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Durham University

Computing and Information Services

Frequently Asked Questions

List of FAQ categories


+Can I get help with unsupported software?

Unfortunately, the IT Service is unable to provide advice on unsupported software. Although a number of unsupported applications are available on NPCS, no information or advice is given on this software. There are more details available on supported/unsupported software at Self-Service Portal.

+Can I use a tab-delimited format file for importing data into SPSS?

Tab-delimited files can be opened in SPSS:

  1. Select File | Open | Data.
  2. Choose Data (*.dat) as the File Type.
  3. Select your file and click Open.
  4. Follow the wizard steps to define your data format.

+Can students buy Microsoft Office from the Service Desk?

No not directly, students can buy educational priced software under the Microsoft Student Select Agreement at, for more details please see

+How can I buy ArcGIS?

Details of how to buy ArcGIS can be found at Self-Service Portal.

There are two versions available, ArcView and ArcInfo. Both products contain the same core software components ArcMap, ArcCatalog and ArcToolbox. The majority of users will find ArcView suitable for their needs, ArcInfo is a more advanced version of the application which has additional cartographic tools within the ArcToolbox component.

+How can I buy Endnote?

EndNote is available for installation on all University owned/leased PCs and Macs.

If you would like EndNote installing on your University owned/leased PC or Mac please send a request to the Service Desk stating your machine name.

EndNote is NOT available for home use. However, as we have a site licence, staff and students can purchase EndNote for home use at discounted pricing from Bilaney Consultants

To obtain the discounted price you may need to log in with your Durham username and password.

The costs are:

£72 for an electronic download or £75 to receive a copy of the media via post.

+How can I buy SPSS?

You can obtain SPSS from the Service Desk self-service portal

+How can I obtain a new ArcView licence file?

The new licence file for ArcView can be downloaded from the following location. Once you have saved the file to your computer, double click on the icon and follow the on screen prompts. 

Right click on the link below and save the file as UNK127054649_v93.esu9

+How can I zip/unzip files?

The NPCS runs a utility called 'Power Archiver' which enables users to zip and unzip files. It is located in the Utilities menu from the Start button. For further information please see Infosheet 139 available from the Helpdesk or online at:

+How do I configure Internet Explorer to open office files in the appropriate Office program?

To configure Internet Explorer to open Office files in the appropriate Office program by using the Folder Options tool:

  1. Open My Computer.
  2. On the Tools menu (or the View menu), click Folder Options (or click Options).
  3. Click the File Types tab.
  4. In the Registered file types list, click the specific Office document type (for example, Microsoft Excel Worksheet), and then click Advanced (or click Edit).
  5. In the Edit File Type dialog box, click to clear the Browse in same window check box (or click to clear the Open Web documents in place check box).
  6. Click OK.

+How do I copy from SPSS into Word?

The basic procedure is the same whether you are copying data from the data window or text, tables or a chart from the viewer. It involves copying the text, table or chart from SPSS to the Windows Clipboard, then pasting from the Clipboard into a Word document.

  • In SPSS, run the appropriate procedures to generate the output you require.
  • Select (i.e. highlight) the item (text, table or chart) you want to copy.
  • From the Edit menu select Copy. This will copy the selection to the Windows Clipboard. To copy multiple items, use Copy Objects from the Edit menu.
  • In Word, open the document into which you want to paste the selected item.
  • Position the text insertion point where you want to insert the item.
  • From the Edit menu select Paste Special and choose Picture.

This will insert the material from the Windows Clipboard into your document.

+How do I expand tar files?

A tar file has several files compressed into the same file. The tar command will expand these files into (usually) the current directory.

To check which directory and for a list of commands use:

tar tf file.tar

To expand the file, use the command:

tar xvf file.tar