How to Create a PDF Document from SPSS Data

By Keith McCormick, Jesus Salcedo, Aaron Poh

A PDF file contains both formatted text and graphics, so any PDF you output from your SPSS data will look very much like the original data displayed in SPSS Statistics Viewer. PDF handles graphics in a standard way, so you don’t have the typical graphic options to set. Note, however, that you do have some other options, as shown here.

The options for ­producing a PDF file.

The options for ­producing a PDF file.

It’s becoming more common to place information on the Internet in a PDF format instead of an HTML format. Both are read-only files, but a PDF gives the creator of the file more control over the document’s appearance when it’s displayed in a viewer. An HTML page is relatively freeform compared to a PDF file. With a PDF file, you can put your information on the Internet and have it seen the same way by every person who views it.

You can elect to include bookmarks in the produced file. These bookmarks are important for larger files. They’re used by the viewer to simplify the process of navigating through the file.

Embedding fonts ensures that the document will look the same on every computer. If the fonts aren’t embedded, the chosen font may not be available for display or print, in which case the substitute font could make the resulting display look quite different.

You can set the layers in pivot tables. Some pivot tables have more than two dimensions, and the other dimensions are presented as multiple displayable layers. By setting this option, you can include or exclude layers in the PDF file. If you have a multilayered table, experiment with this setting until you get the results you want.

Using the default settings, SPSS produced a PDF file, shown in Adobe Acrobat here.

SPSS output displayed by Adobe Acrobat.

SPSS output displayed by Adobe Acrobat.