How to enter data in Minitab 16

One-time execution of a data transfer (Read in external data)


As of Windows Vista, Microsoft no longer offers DDE support for networks. However, you can create DDE links on a local computer.

A one-time data transfer, also known as a cold link, allows you to import data into Minitab that is not automatically updated if the original data is changed. You can use this DDE command instead of “copy” and “paste” or in any type of macro. No session commands are generated with this dialog box.


For a one-time data transfer, it is often easier to simply copy and paste the data than to use DDE.

  1. Select Edit> Worksheet Links> Read External Data.
  2. In the Application field, enter the name of the application that you want to link to. Usually the name of the application is the same as the name of the EXE file used to start the program without the ".exe" extension.
  3. In the Subject field, enter the name of the file or document containing the data. The name of the topic depends on the type of application. A common theme used in applications that use documents or data files is the name of the file. For example, the subject of a Microsoft Word document could be “MyWork.docx”. The file name can also contain a path, e.g. B. "C: \ MY WORK \ MY WORK.DOCX". If a single file can contain multiple documents or panes, the subject can be the name of the file in brackets followed by the name of the document or window. For example, Minitab projects can have many worksheets, so a typical topic might be “[minitab] Worksheet 1”.
  4. Enter an ID for the specific data in the Unit field. The element ID depends on the type of application. In Minitab, the element is always a row and column position, or a rectangular area in the form "R4C1: R4C2". For example, to use all of Minitab's column 1, enter; to use the cell in row 4 and column 1, enter. Most tables use similar variations of this format for the elements.
  5. In the Anchor Column box, type the number of the first column in the Minitab worksheet where you want to insert the data. You only need to enter the first column. If the element references more than one data column, additional columns are inserted after the anchor column.
  6. In the Update method box, select how Minitab will enter data:
    • Append: The data is added at the end of the column or columns.
    • Replace: The content of the column or columns is replaced by the new data.
  7. Click OK.