0.3 - Introduction to Minitab

0.3 - Introduction to Minitab


The Minitab program is required as part of this course. Install the software and enjoy this versatile statistical software which includes clear help explanations and easy-to-understand printouts.

To begin Minitab, double-click on the Minitab icon on your desktop or select Minitab from the program folder.


As is typical in most software programs, the menus are found at the top of the application window. With the Minitab application two windows are also opened by default: the session window and a worksheet. The active window has a blue title bar and other windows have a gray title bars. If you want one of the other windows to be the active window, just click on it.

  • Session Window: The session window displays non-graphical outputs such as tables of statistics and character graphs. (If the Session window is not open, select Session from the Window menu to open the window.) You can edit the Session window.
  • Worksheet Window: This is the window where we enter, name, view, and edit data. The data for each variable is stored in a different column. At the top of each column is a blank cell for specifying the name of the variable. You can simply click on a cell at the top and enter the name.

Entering Data

Note! Users accessing Minitab via Penn State's RemoteApps or WebApps will not be able to use this copy and paste technique. Instead all files must be uploaded into your PASS space and open these files in Minitab from this location in PASS. See WebApps on the STAT Online site for more information.)
  • Entering Data (entering manually): Activate a Worksheet window by clicking once in it. Click the cell where you want to enter the data and type it in. Use [Enter], the mouse, or arrow keys to move to different cells. If an observation is entered incorrectly, simply make that cell active again and type in the correct value.
  • Entering Data (importing from a file): There are basic ways to enter data into the Minitab worksheet. Here are two of the most common...
    • Copy and Paste: Choose File > Open Worksheet. For example, if you want to add data values from a data file or from an Excel spreadsheet, one simple way to do this is to open that file, highlight the portion you want to add, then select Copy from the Edit menu. Go back to Minitab, activate the cell you want to paste the data into, then select Paste from the Edit menu.
    • Import Files: Select the Open Worksheet option in the File menu in Minitab. Select the type of file that you are looking to import, (this could be a Minitab file, text file, Excel file, etc.). Locate and then import this file into the Minitab worksheet.

Minitab Resources

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