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Is there any way to edit a scatterplot created in SPSS/PASW after exporting/copying and pasting it into a Word document.

I am finding that when I copy and paste my graph from SPSS/PASW into Word, the font size decreases.

I can enlarge the graph in Word by dragging the corners but this makes the font look odd. I want to be able to edit the font size in Word.

Is there any trick that I need to learn. I am very new to SPSS/PASW.

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    $\begingroup$ Sometimes I export the data and build the charts in Excel... this gives you enormous flexibility in the chart formatting and the chart is fully portable between Excel, Word, and Powerpoint. $\endgroup$
    – Jonathan
    Oct 18, 2011 at 19:40

4 Answers 4

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I don't use SPSS so much these days, but here are a few thoughts:

  • It is typically better to edit SPSS graphics in SPSS using the SPSS chart editor, before exporting to a desired format.
  • Check out the export option in SPSS and the paste special options in the target application.
  • SPSS allows for exporting of graphics in multiple formats some of which are raster (e.g., jpg, bmp) and some of which are vector (e.g., wmf). Vector graphics formats make it easier for you to modify individual elements of the file at a later date. If you think that you might need to resize the graphic at a later point, then a vector graphic format is advisable. If you know what size you want, then a vector graphic may still be advisable, or perhaps a very high resolution raster format. It also depends on how you plan to use the graphic (e.g., for web, for printing, etc.).
  • See this tutorial on exporting graphs from SPSS
  • In the worst case scenario, you can always manipulate the figure in a general purpose graphics program.
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  • $\begingroup$ The link for the tutorial on exporting graphs from SPSS does not work. Do you know where to find it now? $\endgroup$
    – Joel W.
    Jul 17, 2012 at 23:54
  • $\begingroup$ I found it on internet archive; I've changed the link to that. $\endgroup$ Jul 18, 2012 at 0:11
  • $\begingroup$ Unfortunately that tutorial now has dated information. With SPSS's latest versions it has become increasingly awkward to move charts and tables into Office programs and to edit them there. To move a chart, table, or column from a table into PowerPoint may require side trips via Word or Excel, for example. At the same time, improvements in the last few years to SPSS have allowed for better-functioning chart templates. I've also just learned that one can select multiple elements of a chart for editing by control-clicking (e.g., to resize the title, axis titles and axis labels, and legend). $\endgroup$
    – rolando2
    Jul 18, 2012 at 12:00
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A big difference between SPSS charts and Excel/Ppt charts is that SPSS knows the logic of the chart while Excel will let you just pick up a bar and move it. That makes no sense for a data graphic. The SPSS Chart Editor lets you make changes to the chart that are structurally consistent as well as cosmetic changes in titling. legend etc.

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I found a harder but possible way to export editable charts. You have to choose graphs only and to set to .eps format. It would be good to create new folder and to place all charts in that folder. Then, you select all exported files (charts) and drag them in word. Charts will bee editable.

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    $\begingroup$ Are you suggesting to export charts from SPSS as .eps files? How would you do that, what does it mean to choose "graphs only" / what menu is that in? $\endgroup$ Oct 29, 2012 at 20:45
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Don't expect to be able to do much that way (within Word) :-( I've found that R-clicking...Edit picture allows certain small changes, but they usually come with unexpected consequences for the graph. The most maddening thing is that SPSS's binning element produces scatterplots whose legend marks the smallest point as reflecting zero cases! This can be fixed by overlaying a text box with a "1" in Word or PowerPoint and grouping the text box and the chart image together. But Office doesn't always allow it; sometimes the mere presense of a tiny text box causes much of the chart to be obscured.

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