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Create Pointer in Spreadsheet

Select menu: Spread | Sheet | Pointers

Use this to create or modify pointer data structures that reference specified columns in the spreadsheet. 

  1. From the menu select Spread | Sheet | Pointers.
  2. Set options as required then click OK.

Pointers created using this menu are stored when saving the spreadsheet in the Genstat Spreadsheet (GSH) or Genstat Book (GWB) file format. The pointers can reference all the columns in a spreadsheet, a specific type within a spreadsheet, or may reference a specific set of selected 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).

Pointer name

Specifies the name for the pointer to be created. Alternatively, you can select a previously defined pointer from the dropdown list.

Use columns

Specifies how the pointer data structure is to be created.

Selected Creates a pointer using the columns currently selected in the spreadsheet. This option is only available if a column selection has been made before opening this dialog.
Variates Creates a pointer that references all the variate columns in the spreadsheet.
Factors Creates a pointer that references all the factor columns in the spreadsheet.
Texts Creates a pointer that references all the text columns in the spreadsheet.
All Creates a pointer that references all the columns in the spreadsheet.
Dates Creates a pointer that references all the date format columns in the spreadsheet.
Non-date variates Creates a pointer that references all the variate columns in the spreadsheet that are not specified in date format.
Numeric (variates & factors) Creates a pointer that references all the variate and factor columns in the spreadsheet.


Deletes the currently selected pointer from the Pointer name dropdown list.


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.

Numbers Use numeric suffixes for the pointer using the values specified in the Start and Increment fields.
Labels of current column names The current column names will be used as the labels for the text suffixes of the pointer.


The initial number (which must be >= 0) from which the numerical suffixes start. This is used for the first column.


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.

See also

Updated on March 20, 2019

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