Making Histograms in SPSS

  1. Open SPSS.

  2. Click on the circle next to “Type in data”.

  3. Enter your data in one of the columns.

  4. Click on the “Variable View” tab.

  5. Type in a name for the variable.

  6. In the measure column, pick “Scale”.

  7. Click on “Graphs”, choose “Chart Builder” and click “OK” in the window that opens.

  8. Make sure the “Gallery” tab is selected, and under “Choose from”,  pick “Histogram”.

  9. Click on the “Simple Histogram” icon in the upper left corner and drag it into the large white rectangle with the blue type in the upper right side of the window.

  10. Under “Variables”, click on the variable you want to graph and drag it onto the x-axis (horizontal axis) of the bar chart.

  11. Click on the “Titles/Footnotes” tab and click on the box next to “Title 1”.

  12. In the “Element Properties” window, in the white rectangle under “Content”, type in a title for the graph and then click on “Apply”.

  13. Click on “OK” in the “Chart Builder” window and your histogram will appear.
    Right click on one of the bars, and then choose “Edit Content” and “In Separate Window”.
    Double click on one of the bars, and then choose the “Binning” tab in the window that appears.
    Click on the circle next to “Custom” and then click on the circle next to “Number of intervals”.
    Enter the number of intervals or classes that you want, and then click on “Apply”.  If SPSS puts an empty interval on the left or right side of the histogram, choose “Interval width” instead and try various values for the interval width until the histogram shows the number of intervals you want. Click on the “X” in the upper right corner of the window, and a histogram with the correct number of intervals will appear.

  14. If you want to change the axis titles, right click on the graph and then choose “Edit Content” and then choose “In a Separate Window”.  Click once and then twice (slower than a double click) on the axis label you want to change.  If another window appears, just close it.  You should eventually see the cursor in the title you want to change.  Then you can make any changes that are necessary.  If you close the window, the change will appear in the original graph.

  15. Next, click on “Edit” and “Copy”. If you have a Word document open, you now will be able to paste the histogram into the Word document.

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