Minitab dialog boxes retain variables and settings

Minitab dialog boxes retain dialog box and sub-dialog box variables and settings you enter during a Minitab session. When you set dialog box options, Minitab remembers the settings until you change them again. This feature lets you be consistent and save time when rerunning graphs and analyses.

For example, suppose you create a simple scatterplot of variables Height and Weight, that was subsetted to exclude even numbered rows. When you next return to it, Height and Weight will still be entered in the main dialog box, and sub-dialog box settings will still specify subsetting by even numbered rows. Or, perhaps you customize the options for displaying descriptive statistics. After additional analysis, you decide to display descriptive statistics again, only this time for a different variable. Minitab remembers your previous settings so that you can generate similar output without having to reset the options.


To re-open the previous dialog box, press Ctrl+E.


If you do not want to use the retained variables and settings from previous efforts, press the F3 key to reset dialog box choices and remove variables. Settings are saved with the project.

Move quickly through a long list of variables

When you click or tab to a field in Minitab dialog boxes, the variable list box displays all the columns in the active worksheet that are valid for that field. For example, if the field can accept only numeric data, then only numeric columns are displayed in the variable list box. If you still have a long list of variables to scroll through, you can try these options:
  • Type the column number or name. For example, type C2 or the column name FailedParts.
  • Use your keyboard to quickly move through the list.
    1. Select an item in the variable list box to activate it.
    2. Use the Home, End, Page Down, Page Up, and arrow keys to move through the list.
  • Reduce the number of variables that are displayed in the variable list box by creating a new worksheet with a subset of the data.
    1. In the worksheet, select the columns of interest.
    2. Right-click and choose Copy Cells.
    3. Choose File > New > Worksheet.
    4. In the new worksheet, right-click and choose Paste Cells.
  • Reduce the number of variables that are displayed in the variable list box by hiding columns in the worksheet.
    1. In the worksheet, select the columns that you want to hide.
    2. Right-click and choose Column Properties > Hide Selected Columns.
    3. With the worksheet still active, choose Editor > Column Properties and deselect Use Hidden Columns in Dialog Boxes.

    To unhide the columns, make the worksheet active, select the visible columns on either side of the hidden columns, then right-click and choose Column Properties > Unhide Selected Columns.

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