Step 2. Eat lunch. Nothing helps me keep my cool like having some PB&J in my belly.
Step 3. Calmly Google how to recover SPSS syntax.
To access the journal file, go to Edit --> Options…, and select the File Locations tab. This window will show you the location of the journal file. To open the journal file, you have two options. First, you can open it in SPSS by opening the journal file as if it were a syntax file. Second, you can open the journal file as a text file. After closing SPSS, navigate to the location listed for the journal file, and open it with a text editor like Notepad.
This video gives a good demonstration of how to use a journal file, beginning around 3:00.
It’s that easy to find lost syntax. However, just because the journal file exists doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be meticulous about saving your work in syntax files. What if you find that your journal was mysteriously set to “overwrite” instead of “append”? Syntax files also offer features that the journal doesn’t, like the ability to store commands in multiple files. But if you forget to eat lunch and make a mistake because you are working while hungry, the journal is a very handy backup. Just remember to take food breaks next time.