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17 Invoking pspp-convert

pspp-convert is a command-line utility accompanying PSPP. It reads an SPSS system or portable file input and writes a copy of it to another output in a different format. Synopsis:

pspp-convert [options] input output

pspp-convert --help

pspp-convert --version

The format of Iinput is automatically detected, except that the character encoding of old system files cannot always be guessed correctly. Use -e encoding to specify the encoding in this case.

By default, the intended format for output is inferred based on its extension:


Comma-separated value. Each value is formatted according to its variable’s print format. The first line in the file contains variable names.


SPSS system file.


SPSS portable file.

Use -O extension to override the inferred format or to specify the format for unrecognized extensions.

The following options are accepted:

-O format

Specifies the desired output format. format must be one of the extensions listed above, e.g. -O csv requests comma-separated value output.

-c maxcases

By default, all cases are copied from input to output. Specifying this option to limit the number of cases written to output to maxcases.

-e charset

Overrides the encoding in which character strings in input are interpreted. This option is necessary because old SPSS system files do not self-identify their encoding.


Prints a usage message on stdout and exits.


Prints version information on stdout and exits.

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