Overview for importing data

You can import data into Minitab in several different ways.

Open a file

You can open Minitab files, Microsoft® Excel files, and text files directly in Minitab.

To open a file in Minitab, choose File > Open. For more information, go to Open a file.

Copy/paste data

You can copy data from Excel™ or other applications and paste the data into Minitab. You can also copy and paste data within Minitab.

Copy a single column from the output and paste the data into the worksheet
  1. Select the column that you want to copy.
  2. Right-click the column and select Copy Column.
  3. Click in the cell for the column name where you want to paste the data.
  4. Choose Edit > Paste or press Ctrl + V. If prompted, choose Paste as a single column.
Query a database by using ODBC

ODBC (Open Database Connectivity) is a protocol that many applications use to import data from database files. With ODBC, you can collect data in a database application such as Microsoft Access or dBase, and then import the data into Minitab.

To set up ODBC to import data, choose File > Query Database (ODBC). For more information, go to Import data from a database by using ODBC.

Create a hot link to another application by using DDE

Microsoft® DDE (Dynamic Data Exchange) is a protocol that many applications use to exchange data. You can use DDE to exchange data between Minitab and other applications. You can add "hot links" to external applications such as Excel, so that, when values change in Excel™, the values are automatically updated in Minitab. Also, you can hot link columns from Minitab to Excel™, so that when the columns change in Minitab, they are automatically updated in Excel™.

To create a hot link with DDE, choose Edit > Worksheet Links > Manage Links. For more information, go to Overview of Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE).


Starting with Windows Vista, Microsoft® does not support DDE on a network anymore. However, you can create DDE links on a local computer.