Hunter College > Social Sciences Lab > SPSS FAQ


Where else can I find SPSS at Hunter other than the SSCL?
IBM SPSS is available on most "public" computers at Hunter, including the Main Library and the Hunter PCS Labs on the 10th Floor of Hunter North.

ALSO, there is now free off campus access to SPSS Version 23 for students and faculty at Hunter via the “CUNY Virtual Desktop”. All the details can be found at:

Where can I purchase SPSS?
IBM SPSS Statistics Base GradPack 24 is available for purchase via (as of 06/16/2016, the price is $39.99 + $4.99 download fee, students only) for license periods of six or twelve months.
Please note that if you purchase the Mac version, SPSS Version 24 will only work on OS X 10.10 or
, AND your Mac MUST have an Intel Processor.
SPSS Version 17 or higher will not work on PowerPC-based Macs.
See the following IBM web page for mor MAC support information:

How do I add my name to a printout from SPSS?

Put your names on your output: double-click on output title; edit text, adding name.

How do I switch between Value Labels and the actual data values?

The icon to perform this action looks like this:

How do I open an ".spo" file?

The ".spo" file format is discontinued after SPSS 15.0. In order to open a ".spo" file, you can use SPSS SmartViewer, which is installed on the instructor's computer.

Which SPSS modules are licensed and available in the SSCL?

SPSS Statistics
SPSS Regression
SPSS Advanced Statistics
SPSS Categories***
SPSS Custom Tables***
SPSS Complex Samples***
SPSS Forecasting***
SPSS Statistics Base

*** Until 2011, the noted modules were available in the SSCL, but due to licensing changes, this is no longer the case.

Will SPSS work on a Mac?

ASSUMING you have a Mac with an Intel processor:
SPSS is a Java application. Depending on which Java version is supported by any given OS X release largely determines which version of SPSS will run on it.

OS X 10.8 will work with SPSS Version 21 (Version 20 may work but is not formally supported by IBM).
OS X 10.7 will work with either SPSS Version 19*, 20**, or 21.
OS X 10.6 will work with either SPSS Version 18, 19*, or 20**.
OS X 10.5 will work with either SPSS Version 17, 18, or 19.
OS X 10.4 will ONLY work with SPSS Version 17.

*Version 19 is not officially supported on OS X 10.7, but seems to work for many users.
**Version 20 supports both x86-32 & x86-64 versions of OS X.

ASSUMING you have a Mac with a PowerPC processor:
SPSS discontinued support for PowerPC-based Macs with Version 17, so SPSS Version 16 is your only option.
OS X 10.6 does not run on PowerPC processors.
OS X 10.5 will work with SPSS Version 16, BUT Hunter College no longer supports Version 16 so your only option is to buy your own copy of SPSS 16.
OS X 10.4 will work with SPSS Version 16, BUT Hunter College no longer supports Version 16 so your only option is to buy your own copy of SPSS 16.

SPSS Bugs with Mac Version 18

Java Issue with Charts (as of 10/29/10)

IBM SPSS Statistics version 18.0.x for Macintosh administrators and users should be aware of a problem in chart drawing caused by the latest Apple Java Updates for Mac OS X. If IBM SPSS Statistics version 18.0.x is installed either on Macintosh OS X 10.5 (Leopard) or on OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) and the latest Apple Java Update 8 for Mac OS X 10.5 or the Apple Java Update 3 for Mac OS X is applied, it is not possible to create IBM SPSS Statistics charts. Attempting to create any chart will result in the error "The JVM cannot be started". More details can be found in knowledgebase resolution 91842.

If you encounter this issue, please obtain the fix along with installation instructions and download information on the support web site at Enter your login information, select the "Patches" menu under the Statistics product, and choose the "Statistics Hotfix". All installations should first be patched to 18.0.3 before applying the HotFix.

Licensing Issue

There is a bug in licensing PASW 18 for the Mac.  When installing, instead of the server name, you should use the IP address ( of the server. The simplified procedure for installing PASW 18 for Mac follows:

  1. Insert PASW 18 install disk.  
  2. Install PASW
  3. Select Network License
  4. When prompted to enter IP address or server name, enter: 
    Please note that as of 06/17/10, the IP address for licensing SPSS 18 for Mac has changed from to
    If you installed SPSS 18 for Mac with IP address it will no longer work. 
    You must change the license info to use IP address
  5. Click "Set" and then install.
  6. PASW 18 will install.
  7. After PASW 18 installs, eject the disk and insert the PASW 18.01 Patch disk.   
  8. Install PASW 18.0.1 patch.  The installation is automated, and you will not be prompted to enter any special information.

Has SPSS changed its name?

In March 2009 SPSS changed the name of the SPSS software package to PASW (Predictive Analytics SoftWare.)
In 2010, they renamed it yet again, and it is currently called IBM SPSS Statistics. While the name has changed repeatedly, the program remains fundamentally the same.

The company itself, rather than the software, has always been named SPSS. In 2009 IBM purchased the SPSS company and it now operates as a wholly owned subsidiary of IBM, retaining the SPSS name.

Hunter College, Social Sciences Computing Lab
East Building, Room B118, 695 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10065
phone: 212-772-5605
email address: