Needs more work, sorry!

Dealing with big tables

Besides producing nice tables, big tables like crosstabulations are frequently a problem when you wish to present them in a readable and pleasing way, and - if they are very big - splitted in as few pages or slides as possible (why staying readable!).

This document gives some hints on the various facilities available in SPSS. The example uses crosstabs, but everything applies to all output frames that contain tabular information (Pivot tables), for instance regression output or tables of statistics.

Make tables smaller

The first step is of course producing smaller, denser tables. Unfortunately it is not possible to resize a table as you can do with charts, but SPSS has facilities in the to

  1. Modify the default way of presenting tables. Similar to styles you can define your own . SPSS has a number of built-in looks, that can be modified and you can define your own TableLook. A TableLook can either be applied to a table you have produced, or set it as default Tablelook for all tables SPSS produces.
  2. Modify various aspects of a table you have produced.
Example: Use the to change a big table

Here is a (part of a) big crosstab as SPSS has produced it. (Options set to display only variable and value labels). It is a very wide table as the column variable has something like 20 distinct values (countries). Of course I could have had a somewhat more readable table on the screen by showing the countries in rows to produce a very long table...or used an example with many values both in rows and columns....

Let as have a closer look at the modified table and explain what has been done using mostly the menu in the

  1. to show value lables vertically
  2. to display the explanation vertically
  3. Reduced the font size in all data cells and other cells
  4. Reduced the column widths using both and moving the column borders with the mouse.
  5. Moved the title information into the corner of the table
  6. Shortened the text and narrowed the label column for the row labels.
Control how tables are printed
Control how tables are exported

The Export dialog let you modify options that affect the way how big tables are exported.