MINITAB - Getting Started
1. Starting Minitab on the SMC network.
Log on to a machine that is connected to the SMC network. Once you have logged on, to start Minitab, click on Start, then Programs, then Course Applications, then Minitab 13, as shown below:
Be patient. It may take a few moments to open. Eventually, you should see Minitab's opening screen and, in a few more moments, start a fresh Minitab Session with a screen similar to the one below.
Session Data Project Manager Sessions Folders
This split screen shows the Minitab Menu bar and Icons on top, the Session window where you can enter commands and view output results, and the Data window where you can enter, view and edit data.
2. Entering NEW Data into a Minitab worksheet.
Þ Click anywhere in the Data window to activate it
Þ OR Select Data from the Window menu
Þ OR Click on the Data icon (the mini-spreadsheet in the row of icons)
Þ OR Hit Ctrl-D.
Minitab organizes data into an array where
· the columns represent different variables
· the rows are usually individual data cases
By default, columns are named C1, C2, C3,... although you should generally supply more informative names in the spaces immediately above Row 1.
Þ Start entering data for a column in Row 1.
IMPORTANT POINT: Minitab allows columns to be either “numeric” or “text” data types. The choice is determined by what you first type in Row 1 of a column. You can only do numerical calculations on numeric columns. Thus be sure to enter a number in the first row for any columns you want to be numeric - even entries like $4.50 and 45,236 will be treated as text. Text columns show an extra “T” in the generic column name (e.g. C3-T). It is possible to change the numeric/text type of a column, but easier to get it right at first.
Þ You may move around the Data screen with the arrow keys or mouse to continue entering data and fixing errors.
Note: A Minitab project may include several Minitab worksheets.
· If you want to save just the data to use in a later analysis, use a Minitab worksheet.
· When accessing data from your textbook class on the T: drive or from my MA 102 course folder on Phantom (see next page), you should be opening a Minitab worksheet.
· If you want to start a new session at exactly the point you currently are at in an existing session, use a Minitab project.
3. Saving a Minitab data worksheet.
Þ Select the File menu, then the Save Current Worksheet As option.
You may either type in the desired file name or select an existing worksheet name from the list provided.
Important point #1: Minitab often initially looks to save files on the public network. You should save your own worksheets on either your own diskette (usually the A: drive), zip disk (the E: drive), or a local hard disk on your own machine (usually the C: drive). Thus you should specify a name like a:mydata.mtw - OR switch to point at the desired drive and directory.
Important point #2: Be sure to save any data you have created or modified if you would like to use it again in a later Minitab session.
Important point #3: If you save a file to an existing filename, the previous contents are erased. You can choose the Save Current Worksheet option from the File menu to automatically replace an old version with the current one of the same name.
4. Retrieving a previously saved Minitab worksheet.
Þ Select the File menu and the Open worksheet option.
You should see a box to type the file name, a box with a list of names found in the current directory, and another area for changing the directory.
To select a file you may either:
Þ Double-click on the filename.
Þ OR Click on the name then Open.
Þ Type in the filename (including a different path if needed) then Open.
To change to a different drive or directory:
Þ Select a folder to move to a subfolder.
Þ Click on the Up Folder icon to back up.
Þ Click in the Look in box to bring up a tree with directories and drives.
· Your own data should be found in either the A: floppy drive, E: zip drive, or the C: hard drive on your own computer.
· Common datasets for the Math 102 course can be found in Minitab 13 folders on ‘raptor’ (T:), or in my MA 102 course folder on Phantom, accessible as follows:
1) Right click on My Computer.
2) Click on Map Network Drive.
3) You can use whichever drive appears on your screen. In the path box, enter \\phantom\mathematics. Then, open the ashline folder, and math102 folder to access the Minitab files that I have posted.
5. Saving/Retrieving a Minitab project file.
Þ Select the File menu, then the Save Project As OR Open Project option.
Þ If needed, switch to the desired drive and/or directory (as described previously).
Þ Choose an existing name OR type in a new name for the project.
Þ Click the SAVE OR OPEN button.
Remember: A Minitab project file contains all of the "windows" that are open at the time the project is saved.
The usual windows OPEN and SAVE icons assume that you are working with a Minitab project. You need to use the commands under the FILE menu to save or open a data worksheet.
6. Viewing output from Minitab procedures.
Output from most procedures is displayed in the Minitab Session window along with the Minitab commands and error messages. The <PgUp>, <PgDn>, arrow keys, and the scroll bars may be used to scan through existing output.
Most graphs are displayed in individual windows which can be selected and controlled through the Window menu or the Manage Graphs icon. You may need to occasionally close some of the graph windows if things become too cluttered.
7. Full screen vs. Multiple windows.
You may have several windows (Session, Data, Graphs, ...) open within one Minitab session. Depending on your tastes, you may choose to have the windows tile, or overlap, in which case you can just click on any visible part of a window to make it the active window. OR You may click on the box icon (next to the closing "x" in the upper right corner) to make all windows full sized, and use the Window menu or Session, Data, and Graphs icons to move between windows.
8. Printing Results on Paper.
Select the File menu and use the Print Window option to send a copy of the current open window to the printer. At times you may want to send only certain pages of output, or highlight some output and have just that portion printed. The printing options can vary, depending on whether you are printing from a Graph window, the Session window, or your Data window.
You may also Copy graphs, data, or results from the Session window and Paste them into other applications (such as Word), using the usual Windows copy/paste procedures.
9. Leaving Minitab.
Þ Choose the File menu and Exit option OR
Þ Click on the "x" in the uppermost right hand corner
You may see one or more messages as you exit Minitab, including
Þ A reminder to save your data, if you have made any important changes to your data file.
Þ A prompt about saving the Session window - click on NO for this.