Below you’ll find some of our favorite lesser-known features in Minitab that can save time and effort when you’re analyzing data. In fact, when members of our sales team demonstrate these shortcuts and tools at tradeshows and events, they've found that even manylongtime users weren’t aware of some of them!
Take a look at these “hidden” helpers in Minitab:
1. Return and Repeat
If you need to modify or re-run part of an analysis you conducted, return to your last dialog box by typing CTRL+E. You can also create new graphs using different variables (while retaining all of your graph edits) by choosing Editor > Make Similar Graph.
To create an exact duplicate of a graph in Minitab, choose Editor > Duplicate Graph or press F3 when you have the graph selected.
2. Formatting Data
Need to change the format of a column? For example, do you need to covert a text column to numeric format for your analysis? Simply choose Data > Change Data Type and select the appropriate option.
3. Value Order
Have you ever created a graph and wished you could switch the order of the results? For instance, you might want to view days of the week on a bar chart in the correct order rather than the default setting that shows bars in alphabetical order.
To display your results in a specific order, right-click on the column used to generate the output and choose Column > Value Order. This will allow you to set the value order for a text column using an order you define. This feature lets you control the order of legends, graphs and tables, as well as Session Window output.
Be sure to check out this tutorial for more practice with value order.
4. Minitab’s Project Manager
I’ve found that it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the amount of worksheets, graphs, and Session Window output I have open! One of my saving graces has been Minitab’s Project Manager, which allows you to navigate, view, and manipulate various parts of your project. Typing CTRL+I, quickly opens the Project Manager.
Right-clicking either the folders or their contents allows you to access a variety of menus that let you manage Session Window output, graphs, worksheets, command language, etc.
Minitab’s Autofill capability lets you automatically repeat the value in a cell (or cells), or follow a pattern as you click and drag down a column or columns in a worksheet. To repeat a value, select the cell, and then hover your cursor on the lower right-hand corner of the cell. When the cross appears, click and drag down the column to repeat the value in other cells:
To repeat a pattern of values rather than a single value, press CTRL as you drag.
You can also use autofill with custom lists. For example, with the worksheet selected, choose Editor > Define Custom Lists to define “Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat” as a list, type one of the values in the first row of a column, and click and drag to fill in the list.
And don’t forget that if you’re ever stuck on how to use Minitab software, click on the Help menu. You’ll find numerous resources, including step-by-step tutorials, Minitab’s Statistical Glossary, a list of Methods and Formulas, Knowledgebase/FAQ, and our StatGuide to help you interpret Minitab results. You can also contact our technical support department directly at http://www.minitab.com/support/.
Do you use any of these features in Minitab? If so, which are your favorites?
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