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In many situations the data available for analysis is incomplete and a placeholder must be used in place of a value to indicate that the value is unknown. One way that missing values are represented is through the $SYSMIS variable (see Variables Automatically Defined by PSPP). Another, more flexible way is through user-missing values which are determined on a per variable basis.

The MISSING VALUES command sets user-missing values for variables.

MISSING VALUES var_list (missing_values).

where missing_values takes one of the following forms:
        num1, num2
        num1, num2, num3
        num1 THRU num2
        num1 THRU num2, num3
        string1, string2
        string1, string2, string3
As part of a range, LO or LOWEST may take the place of num1;
HI or HIGHEST may take the place of num2.

MISSING VALUES sets user-missing values for numeric and string variables. Long string variables may have missing values, but characters after the first 8 bytes of the missing value must be spaces.

Specify a list of variables, followed by a list of their user-missing values in parentheses. Up to three discrete values may be given, or, for numeric variables only, a range of values optionally accompanied by a single discrete value. Ranges may be open-ended on one end, indicated through the use of the keyword LO or LOWEST or HI or HIGHEST.

The MISSING VALUES command takes effect immediately. It is not affected by conditional and looping constructs such as DO IF or LOOP.