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Unable to import dataset in 3rd party program LISREL after data is exported

Technote (troubleshooting)


Using IBM SPSS Statistics 22, exporting the dataset into a text file format proceeds without any errors. When importing this dataset into LISREL, a 3rd Party program, an error is produced stating the data was in an unexpected format.


Unable to successfully import the data produced by SPSS Statistics into LISREL.
Was able to import data exported by IBM SPSS Statistics 19 into LISREL without any errors.


Encoding method used to generate the exported dataset changed between versions.

Diagnosing the problem

SPSS Statistics 19, by default, used the LOCALE Encoding method when saving dataset and syntax files. This changed by SPSS Statistics 22 as we are now using UNICODE Encoding method when saving dataset and syntax files.

Resolving the problem

LISREL apparently has a problem with working with UNICODE encoded datasets. Workaround is to export the dataset in LOCALE Encoding method before importing into LISREL. Changing the encoding methods can be made in: Edit > Options > Language tab.

Look for the section "Character Encoding for Data and Syntax" and select the radio button for "Locale's writing system".

Related information

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Document information

More support for: SPSS Statistics
Statistics Desktop

Software version: 22.0

Operating system(s): Windows

Reference #: 1667438

Modified date: 07 September 2016

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