes BI, Web architecture & design, systems analysis, GUI design and testing, Database modeling and systems analysis, design, and development of Client/Server, Web and Mainframe applications and systems utilizing: Applix TM1 (including TM1 rules, TI, TM1Web and Planning Manager), dynaSight - ArcPlan, ASP, DHTML, XML, IIS, MS Visual Basic and VBA, Visual Studio, PERL, Websuite, MS SQL Server, ORACLE, SYBASE SQL Server, etc. His Responsibilities have included all aspects of Windows and SQL solution development and design including: analysis; GUI (and Web site) design; data modeling; table, screen/form and script development; SQL (and remote stored procedures and triggers) development and testing; test preparation and management and training of programming staff. Other experience includes development of ETL infrastructure such as data transfer automation between mainframe (DB2, Lawson, Great Plains, etc.) systems and client/server SQL server and Web based applications and integration of enterprise applications and data sources. In addition, Mr. Miller has acted as Internet Applications Development Manager responsible for the design, development, QA and delivery of multiple Web Sites including online trading applications, warehouse process control and scheduling systems and administrative and control applications. Mr. Miller also was responsible for the design, development and administration of a Web based financial reporting system for a 450 million dollar organization, reporting directly to the CFO and his executive team. Mr. Miller has also been responsible for managing and directing multiple resources in various management roles including project and team leader, lead developer and applications development director. Specialties Include: Cognos/TM1 Design and Development, Cognos Planning, IBM SPSS and Modeler, OLAP, Visual Basic, SQL Server, Forecasting and Planning; International Application Development, Business Intelligence, Project Development. IBM Certified Developer - Cognos TM1 (perfect score 100% on exam) IBM Certified Business Analyst - Cognos TM1

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