# Searching for individual numbers within a multi-digit response

#### Mark77

##### New Member
I have a numeric variable that contains all combinations of 1 through 6 (e.g. 12, 124, 34, 6, 56, etc). I want to create a new dichotomous variable based on whether a certain number is within these combinations of numbers. For example, if I have:
12
134
45
16
I want to be able to create a new dichotomous variable for whether or not response includes the number "1". In this case, responses 12, 134, and 16 would produce the answer 1 whereas 45 would produce a 0. I know I could state "If (varname=12 or varname=13 or varname=123, etc) newvar=1" but I wanted something more elegant given the amount of combinations. Any thoughts?

Last edited:

#### SiBorg

##### New Member
Hi Mark

Let's say your starting numeric variable is VAR1.

First, set the decimal places to 0 and then change it to a string variable by simply changing the variable's type on the variable view.

So VAR1 is now a string, not a number. By doing this, you allow SPSS to search for a character (which, in this case is the number "1") within the string (this is not possible to do when it is stored as a number)

Define a second variable, newvar as a numeric variable.

Then run the following.

IF (RINDEX(VAR1,"1")=0) newvar = 0.
EXECUTE.
IF (NOT(RINDEX(VAR1,"1")=0)) newvar=1.
EXECUTE.

RINDEX(haystack,needle) Numeric. Returns an integer that indicates the starting position of the last occurrence of the string needle in the string haystack. Returns 0 if needle does not occur within haystack.
RINDEX will return 0 if "1" isn't found within the string VAR1. The above code therefore uses this result to determine the new dichotomous variable.

BW

Simon

Last edited:

#### Mark77

##### New Member
Thank you! Greatly appreciate the swift reply and info!

Hi Mark

Let's say your starting numeric variable is VAR1.

First, set the decimal places to 0 and then change it to a string variable by simply changing the variable's type on the variable view.

So VAR1 is now a string, not a number. By doing this, you allow SPSS to search for a character (which, in this case is the number "1") within the string (this is not possible to do when it is stored as a number)

Define a second variable, newvar as a numeric variable.

Then run the following.

IF (RINDEX(VAR1,"1")=0) newvar = 0.
EXECUTE.
IF (NOT(RINDEX(VAR1,"1")=0)) newvar=1.
EXECUTE.

RINDEX will return 0 if "1" isn't found within the string VAR1. The above code therefore uses this result to determine the new dichotomous variable.

BW

Simon

#### SiBorg

##### New Member
No worries. If you found it useful you could do me a big favour by clicking the 'thanks' button!

BW

Simon