Change the value order in Minitab output

You can change the order in which values are displayed in graphs or output tables.

What is value order?

When you use a text column to create a graph or table, the order in which Minitab displays the text categories is the value order. Value order can be one of the following:
  • Alphabetical order: the values are processed alphabetically. This is often the default.
  • Order of occurrence in worksheet: the value in the first row of the worksheet defines the first category, the next unique value defines the second category, and so on.
  • User-specified order: the values are processed in the order that you specify.

Details of alphabetical order

The alphabetical order that Minitab uses by default is based on your computer's region and language settings.

For English (United States) and many other regions and languages, the value order is:
  1. Symbols
  2. Numbers (0–9)
  3. Letters (by alphabet and case)
For example, Minitab orders the text values d, v, %, A, 2, a, and E as follows:

Example of changing the value order

If alphabetical or worksheet order are not what you want, you can specify a different value order. For example, if you create a bar chart of counts of t-shirts by size, by default, the bars are in alphabetical order (L, M, S, XL, XS). You can specify a custom value order for the text column so that the bars are displayed in the correct order (XS, S, M, L, XL).

Default value order
User-specified value order

Apply a user-specified value order for a section of output or a graph

  1. In the worksheet, click a cell in the text column for which you want to change the value order.
  2. Choose Editor > Column Properties > Value Order.
  3. Select User-specified order.
    The text values from the column appear in the Define an order list.
  4. To change the order of values in the list, cut and then paste them where you want. Use Ctrl+X for cutting and Ctrl+V for pasting.
  5. Verify that each value is on a separate line.
  6. To save the new value order, click Add Order.
    The order is added to the Choose an order list.
  7. Click OK.

The column in the worksheet looks the same—the value order is changed only in the output. The value order remains with the column until you change it again.

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