LISREL for Windows imports SPSS, SAS, STATA, Statistica, Microsoft Excel, SYSTAT, BMDP, etc. raw data files as a PRELIS system file (PSF). It uses a PSF to store raw data.  Whenever PRELIS or LISREL processes a PSF, a data system file (DSF), which has the same name as the PSF, is created.  This DSF contains all the data information that LISREL requires to fit structural equation models to the data.


A structural equation model can be specified by means of a path diagram, a SIMPLIS project file, a LISREL project file, a SIMPLIS syntax file or a LISREL syntax file.  LISREL for Windows uses a graphics file with the default extension PTH to capture a path diagram.  The extensions SPJ and LPJ are used for SIMPLIS and LISREL project files respectively.  SIMPLIS and LISREL syntax files are text files with the default extensions SPL and LS8 respectively.  These five file types can access the data from the PSF or the DSF.  If a user has prepared any of these files, then LISREL for Windows can be used to fit the specified model to the data specified in the corresponding PSF or DSF.


Path diagram, SIMPLIS project and LISREL project files are described in Du Toit & Du Toit (2001).  SIMPLIS syntax files are described in Jöreskog & Sörbom (1999c) and in Du Toit et al. (2005) while the LISREL syntax files are outlined in Jöreskog & Sörbom (1999b).


Whenever PRELIS processes a PSF interactively, a PRELIS syntax file with the same name as the PSF is created.  A PRELIS syntax file is a text file with default extension PR2.  PRELIS syntax files are described by Jöreskog & Sörbom (1999a) 


MULTILEV, CATFIRM, CONFIRM, SURVEYGLIM and MAPGLIM syntax files are also text files with default extension PR2.  MULTILEV syntax files and SURVEYGLIM syntax files are described in  Du Toit et al. (2005) while CATFIRM and CONFIRM syntax files are described in Du Toit & Du Toit (2001)


LISREL for Windows starts up by opening a main window with three menus.  The File menu can then be used to open existing or new PSF’s and PTH files in PSF and PTH Windows respectively.  It can also be used to open new or existing LISREL and SIMPLIS project files in LISREL and SIMPLIS project (LPJ and SPJ) windows.  Text editor windows are used to display new or existing syntax files and output files.  PTH, PSF, LPJ, SPJ and text editor windows have window-specific menus.