You can indirectly refer to multiple columns using a Pointer. This saves you having to type or select the list in full every time it is used. The pointer can reference all the columns in a spreadsheet, a specific column type within a spreadsheet, or may reference a set of columns.
When a pointer is created using a specified data structure type, e.g. variate, factor or text, then the order and number of columns within the pointer will reflect the current state of the spreadsheet. If a selected set of columns is set into a pointer, the order and number of columns will remain fixed (apart from renaming and deleting columns).
You can pre-select your columns by holding down Ctrl while clicking the column headers.
- From the menu select Spread | Sheet | Pointers.
- Enter a name for your pointer.
- If you didn’t pre-select columns, you can select a column type or click Select columns and choose the columns to add to your pointer.
- Set other options as required or leave them at their defaults then click OK.
- The new pointer will appear in dropdown lists where applicable, such as the Spread | Calculate | Row Summaries dialog shown below-left, and also in the Data View shown below-right.
|Use columns||Specifies how the pointer data structure is to be created.
|Delete||Deletes the currently selected pointer from the Pointer name dropdown list.|
|Select||Opens a dialog where you can choose a selection of columns to be referenced by the pointer.|
|Rename columns using pointer name||If this option is selected, the columns in the pointer will be renamed to use the pointer name. The options below control how this is done.
|Start||The initial number (which must be >= 0) from which the numerical suffixes start. This is used for the first column.|
|Increment||The amount that the numerical suffix changes when moving onto the next column. This is an integer, but cannot take the value 0. If it is positive the suffix will increase for each subsequent column, and if negative it will decrease. The suffix cannot be negative, so if this is negative, start + (number of columns)*increment must still be greater or equal to zero.|
|Use current names as column descriptions||When creating numerical suffixes, this option puts the current column names into the description field.|
- From the menu select Spread | Delete | Pointers.
- From the dropdown list select a pointer then click OK to remove the pointer and close the dialog.
Click Delete to remove the pointer and leave the dialog open so you can select other pointers for deletion.
|Columns in pointer||Lists each column that the pointer references. This is provided for information only and cannot be edited.|
|OK||Delete the selected pointer and close the dialog.|
|Delete||Delete the selected pointer and leave the dialog open for another operation.|
|Delete All||Delete all pointers and close the dialog.|