A Quick Introduction to Minitab Statistical Software
This introduction to Minitab is intended to provide you with enough information to get you started using the basic functionality of Minitab. Of course, you will learn more about Minitab and its capabilities as you proceed through the course you are taking.
Obtaining a Copy of Minitab
Minitab statistical software will no longer support desktop installations of Minitab and Minitab Express after Aug. 31, 2021. Penn State will move to the Minitab Web App, the cloud-based version of the software, effective for the fall 2021 semester. All faculty and students who use Minitab software for coursework will need to order the Minitab Web App. The app will also replace desktop versions of the software on WebApps, WebLabs and all lab installations. See: How do I access the Minitab Web App.
Opening files in Minitab Web App
To open Minitab project files (.mpx) in the Minitab Web App go to File > Open > Project and find your Minitab project file.
To open a data file (.xlsx or .csv) in the Minitab Web App go to File > Open > Worksheet and find your data file.
You can search for files in your PSU OneDrive account, Google Drive, or from a local folder on your computer.
The Minitab Help and How-To documentation provides step-by-step instructions on using Minitab to analyze data. The individual course notes will also provide details for each specific use of Minitab within that course.
Copying Minitab Output and Graphs into Word
To copy output appearing in the Session window, select the desired output using your mouse. To copy a graph window, make the graph window active by clicking anywhere in it, and the select Edit > Copy Graph.
To paste either output or a graph, select Edit > Paste (or use the standard clipboard icon used to denote pasting).
WebApps users should select the Send Graph to Microsoft Word option and a Word Document with this graph in it will be created and can be saved in your PASS space.
Saving Your Work
While you can save your work in bits and pieces — the graphs separately from the worksheet —more often than not, it is best to save your entire Minitab "project." A Minitab project includes all of the work created in one session, including multiple worksheets, the Session window, and multiple graph windows. Basically, if you save your work as a Minitab project, you can resume your work right where you left off.
To save your work as a Minitab project, select File > Save Project As..., and provide an appropriate filename in the dialog box. Minitab projects are given a ".MPJ" extension. For the purpose of this course, you may consider creating one project for each lesson, and thereby naming the projects lesson1.MPJ, lesson2.MPJ, and so on.
WebApps users work will be saved in the user's PASS space. It can be download to the user's local computer from there.
Printing Your Work
Of course, you can print your Minitab work as well. To do so, activate the window that you want to print by clicking your mouse anywhere on the window. Then, select File > Print Worksheet or File > Print Session Window or File > Print Graph depending on what it is that you want to print.
There are various ways that you can get Minitab help.
- You can look for help in the Minitab Help on-line manual also listed in the pull-down menu.
- You can use the various sets of Minitab instructions provided to you throughout the course. You will probably find links to these from the Homework Problems and Lab Activities in each lesson.
- Finally, you can post a question to a discussion in Canvas. Other students or your instructor can provide ideas and feedback.
Support From Minitab
Minitab offers several resources that are helpful for you. Minitab 20 Support - Getting Started is a concise guide designed to quickly get you familiar with using Minitab Statistical Software.
In addition to Minitab 20 - Getting Started, the following tools are available:
A complete Help file is incorporated in Minitab, which provides you with instructions, examples with interpretations, overviews and detailed explanations, troubleshooting tips, formulas, references, and a glossary. Open Help by choosing Help > Help or by clicking on the Help button on every dialog box in the software.
The StatGuide provides statistical guidance after you run a procedure in Minitab. Open the StatGuide by right-clicking on your output in the Session window, then choosing StatGuide.
Step-by-step tutorials help new users learn how to use Minitab. You can open these by choosing Help > Tutorials while using Minitab.
Last, but not least, remember that Minitab provides a support team staffed by professionals with expertise in the software, statistics, quality improvement, and computer systems. Visit the Minitab support web site or call +1-814-231-2682 to speak with Minitab's technical support specialists.