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Community Manager


Jun 23, 2011

5 things you don't know about JMP

The title of this post is provocative, I know. But if you read this list, I'll bet you'll find something that you didn't know about.

Now, if it turns out that you already knew most of these, I do want to know. Take a moment, let me know and add a comment with a favorite thing that you think most people don't know about JMP.

1. Use shortcut and modifier keys to be more efficient

JMP has lots of shortcut keys and keys to modify mouse clicks. Use them to be make your time in JMP more productive. Here are my favorites:

  • Switch tools using single letter keypresses. For example, you can get to the lasso tools with a simple press of the L key. Note that no modifer key is required. Here are the keys associated with each tool: A=Arrow, S=Selection, Z=Zoom, C=Crosshair, L=Lasso, B=Brush, H=Hand, R=Scroller, ?=Help, T=Text Annotate
  • Broadcast commands with Ctrl/Cmd key. When you hold the Ctrl/Cmd key down and manipulate a report window, for example by choosing an option from the red triangle hotspot menu, JMP will send that same command to all similar objects in the report window. For example, in the Bivariate platform, if you hold the Ctrl/Cmd key down as you choose Fit Line from the hotspot menu, JMP will fit a line in all the bivariate plots in the report window. Broadcasting works with lots of different actions, including resizing graphs, changing marker sizes and adjusting axes.
  • Get a dialog from any hotspot menu. If you hold the Alt key down when you click on a red triangle hotspot menu, you'll get a dialog of all the choices in that menu – so you can pick more than one at a time.
  • Get to the Home window quickly. Use Ctrl-1 on Windows or Cmd-2 on the Mac to get to Home window quickly.
  • Find a buried JMP window. On Windows, use Ctrl-Tab to cycle through JMP windows. Use Alt-Tab to cycle through all open windows. The Alt-Tab combination is part of Windows and makes it easy to move quickly between JMP and another Windows application, for copy and pasting, for example.
  • Reveal all JMP Windows. On Windows, you can reveal all JMP windows by pressing F9. This will make it easy to find exactly the window you want.
  • You can find these keys and more in the Quick Reference Card from Help -> Books -> Quick Reference.

    2. Combine report windows using Application Builder

    Sometimes you'd like to combine two reports into a single window for ease of analysis or to create something like a dashboard for someone else when you pass a data table to them. Application Builder makes this pretty easy. Start by arranging the report windows on the screen as you'd like them, side-by-side or top-bottom.

    From here the method is different for Windows and Macintosh.

    For Windows:

    Click the checkbox in the lower right of each window. Then click the drop-down menu next to that checkbox on one of the windows and choose Combine Selected Windows.

    Alternatively, you can select the windows in the list in the Home Window (click on the first one and shift/ctrl-click on others) and then right click and choose Combine.

    For Macintosh:

    Choose Window -> Combine Windows... from the menu bar, and you'll get a list of windows to choose from. Select the ones you want and click OK.

    Once you've got your new report window, use the hotspot menu at the top to save a script to the data table – or elsewhere if you like. You can also edit the application using  Application Builder to get finer control of the placement and grouping of the report elements.

    3. Get data from the web with Internet Open

    Many webpages have tables full of data that can be used in JMP. Choose File->Internet Open... and put the address (URL) of the webpage, and JMP will scan the page and find any HTML tables to import.

    Try it out with the table in this post from the Discussions forum. Just put this address in the Internet Open... dialog:

    4. The best formula editor function you're not using is Word()

    I've said it before, do I have to say it again? The Word() function is the most useful function for dealing with text strings. If you want some more, Craige@JMP at JMP has a nice list of JSL Character String Functions.

    5. Five quick Graph Builder tips

    • Drag an element icons from the palette into the graph to add another element.
    • Order a categorical axis by dragging a continuous variable into the “merge” zone of the axis.
    • With multiple Xs or Ys resize them separately by clicking on the resize zone between them. Bonus tip: Turn off auto-stretching to make a graph bigger than the current window.
    • Some legend items are hidden by default (points and confidence bands); unhide and customize them in Legend Settings.
    • Change the text orientation of the Y Group labels.
    • So what do you think? Did you know these? Do you have a favorite "hidden" JMP tip to share? Tell me in comments.

      Editor's Note: A version of this post first appeared in the JMP User Community.

      Community Member

      Michelle Homes wrote:

      Love the shortcut keys and especially F9!

      Community Member

      Mark Anawis wrote:

      My favorite is using File>Preferences>File Locations>Data Files directory and Save As directory to input my current project folder so I can open and save files quickly. A huge time saver.

      Community Member

      Martin Demel wrote:

      I like to use the platform Preference Settings in File->Preferences, then Platforms. This helps me to get all reports I do want to see by Default without having to use the hotspot first.

      Community Manager

      Jeff Perkinson wrote:

      That's one of my favorites as well. It's modeled after Mission Control in Mac OS X.

      Community Manager

      Jeff Perkinson wrote:

      That's very useful. Thanks, Mark.