The 6 coolest tools on Minitab's toolbars

Cody Steele 11 June, 2014

Toolbars are there to make your life easier, but if you don’t take the time to hover over each button and wait for a description, it’s pretty easy to never know that there’s a faster way to do something.

The toolbars in Minitab Statistical Software include some pretty nifty shortcuts. Here are my favorite 6:

  1. StatGuide Button StatGuide

As soon as you have results in Minitab, the StatGuide button becomes active on your toolbar. Click the button, and the StatGuide opens directly to guidance for the analysis that you’re looking at. Minitab saves you the time you would have spent looking for information about your results so that you have more time to get things done.

  1. Edit Last Dialog Edit Last Dialog

To repeat an analysis, either because you want to run it on a different column or because you want to change a setting, all you have to do is click a button. Even better, most of Minitab’s analyses will remember what you entered the last time the dialog box was open. Make the small adjustments you need to make, and you’re ready to perform your new analysis.

  1. Show Session Folder Show Session Folder

When you’ve run several analyses in Minitab, it can be nice to have a quick way to find the results of a particular analysis. Minitab’s project manager is the best way to find the results of an analysis quickly, and that’s why it’s so nice that it’s accessible from the toolbar. Click the button, and you get a list of all of the analyses and graphs in your Minitab project.

  1. Current Data Window Current Data Window

If you have a lot of worksheets open, you might want to be able to see both your worksheet and your results at the same time. When you click the button, the current worksheet comes to the front, without maximizing to hide your results. Click it again, and the next worksheet comes to the front. Click it again, and the next worksheet comes to the front. You can quickly cycle through the worksheets to find the one that you want, while still being able to see the results from your analysis.

  1. Assign Formula To Column Assign Formula To Column

The Minitab calculator’s a nice tool, but with the toolbar, you can use it even faster. The best part of all is that when you use the toolbar, you specify which column will have the formula without having to tell the calculator. Plus, when you’re in a complicated series of formulas, the column where the formula goes is not in the list of columns to select, so you can never get a recursive formula error.

No field to indicate where to store the formula.With a field where you can select where to store the formula.

  1. Show Info Show Info

Especially after you open or copy data from Excel, it can be helpful to get a quick snapshot of the columns in your worksheet. When you click the Info button, the Project Manager shows the column names, the lengths, the number of missing values, and the format of the columns. You can investigate why a column that contains numeric data is formatted as text. If any of the columns are the wrong length because of missing values at the end, you know right where to look. You won't have to spend your time scrolling around the worksheet looking for things that are amiss, so that you can get to your analysis faster.

The Project Manager shows the Id, length, number of missing values, and type for each column.

Faster than you used to be

The only thing better than doing fearless data analysis is doing fearless data analysis even faster. Minitab’s toolbars come ready with shortcuts that help you analyze your data faster, from generating your results to interpreting them. Of course, the toolbars that everyone uses can’t be perfect for everyone. If you’re feeling emboldened, check out how to customize the existing toolbars or even to create your own toolbars!