When you choose a command from a menu, the dialog box for that command opens. Enter the data and specify options in the dialog box.

Minitab dialog boxes retain variables and settings

Minitab dialog boxes retain dialog box and sub-dialog box variables and settings for the current Minitab session, and are saved with the project. 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.


To re-open the previous dialog box with the most recent settings, press Ctrl+E, or click the Edit Last Dialog button on the Standard toolbar.

For example, suppose you create a simple scatterplot of variables Height and Weight, and you subsetted the data to exclude even-numbered rows. When you return to the dialog box, Height and Weight are still entered in the main dialog box, and sub-dialog box settings 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.


If you do not want to use the retained settings and variables, in the main dialog box, press the F3 key to reset them.

Move quickly through a long list of variables

In Minitab dialog boxes, when you select a field by clicking it or moving to it with the Tab key, the variable list box displays all the columns in the active worksheet that are valid for that field. For example, if the field accepts 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, try the following 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.
Copy a subset of the variables to a new worksheet
If the worksheet has many columns that are not necessary for the analysis, you can copy only the relevant columns to a new worksheet.
  1. In the worksheet, select the columns that you want to copy.
  2. Right-click and choose Copy Cells.
  3. Choose File > New > Worksheet. Click OK.
  4. In the new worksheet, right-click and choose Paste Cells.
Hide columns in the worksheet
Hide columns in the worksheet, and specify not to use hidden columns in dialog boxes.
  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, right-click and choose 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.