Minitab Tips and Tricks: Top 10 Countdown Finale

screaming fansThe countdown on my favorite Minitab tips and tricks continues. If you missed tips #6-#10, check out my previous blog.

Coming in at #5, the answer to last blog's trivia quiz:Tip #5 
Export a Minitab graph to PowerPoint
You won't believe how easy this is. Right-click any graph you've created in Minitab and choose Send Graph to Microsoft PowerPoint. You don't even need to open PowerPoint. Minitab does it all for you--like magic. (You can send it to Word, too!)

Tip #4
Clear a dialog box
If you got burned, it’s time to wipe the slate clean. Press F3 to clear a Minitab dialog box and return it to default settings.
clear dialog

tip #3
Customize Minitab menus and toolbars
Choose Tools > Customize to modify the Minitab interface to suit your needs. Add, delete, move, or edit menu or toolbar items. Create or edit menus or toolbars. Add items that link to executable or macro files. Set new keystrokes for commands.
custom menu
tip #2
Go to the dialog box you last used
Press Ctrl+E to return to the dialog box you used most recently. This is a quick and easy way to rerun your most recent analysis if you want to modify the settings and try it again.
last used dialog
And, without further adieu, my number 1 tip, which is appropriately paired with a hit from one of the top recording artists of all time.

tip #1

Open Excel files in Minitab
If you’ve been copying and pasting your data, or worse yet, manually re-entering your data, from Excel into Minitab, this tip might make you cry. Over the years, Minitab and Excel have come to understand each other better and better. And their relationship promises to only get deeper and more harmonious as time goes on.

To directly open Excel files in Minitab, File > Open Worksheet. From Files of Type choose Excel (*.xls; *.xlsx).


The worksheet above opened in Minitab exactly as shown on the right, with no adjustments needed. Depending how your data are formatted in Excel, you might have to tweak the data after you open the worksheet in Minitab. You can also click Options or Preview to specify how to import and format the imported data correctly.

I’ll sign off now. I hope these tips have been helpful, and that the associated hit tunes weren’t too painful to recall. Just remember, as you use Minitab, to “Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars…”

Note: There are many more tips and tricks you can use with Minitab Statistical Software. Check out this larger list of advanced tips compiled by Minitab’s Technical Support Specialists.


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Name: nancyv • Wednesday, November 9, 2011

How about taking multiple data worksheets from Minitab to Excel? What's the fastest way to do that??

Name: Patrick Runkel • Thursday, November 10, 2011

Great question. Choose File > Save Current Worksheet As and from Save as Type choose Excel. This will automatically save all of the multiple data worksheets in your Minitab project to the resulting XLS file. (Thanks to Minitab Technical Support Specialist Kelly A for this tip!)

Name: Alex • Saturday, May 19, 2012

How do you transfer the results data displayed in the session window to an excel table?

Name: Patrick • Friday, May 25, 2012

Hi Alex,

The method you use can depend on the type of output. For some output (for example, coefficients from a Regression or DOE model), you can re-run the analysis & use Minitab’s Storage button to get the values into the Minitab worksheet. Then you can directly export the values to Excel from the Minitab worksheet with added precision. This can be important if you plan to do further calculations in Excel using the values.

If the output can’t be stored in Minitab, you can try to copy and paste text directly from the Minitab Session window into an Excel worksheet. To select only certain rows and columns to copy from the Session window, press “Alt” as you select the output. To preview how the results will appear in Excel, use the Text Import Wizard in Excel (on the Home tab, choose Paste > Use Text Import Wizard). You may need to do some tweaking after that, depending on the results.

If you just need to show the output in a report, but don’t need to do further calculations with the numeric values, you could take a screen shot of the desired section of Session output, say with the Windows Snipping Tool, then paste it into their Excel file as a picture.

(Thanks to Annie and Kelly from Minitab Technical Support for their help with this response!)

Name: Mel • Wednesday, March 6, 2013

I'm not sure if this post is still active and not even quite sure where to go for help.

I am the new Network Administrator and have never used MiniTab. Our Engineers use it and have been having an issue with copying from Excel and pasting into MiniTab (they access Minitab via Citrix). This is a known citrix issue with the clipboard being hijacked (http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX106226). The utility works for every app except Minitab btw.

So anyway, I read this post and realized it would be much easier for them just to open the excel files in Minitab as described here. That is a wonderful solution. Now they have came back wishing I would've resolved the pasting issue instead. The reason and question I have is this:

"Can an Excel file be imported into Minitab 14 choosing only to import the numerical data?"

These workbooks can be huge and have a ton of text in them. Thus, when opening the Excel file in Minitab they are getting all of the text data as well which is changing the field type to text rather than numerical which is causing other issues. Obviously they can go and delete all of the text and select their columns and make them of Numeric field type. Which is what they are now doing, however it is still time consuming and cumbersome.

Is there a way to only import an .xls file's numerical data, thus eliminating the text and text fields?

Thank you so much, sorry for the ramblings.

Name: Patrick • Thursday, March 7, 2013

Greetings, Mel.

To answer your question I checked with the Minitab Technical Support team. The File > Open command in Minitab cannot import numeric columns only.

However, you might consider opening an Excel file using File>Query Database (ODBC). Choose that command, then click the Machine Data Source Tab and choose Excel Files. Click OK, then browse to, and double-click, the Excel file in question. In the next dialog, the “Available Tables” field refers to each Sheet inside the single Excel file. And the “Available fields” field are all the columns on each Sheet. Here, you can select only certain fields that you specify to import—so in your case, you’d select just the fields containing numeric data.

I’m not sure whether that procedure is quicker and easier than your current method of manipulating the data in Minitab after you import it. That will depend on the size, format, and specific data in the Excel files that you’re trying to import.

I hope this helps. Unfortunately, the older version of Minitab that you’re using is no longer supported (although because you already have Release 14, you can get a large discount on an upgrade to Release 16--over 50%--if you decide to upgrade).

Also be aware that Minitab is not officially tested in a terminal services environment. That means all Citrix deployments of Minitab are technically unsupported as well. However, the Citrix deployment does not usually pose a problem when using the method of deployment recommended for our software.

Best, Patrick

Name: Kumar • Tuesday, July 8, 2014

I'm having an issue while copy and paste the graph in Powerpoint, even unable to "send graph to MS Powerpoint". But i'm able to paste the graph in MS word / ms paint, not in Powerpoint. If i copy a graph from Word and able to paste it in Powerpoint, unable to paste it from Minitab application to Powerpoint.

Could you please guide me on this issue.

Name: Eston • Thursday, July 10, 2014

Hi Kumar - from your description, it's difficult to suggest a solution to the issue you're encountering. Please contact our technical support department directly so they can help you troubleshoot it. http://www.minitab.com/support/

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