Installing SPSS Custom dialogs on ‘managed’ PCs

Installing SPSS Custom Dialogs is straightforward on un-managed PCs (like your own PC at home) but if you try to install one on your work ‘managed desktop’ PC you will get an error. This is because as a normal user you don’t have the right permissions to install the macros into the default folder that SPSS uses (it requires Administrator rights).

Fortunately, there is a way to overcome this problem.


Firstly, configure your computer/Windows profile to change the default location it uses to install SPSS custom macros:

Kent Psychology users should login to a University computer and download this_macro [right click/save link as] to their desktop. NB the downloaded file should be called spss-macro-prep.bat  however some browsers may rename it to spss-macro-prep.bat.txt . If this happens then you must rename it before the next step. (right click on it in Windows Explorer and click RENAME). The next step is to run the batch file by double clicking on it.

NB – Make sure you do this first step BEFORE opening SPSS, if SPSS is open at the time you will need to close it and reopen it before continuing with step 2.

NB – Kent students need only do this once but researchers/staff will need to do the first part (ie download & run the bat file) on each PC they use on site as they don’t have roaming profiles.

Further details – this batch script simply:

  1. creates the folder z:\spssmacros so that SPSS has a different location to install them into. [z: is a Kent standard networked drive for individual roaming profiles. Any other location could be used as appropriate for your institution]
  2. creates the Windows system environment variable SPSS_CDIALOGS_PATH which SPSS will subsequently read for both installing and accessing custom dialogs. (You can verify that this worked okay by opening a Windows CMD window and running the command env. The resulting input should include SPSS_CDIALOGS_PATH in the output)

Secondly: Installing SPSS custom dialogs –

  1. Download the ‘.spd’ file. The Process macro has it’s own website at you can download a zip file here, then unzip it (‘right-click’ and extract all). ( You may also like to check out  Andrew Hayes’ website for details of other macros]
  2. Install it:
  • From the main SPSS menu choose:
  • Extensions > Utilities > Custom Dialogue Builder
  • In Builder click open and browse to required .spd file click install in the Custom dialogue builder

Assuming it installed correctly it should appear at the appropriate place on one of the SPSS menus (eg Analyze/Regression/Process by Andrew Hayes… )

For questions/comments contact Psychology Technical support at

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