I looked up this code in the Command Syntax Reference Manual (available through the Help menu) and there it was—a very useful command which can be applied in many applications.
4 5678 10/28/2007
Alter Type Numvar (A2).
One note of caution: The Alter Type command does not allow you to create a new version of the variable. So you may want to save your data first or create a copy of the variable.
So, the next time you need to perform a calculations or merge data and the variable is not in the right Format or Type, use the Alter Type command. After all, it’s free, you are not crazy, and it’s cool!
About Steven: Steven works as a Statistics & Analytics Consultant at Evans Analytics. He has developed or analyzed over 300 surveys including customer satisfaction, work environment, needs assessment, program evaluation, and compensation surveys for public and private sector customers. He has provided SPSS instruction to more than 3,000 analysts, covering a wide variety of topics, including questionnaire design/writing, sample design, data collection strategies, multivariate analyses, and presentation of tables/graphs. He can be reached at: email@example.com