1. Home
  2. Spreadsheet Options – Columns

Spreadsheet Options – Columns

Select menu: Tools | Spreadsheet Options (Column Tab)

These options affect columns within a spreadsheet.

  1. From the menu select Tools | Spreadsheet Options then click the Columns tab.

Default column names

Specifies the root text for default column names. For example, setting this to COL will generate names COL1, COL2 or COL[1], COL[2], and so on, according to the setting of the Default column names suffixed option. Note that Genstat identifier names are limited to 32 characters (apart from suffixes), so if you specify too long a string for the default name, non-unique identifiers may be generated when adding on the default column number, in which case a warning message will appear.

Default column names suffixed

Default column names are generated when a blank spreadsheet is created or data imported from foreign file formats. The style of default name can be suffixed (e.g. C[1], C[2], etc.) or unsuffixed (C1, C2, etc.)

Prefix for default column names

Specify a character (default %) to be inserted at the beginning of a column name if the name does not start with a valid letter (A-Z,a-z) or special character (% or _). The character is inserted to ensure the column name is a valid Genstat identifier name.

Next column default number

Unnamed columns and new columns are numbered starting from 1 in a Genstat session. If you want to reset the column number to be used for the next default column name, this can be changed here.

Display type icons on columns

Controls whether factor and text columns are displayed with small icons in the titles indicating their type. Factor columns are displayed with a small red exclamation  at the start of the title cell, and text with a small green . Also calculated columns have a yellow background at the start of the heading, protected/read only columns have a blue background and columns which are both protected & calculated have a green background.

Display column description in heading

Select this check box if you want to display the column description in the heading as well as the column name. This will appear as a second line under the column name. Columns with no description will have their name vertically centred in the column heading. You can specify a description for a column using the Column Attributes/Format menu.

Automatically correct duplicate names within a spreadsheet

When selected, Genstat will automatically correct column names so that there will be no duplicates names in any open spreadsheets. If a duplicate column is detected on its creation (e.g. loaded from the server or from a file) then it will be renamed by appending some characters (e.g. _1 or _2) to ensure the name is unique.

Use full column name/extra width in setting column width

When calculating the default width of a column for display in the spreadsheet, setting this option will use the width of column name and column description/extra when setting the column display width. If this item is selected, the column name and description will be fully visible, and if it is not selected, only the first 12 letters of the column name & description may be visible, depending on the width of the column’s data.

Display text in a pointer suffix

In Genstat, pointers can have labels for suffixes, for example AOV[‘F pr.’]. If this item is selected the pointer labels will be displayed in column name, and if it is not selected, a numerical suffix will be used instead. Updating Genstat can problematic when using multi-level pointers that use labels for suffixes (e.g. Var[‘Height’][‘Year 1’]), and turning this option off can avoid these problems.

How to handle Unicode in names

These controls how Unicode characters in column names in spreadsheet files (Excel and Open Office) are handled.

Prompt You will have the How to Handle Unicode characters in a column name dialog come up each time you open a spreadsheet with Unicode in the column names
Put in pointer suffix The Unicode characters will be put in a text suffix of a pointer. The pointer name can be specified in the Pointer name field. This setting has the advantage that the Unicode text will be visible in the Available data lists in the menus.
Put in description The Unicode characters will be put into a description and a default column name generated. The initial character in the name is given in the Column name field. A number 1,2,3… will be added to the name stub to generate a unique name in that session. The structure will have the IPRINT=extra setting applied so that only the Unicode string will display in the Output window. The IPRINT setting can be modified using the Column Attributes dialog. This has the advantage that just the Unicode string will be visible in the output.
Ignore The Unicode characters will be removed from the name and a default name given if no characters are left.

Select columns with a single click

Controls whether a single or double click is need to add a column to the current selection. Previous versions of Genstat required a double click to select a column.

Keep selected columns

Controls whether previously selected columns are keep selected, when selecting a new column. If this is disabled, multiple column selections must be made using the Ctrl or Shift keyboard keys in conjunction with the mouse (as in Excel).

Clear selection on moving current cell

Select this check box if you want to a selection to be cleared when then cursor is moved to another cell.

Enter key moves across columns

The usual action is for the Enter key to move the cursor down the current column to the next row, and from the last row to the first row in the next column. This option lets you set the Enter key so the cursor remains in the current row and moves to the next column, from the last column moving to the first column in the next row.


Resets the spreadsheet options to their built-in default values.

See also

Updated on August 29, 2019

Was this article helpful?