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Using LISREL to create a GIF file with a Conceptual Path Diagram
in 10 easy steps

 

This example shows how a conceptual path diagram, in other words, just the visual representation of a model, can be produced in LISREL and saved as a GIF file to be used on the Web, as email attachment, etc. It works also with the student edition of LISREL (available as a free download on this website). No data are needed, we just use the features of the Interactive LISREL user interface.

1. From the File drop-down menu select the New option and choose Path Diagram, as shown:

 

Path Diagrams with LISREL 8.30 from SSI

 

2. Click OK, and type a filename in the File Save As dialog box, for example, example.pth:  

 

Path Diagrams with LISREL 8.30 from SSI

 

3. When the Path Diagram window shows up, make sure that the Variables option, as well as the Tool Bar, Status Bar, Type Bar, and Drawing Bar options on the Toolbars submenu are checked.
 

 

Path Diagrams with LISREL 8.30 from SSI

 

4. Now, select the Variables option from the Setup dropdown menu.

 


Path Diagrams with LISREL 8.30 from SSI

 

5.This results in the Labels dialog box, where we type the names of the Observed Variables and the Latent Variables that we want to use. In the first picture below, we are about to add 6 observed variables to the default two (VAR 1 and VAR 2 ) in the dialog box that popped up when we clicked on Add/Read Variables. In the next picture, where we can see the result of adding the six observed variables, we are adding five latent variables, using the convenient list notation L1-L5, resulting in the latent variables L1, L2, L3, L4, and L5. Don't worry about the right names, we can always change them later.

 

Path Diagrams with LISREL 8.30 from SSI

 

 

Path Diagrams with LISREL 8.30 from SSI

 


 6. After closing the Labels dialog box by clicking the OK button, we separate the independent from the dependent variables for both the observed and latent variables. Clicking on the box to the right of a variable name in the Variables list box produces a check mark (an X), making that variable a dependent variable (Y for observed, Eta for latent variables). In our example, VAR 6 through VAR 8 among the observed variables as well as L4 and L5 among the latent variables are marked as dependent variables.

Select Conceptual Diagram from the rightmost dropdown list box on the Type Bar (as seen below).

Now, we drag all the variables we want in the path diagram from the list of variables, one at a time, to the empty drawing area. Click on a variable name, hold the mouse button down and drag the variable within the drawing area of the path diagram window, then release the mouse button. Below we are about done, the mouse cursor is dragging the last variable, VAR 8, to the desired spot. The locations can always be changed later, as well as most anything else.
 

 

Path Diagrams with LISREL 8.30 from SSI

 


7.Use LISREL's path diagram features to change the picture and make it more to your liking. For example, with the Select button on the Drawing Bar (the upper left one on the toolbox, as seen above) active, drag the mouse cursor around the independent observed variables to select them all. If done correctly, they will all show the selection handles (the small black squares). Now, use the Image dropdown menu to Align those variables to the left or right and create Even Space between them, as shown below.

Change the shape of the objects, the locations, the colors, etc. as you wish. The new manual, Interactive LISREL: User's Guide, and LISREL's online help have numerous illustrations on how to do this.

 

Path Diagrams with LISREL 8.30 from SSI

 

8. We may uncheck the Variables option from the Toolbars submenu to create more room for the drawing area. Switch to the One-way Path button on the Drawing Bar (upper right, as shown below) and draw the paths between the variables: click on the "from" variable (it should change color), hold down the mouse button and drag it to within the area of the "to" variable until that one changes color, then release. Below, the path from the latent independent variable L2 to the latent dependent variable L5 is being drawn. The "to" variable has changed color, so we may release the mouse button and the path is drawn.
 

 

Path Diagrams with LISREL 8.30 from SSI

 


 9. After all the paths have been drawn, select (optionally) Black and White from the Image dropdown menu to generate a black-and-white picture of the path diagram, as shown below.
 

 

Path Diagrams with LISREL 8.30 from SSI

 


 10. Finally, select the Export As Gif file option from the File menu to create the GIF file (in the same directory and with the same name, but with the file extension GIF).
 

 

Path Diagrams with LISREL 8.30 from SSI

 

 A message box lets us know that conversion was successful and gives the exact name and location of the file. That's it, all done. Note that conversion may take up to 10 seconds on a slow system.

 

Path Diagrams with LISREL 8.30 from SSI

 

 

 

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