9.4.3 Textual Data Files

        …additional subcommands depending on ARRANGEMENT…

When TYPE=TXT is specified, GET DATA reads data in a delimited or fixed columnar format, much like DATA LIST (see DATA LIST).

The FILE subcommand is mandatory. Specify the file to be read as a string file name or (for textual data only) a file handle (see File Handles).

The ENCODING subcommand specifies the character encoding of the file to be read. See INSERT, for information on supported encodings.

The ARRANGEMENT subcommand determines the file’s basic format. DELIMITED, the default setting, specifies that fields in the input data are separated by spaces, tabs, or other user-specified delimiters. FIXED specifies that fields in the input data appear at particular fixed column positions within records of a case.

By default, cases are read from the input file starting from the first line. To skip lines at the beginning of an input file, set FIRSTCASE to the number of the first line to read: 2 to skip the first line, 3 to skip the first two lines, and so on.

IMPORTCASES is ignored, for compatibility. Use N OF CASES to limit the number of cases read from a file (see N OF CASES), or SAMPLE to obtain a random sample of cases (see SAMPLE).

The remaining subcommands apply only to one of the two file arrangements, described below.