APPLY DICTIONARY FROM={’file_name’,file_handle}.

APPLY DICTIONARY applies the variable labels, value labels, and missing values taken from a file to corresponding variables in the active dataset. In some cases it also updates the weighting variable.

The FROM clause is mandatory. Use it to specify a system file or portable file’s name in single quotes, a data set name (see Datasets), or a file handle name (see File Handles). The dictionary in the file is be read, but it does not replace the active dataset’s dictionary. The file’s data is not read.

Only variables with names that exist in both the active dataset and the system file are considered. Variables with the same name but different types (numeric, string) cause an error message. Otherwise, the system file variables’ attributes replace those in their matching active dataset variables:

In addition to properties of variables, some properties of the active file dictionary as a whole are updated:

APPLY DICTIONARY takes effect immediately. It does not read the active dataset. The system file is not modified.