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Create your own customized statistical application in Excel

2018-01-12
This tutorial will help you create your own customized statistical application using the XLSTAT Designer within Microsoft Excel.

What is XLSTAT Designer?

XLSTAT Designer helps designing customized statistical applications based on the XLSTAT features and options. This tool allows handling the inclusion of features and options as well as the way they are named. Here are a few case examples where the XLSTAT Designer comes in handy:
Professors are able to create tailored applications which precisely match their teaching program and hand them over to their students. This prevents students from getting lost with all the software possibilities that are not included in the program and helps them focus on what is important.
Chief data scientists are able to create applications for their teams allowing them to focus on essential tools personalized in their own field-oriented language.
XLSTAT Designer is not available on MAC today.

Creating an application for a basic statistical class

A professor willing to deliver an introductory statistics class wants to customize a statistical application allowing students to perform the following analyses with restricted options:
  • Descriptive statistics
  • Histograms
  • Crosstabs
  • 1-sample t-test
  • 2-sample t-test
The professor wants to include the first three features under a Description and Visualization menu, and the last two features under a Tests menu. Furthermore, the professor wants to include one dialog box per feature.
The complete customized application linked to this tutorial can be downloaded as a .zip archive by clicking on the button below:
Download application
To deploy the application on your computer, please refer to the last paragraph of this tutorial.

Setting up a statistical application in Excel using XLSTAT Designer

Open XLSTAT, then click on the XLSTAT Designer button represented with a pencil. Click on Run.
XLSTAT Designer, menu
The XLSTAT Designer dialog box opens. Select New then click next.
XLSTAT Designer dialog box Applications tab
Enter general info on your application: name, author, company. Optionally, it is possible to add an icon to the Application. Click on the button under Icon and browse your computer for an image file. As we will use our own customized vocabulary, uncheck the Use the XLSTAT translations option.
XLSTAT Designer General tab

Feeding the XLSTAT Designer application with features

Go to the Features tab and select the features you want to include in the application. Customized applications can be made of menus (or groups) containing one or several features with customized options.
The left panel includes all the XLSTAT menus containing the corresponding features. The right panel contains the menus or features you want to include in your customized application. XLSTAT designer features tab description
The green button between the two panels allows to copy the selected items in the left panel to the right panel.
XLSTAT designer green button
To include a set of features or whole XLSTAT menus in your customized application, just check the items you want to include and click on the green button in the middle.
To create the first application menu (Description and Visualization), look for the features you want to include in the left panel and copy them to the right. They are all located under the Describing Data menu.
XLSTAT designer: Feeding the application with features
Crosstabs are referred to as Contingency Tables in XLSTAT. To rename the feature in the right panel, double-click on it and enter the feature name you want to use.
XLSTAT Designer: Crosstabs

XLSTAT Designer Crosstabs 2
To create a menu, click on the Cross button.
XLSTAT Designer Cross button
A new group is created in the panel. Double click on it and enter Description and Visualization.
XLSTAT Designer Description & Visualization

There are two ways to include a feature in a group:
  • If the feature is placed under the group in the list, select the feature and click on the right arrow.Right arrow
  • If the feature is placed above the group in the list, click on the down arrow.Down arrow
The up and down arrows can be used to move features and groups in the list. 
Up arrowDown arrow
Include all three features under the Description and Visualization group.
In the left panel, go to parametric tests, check the One-Sample t & z tests and the Two-Sample t & z tests features, and click on the green arrow to move them to the application. The features are automatically included in the Description and Visualization menu.
XLSTAT Designer screenshot
To withdraw them, expand the menu, click on the t-test features and click on the left arrow Left arrow.
Rename the features: 1-sample t-test and 2-sample t-test.
XLSTAT Designer t-tests
Include them in a Tests menu.

The eraser button erases the selected feature or menu in the right panel.
Eraser
The garbage bin button clears all menus and features in the customized application.
Garbage bin button

Saving and re-editing your application

To save your application, click on Generate. To enter the editing mode once again, click on the XLSTAT Designer menu / Run / open an existing app and select your application in the list.

Customizing the features

It is now time to customize the tests features. Select the 1-sample t-test feature in the right panel and click on the magnifying glass button.
Magnifiying glass
The feature’s possibilities appear in the form of a list:
  • Description: the option’s label
  • Value: the default value
  • Tab: the tab where the option is found
  • Visible: whether the option is visible in the dialog box
  • Locked: whether the option is inactive in the dialog box
All of these attributes can be customized except for the tab.
For a better understanding of the elements in the list, close the designer, open the corresponding feature in XLSTAT, click on the Help button within the dialog box, and check out the Dialog box section:
One-sample t-test dialog box
The professor does not want to confuse the students with the z test and many other options that should thus be removed.
For the z test option, click on z test then click on Edit.
Deactivate the Visible option. Click Save.
XLSTAT designer, editing the 1-sample t-test feature
You can also lock the Student’s t-test option. Make sure it is set to True first.
Keep on customizing the dialog box as you wish. You should click Save every time you modify an option.
Once you’re done with this feature, go back to the Features tab, click on the 2-sample t-test feature and customize it by clicking on the magnifying glass. Remove undesired options such as the z-test, Monte Carlo-related options as well as the Dominance diagram options.
Click on Generate to finalize the application.

Running the customized application on your computer

Go to the Designer icon in the XLSTAT menu, and select the Stat Class Software application.
Designer menu
Enjoy using your customized application:
Stat Class Software customized application

Switching back to the default XLSTAT interface

To switch back to the default XLSTAT interface, click on Options / Advanced. Select Default in the Application combobox. Click Save and Close. 
XLSTAT Designer XLSTAT Options
You may switch back to your customized applications likewise.

Deploying the application in recipient computers

Last step in the process: deploying the application in students' computers. To do this:
  • Locate the folder where the application has been saved. The path can be found under Options / AdvancedPath for the user's files.
  • Zip the XLSTATApplications folder.
  • Transfer the archived folder to students.
  • Let students unzip the folder in their user files (the path can be found under Options / Advanced). XLSTAT should be turned off for this step to work.
  • Ask students to open XLSTAT. In Options / Advanced, let them select the customized application in the Application combobox.
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