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May 21, 2014

The File System Toolbar in JMP 7

JMP 7 introduces a new toolbar called the File System toolbar. You make this toolbar appear by selecting the “File System” command from the View menu. Although this toolbar will initially appear docked on the left-hand side of the main JMP window, like all of JMP’s other toolbars, it can be undocked so that it “floats” simply by clicking in its title area and dragging it away from the main window frame.

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As the name suggests, the File System toolbar provides a window onto your file system, representing the directories and files on your computer in the form of a tree structure. You can use this toolbar to navigate into any directory on your computer to locate a file. Once you’ve located the file, you can open it simply by double-clicking on the node representing that document. In this example, I’ve navigated into a directory that has some sample data stored in Excel workbooks. Now all I have to do to open the “Solubil.xls” spreadsheet is double-click on the node in the tree and the spreadsheet will be opened within JMP. If I want Excel to open the file instead, then I can right-mouse click on the node and select the “Open outside JMP” command from the popup menu.

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The options that are provided in the popup menu will vary depending on the type of file you’ve selected. If the file you’ve selected is a JMP file, then JMP will offer you the option to Open the file within JMP, naturally. For a JSL script, you are also provided the option to Run the script you’ve selected.

If the file you’ve selected is not a JMP file, then JMP will offer you the option to Open that file Outside JMP. In that case, JMP will ask the application that “owns” the file extension of the file you’ve selected to open the file. If JMP is able to import files of the type you’ve selected, then you will also be provided the option to Open the file Within JMP.

The File System toolbar provides several methods for opening a text file:

(1) as data: The text in the file is treated as data and JMP will attempt to import the file into a data table by applying the default text import preferences.

(2) as a preview of the data: The text in the file is treated as data and the first few lines of the file are presented in JMP’s Text Import Preview window.

(3) as plain text. The text is loaded into JMP’s script editor window.

(4) as opened by your default text editor

By default, the File System toolbar presents the file system on your hard drive. But if you are connected to other file servers, you can add them to the tree quite easily. Suppose I want to find a file on our file server “Jmp2k.” In that case, I can click on the inverted red triangle at the top of the File System toolbar and select “Add Folder” from the popup menu. At that point, I will be presented with the “Browse for Folder” dialog which allows me to navigate to any server on my network. If I locate the “source” volume on Jmp2k and select it, then a new folder node named "\jmp2ksource" will be inserted at the top of my tree hierarchy as shown:

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I can now expand that folder and navigate to any directory and/or file of interest on Jmp2k.

JMP will remember that I added that folder to my File System toolbar, so that whenever I launch JMP in the future and display the File System toolbar, it will display the node for \jmp2ksource in the tree.

If I decide later on that I don't want that node included in my File System view, I can always right-mouse click on it and select the "Remove Folder" command. This will only remove the node for that folder from the tree presented by the File System toolbar -- the directory itself as it exists on my file server won't be affected in any way (in particular, it won't be deleted).

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