Editing Tips and Tricks
The following describes how to use some of the editing features of MediaLab's new Experiment Editor:
Tips and Tricks
The arrow keys will allow you to navigate through the spreadsheet. To select a cell in order to edit the contents, press the Enter key or use the mouse to double-click on it. When you are finished editing the cell, press Enter again, and the arrow keys will again let you navigate. You can also leave a cell while editing it by using the Up or Down arrow keys. To add a hard return/line feed to your question wording, do this in Detailsmode.
To copy a single cell, move to that cell select Copy (Ctrl+C), then move to the desired target cell and select Paste (Ctrl+V). Only entire cells may be copied & pasted in the main overview spreadsheet. To copy and paste only portions of cells, do this in Details mode.
You can quickly copy the contents of one cell to another using the right-mouse button. Simply right-click on the cell you want to copy and drag it to the desired cell. Only one cell at a time can be copied this way. This can also be done between multiple open files (i.e., drag from a cell in one file and drop to a cell in another file).
To copy a block of cells, highlight the block and select Copy (Ctrl+C), then move to the upper left cell where the pasting should begin and select Paste (Ctrl+V). You can also copy a block of cells from one file and paste it into another using this method.
To copy an entire line or record, use the record selector at the very left of the spreadsheet (this selects all the cells in that row). Select Copy (Ctrl+C), then move to any cell on the line where you want it copied and select Paste (Ctrl+V). This will copy the entire record, including its details, to the new line. To insert copied lines, see Inserting Copied Lines/Records below. You can also copy an entire record from one file and paste it into another using this method.
Follow the instructions for copying a single record (above), but highlight as many rows as you like with the record selector. Move to any cell in the row at which you want to start the pasting, and select Paste (Ctrl+V). You can also copy entire records from one file and paste them into another using this method.
Note that pasting overwrites the cells in the current row. Therefore, to insert the copied line(s) without affecting the other items in the file, go down to the first blank line, and then select Paste (Ctrl+V). To move it to the desired location, simply assign it a position number and then click Sort. You can also copy entire records from one file and insert them into another using this method.
Sometimes you may want to copy one cell over and over to a series of cells below it or to its right. An example would be that you want to copy the same parameter value or scale point labels to 20 sequential items without having to retype it each time. With the FillDown function, this is easy:
•To copy a cell to a series of cells below it, highlight the block of cells (including the one you want to copy) and then select FillDown (Ctrl+D). This will copy the top cell to all the cells selected below.
•To copy a cell to a series of cells to its right, highlight the block of cells (including the one you want to copy) and then select FillRight (Ctrl+R). This will copy the top cell to all the cells selected below.
•Note that the filling functions only operate in the main overview spreadsheet and not in Details mode.
If you double click on the Position, Name, or Condition (Experiment files only) columns, this will immediately take you into Details mode. If the item type is a file, then double-clicking on the FileName or QuestionWording column will immediately open up a file browser window so you can select your file. If you select Cancel, this will return you to Edit mode so you can manually edit the cell. Double clicking on the BackGround, BackSound, and BackVideo columns will also immediately open a file browser window so you can choose an appropriate file type.
To use Absolute or Relative (default) paths, select the appropriate option from the Options Menu. What does this mean? When you select files using the file browser, you can opt to have it return the entire (aka absolute) path of the file (e.g., c:\experiments\steve\exp1\images\image1.bmp), or the path relative to the experiment (e.g., images\image1.bmp). Relative paths are recommended because the experiment folder (e.g., in this case exp1) can be moved anywhere on any computer and in any folder and MediaLab will know where to find the file. The only time an absolute path is necessary is when the desired file is not located somewhere within the experiment folder. However, if you are using Relative Paths, the editor will enter an absolute path if this is the case.
When a question wording cell uses multiple lines, the cell will expand to show this when you click on it. If you would like to see all such cells expanded at the same time, select QuestionWording Cells > Expand All from the Options menu. This is also an option you can select when printing your file.
When working with your file, you may wish to view only certain columns. To select the columns to view, select Choose Columns to View/Print (Ctrl+H) from the Options menu. This is also an option you can select when printing your file. Note that the column selection feature applies only while the file is open and is not saved for future use.
The editor uses its own proprietary clipboard so you cannot use the usual copy and paste functions to copy cells to and from other applications (e.g., Word, Excel, etc.). To do this use the External Copy and External Paste commands on the Edit menu. These functions access the usual Windows clipboard.
Questionnaire (.que) and Experiment (.exp) files are really just small Access database files. If you right click on any questionnaire or experiment file and select Open With, you can choose Microsoft Access if you have a version no later than 2007 installed (you may have to browse for it). If you do this you may be informed that you can not make changes to database objects. That's ok. You may also be asked if you want to convert the database to a more recent version--just say no, and ask to open the file. Once the file is open in Access, you can double click on Table1 to edit the file. This allows you to bypass the MediaLab Experiment Editor completely or you can do some of the work in Access and some of the work in the MediaLab editor. Some people, for example, like to load their files into Access for heavy copying and pasting jobs, or to use the Access Spell Checker.