When first opening the application, you are presented with a window that offers options for how to begin your spss session. If you do not see it there, select "open another file" You can see there is a check box that will prevent it from appearing when spss is reopened. To uncheck the box, visit the "options" menu. Otherwise, to open as spss data file you have already obtained, select the "file" menu -> "open" -> "data" When first opening the application, you are presented with. On the lower left side, you"ll see a box labeled "recent files" You will be presented with data in a grid format. Note that the variables are listed in columns, with each case recorded as a row. Now click the "variable view" tab and you will see this: Importing data from statistics file formats other than spss or pasw.