SORT VARIABLES reorders the variables in the active dataset’s dictionary
according to a chosen sort key.
SORT VARIABLES [BY] (NAME | TYPE | FORMAT | LABEL | VALUES | MISSING | MEASURE | ROLE | COLUMNS | ALIGNMENT | ATTRIBUTE name) [(D)].
The main specification is one of the following identifiers, which determines how the variables are sorted:
Sorts the variables according to their names, in a case-insensitive
fashion. However, when variable names differ only in a number at the
end, they are sorted numerically. For example,
VAR5 is sorted
VAR400 even though ‘4’ precedes ‘5’.
Sorts numeric variables before string variables, and shorter string variables before longer ones.
Groups variables by print format; within a format, sorts narrower formats before wider ones; with the same format and width, sorts fewer decimal places before more decimal places. See FORMATS.
Sorts variables without a variable label before those with one. See VARIABLE LABELS.
Sorts variables without value labels before those with some. See VALUE LABELS.
Sorts variables without missing values before those with some. See MISSING VALUES.
Sorts nominal variables first, followed by ordinal variables, followed by scale variables. See VARIABLE LEVEL.
Groups variables according to their role. See VARIABLE ROLE.
Sorts variables in ascending display width. See VARIABLE WIDTH.
Sorts variables according to their alignment, first left-aligned, then right-aligned, then centered. See VARIABLE ALIGNMENT.
Sorts variables according to the first value of their name attribute. Variables without attribute are sorted first. See VARIABLE ATTRIBUTE.
Only one sort criterion can be specified. The sort is “stable,” so to sort on multiple criteria one may perform multiple sorts. For example, the following will sort primarily based on alignment, with variables that have the same alignment ordered based on display width:
SORT VARIABLES BY COLUMNS. SORT VARIABLES BY ALIGNMENT.
(D) to reverse the sort order.