I am going to give a suggestion for a slightly different take on the suggestion to add a hot key to get to the formula editor. If one rt mouse clicks on a column header, the Formula editor is just one click away. Therefore, adding a hot key to this method of getting to the Formula editor is no savings in key strokes.
Where the additional key strokes comes into play, is when one goes to the formula editor from the columns panel. You have to go through the Column Info panel first. Therefore, my suggestion is not for a hot key, to add Formula to the top level of the options available when one rt clicks on a column in the Columns Panel
From how I understood it, (and felt when I was first learning JMP) anyone coming from excel is use to clicking on a cell, typing "=" then plugging in their formula.
If "=" was a hot key, then it would be more intuitive for a new user (from excel) to click on a cell and hit "=" (which would pop up the formula editor) which they could happily plug in their formula.
Good points, but do we risk confusing a user who may not understand the structure of a data table and that a formula applies to an entire column, not an individual cell?
What user interface element should have the keyboard focus when you type the equal (=) sign?
As an aside, a little known feature is that you can type an = and a JSL expression in a cell and JMP will evaluate the expression and put the returned value into the cell. JMP doesn't store the expression, just the evaluated result.
Maybe a tool bar button/hot key/Cols menu item that creates a new formula column and pops open the editor all with one click might address the spirit of the request if I’m interpreting it correctly… or, maybe I’m just inserting my own wish here.
I didn't realize the right click gives me an option for Formula. That's actually pretty close to what I was thinking. Thanks, Jeff.
There's always a risk of confusing a user, but there are ways to mitigate those, for example, clearly displaying "Column Formula" in a prominent position.
Anyways, I would have the shortcut apply to everywhere in the column (cell, header, ect). I'm not sure why you would want different functionality to how a formula is applied based on whether you called the shortcut from a focus on a cell or from a focus on the column header. Doesn't make sense.
Currently, applying a column formula will overwrite the data in a column.
As a new user, there are a few of things that I believe would make the formula editor quite superior:
1) A way to save the history for a given formula. Function should be automatic [by time] and user-activated [a save to history button]
2) Extended record for CMD+Z [Undo or re-do], currently, it only goes back to your very last change
3) An option to export formula to current script editor
3) An option to subscript abbreviations of variables [see attached figure] [I would be so happy if I knew how to do this ^_^ ]
4) A shortcut to open the formula editor from a column. Secondary click, then Formula is a short path, but in the world of CMD+C, CMD+V, CMD+[something] to see the formula of a selected column would be helpful
5) Shortcut to orient the formula horizontally or vertically
And these are just some improvements that as a new user would like to see.
And something that I would love to see in general is a Script translator [JMP<=>R<=>Matlab]
A few more thoughts came to mind, so I wanted to throw them out there.
> Some functions come first, some arguments. For example, you type Word first. But for Match, you put the column in first. Be consistent.
> Some functions have strange ordering of arguments. Word comes to mind. You could fix or add in intelligence when possible. An example is Word. The 1st arguments is an attribute (word#), then comes the column. I've seen people get that backwards a million times.
> While I'm on Word (which I LOVE that function), hidden arguments need to be more obvious (like delimiters in this case).
> Need a keyboard equivalent for concat. Do that a lot & hate having to take hands off the keyboard to get the function. (Also, not obvious at all that hitting "," multiple times gives you a bunch of concats - a completely hidden gem).
> Auto fill on functions & colukns is a GREAT idea. I'd do it like programming languages do where a small srop down pops up as you type & you can down arrow to select the appropriate one.
> Local variables are great, but why only nested? Love to have that in a linear format.
...to continue my variations on a theme of function additions:
Please consider adding a Mode function to the Formula Editor and available JSL functions.