Columns and Alignment in SPSS
In the section, we are going to learn columns and alignment options. Column and alignment don't have any statistical relevance. They are more often decorative, so they are less used and discussed in books of stats. But we quickly learn them, what they are, and how to use them. The Column refers to column width. So in the following image, we already have different column width for a different variable.
If we create a new variable, we will have an 8 column width assign to it by default. So column width refers to a number of digits or alphabet that can be allocated for a variable. For example, we create a new variable, and name it as XYZ, and then press enter. Now in the following image, we can see by default it has been assigned the column of 8 and alignment of Right.
Now, if we click on the Data View, we will find that we don't have any value for XYZ. So we will add some values like 23, 12, and 13.
We can see its width is 8. If we increase its width by using our mouse, we can see that its width has increased substantially in the column option.
In the Variable View option, we can see its width is 36.
If we want to reduce it again, we can turn it to 8 and press enter. Now we can go to the Data view option and can see the width has gone down. In the case of population, we can have more width, but for variables that can be restricted to a lesser number of digits, we can have a smaller width for them. We can see in the following image, the values of XYZ are aligned to their Right.
If we want to align them in the Center or Left, we can change their alignment. We can click on the Right option of XYZ variable and select alignment Left like this.
If we click on the Data view option, we can see that the variable has been aligned to Left.
That's how we use the alignment and column width option. The column option is nothing but the extension of width. So once we define our column, it means we are defining the width.