Since Data Master 2003 includes a lot of screen forms and more than 100 functions, you may become confused when you run it for the first time. This introduction will help you to begin work with DM2003 software and familiarize you with following topics:

It is assumed that you have some experience in Windows operating system and you have installed DM2003 in the default configuration. For more detailed discussion of the user interface and other features, please refer to the User's Guide.

How to display data?

Data Master 2003 comes with a set of sample files (see [samples] subfolder in the installation folder). To begin with, click File|Open menu item to bring up standard "open file" dialog box and select data file named test.dat from the list of abovementioned sample files, then click OK button. A new data window will appear and display the contents of the selected data file in the worksheet as shown on Fig. 1:

Figure 1

Fig. 1: Worksheet displays data in the data window. You may see following areas: 1 - fixed cells displaying line numbers, column titles and captions; 2 - scrollable data area; 3 - X and Y column markers; 4 - selected data cells.

If you see data window as shown above, but the worksheet inside the window is not visible, use View|Worksheet menu item to display worksheet. Otherwise, you are ready to select data range for plotting. In DM2003, correct data range is required for almost any operation on data and includes the range of lines and X and/or Y columns. Notice: data range is not exactly the same thing as the range of worksheet cells: X and Y column markers in the worksheet are displayed in the second row together with column titles (A..Z). By default, first column (A) assigned to X, and second column (B) - to Y, and only top left data cell is selected after you open data file. Use keyboard and mouse to select all cells with data or just click Edit|Select All menu item.

Once data range have selected, you can plot data. Click View|Plot menu item to display plot. However, no data points are visible! What happens? In fact, you need to initialize so-called plot series object with right data range. By default, newly created data window has correctly preconfigured series objects and other attributes, so that click View|Plot Lines menu item to copy worksheet selection into series data range. You should see data points as shown on Fig. 2:

Figure 2

Fig. 2: Plot displays data points (X coordinate - first column, Y coordinate - second column).

Hint: see View, Series and Scale action categories for more details about DM2003 visualization features. You can also run Plot Data Wizard which will guide you through the data visualization process.

How to perform simple calculations?

Let's suppose you have successfully plotted data as shown on Fig. 2. As you can see, Y(X) dependence is non-linear and seems to be exponential. In order to make Y(X) curve more suitable for analysis, one need to perform some calculation on the plotted data. Click Process|Calculation|Recalculate Data Range menu item, then type expression ln(cy) in the Calculation Expression dialog box as shown on Fig. 3 and click OK button to start operation. Ensure that [  ] Ins checkbox is not checked - so that data in Y column will be overwritten with the result of calculation (see Calculation action category for more details about this command).

Figure 3

Fig. 3: Calculation Expression dialog box.

After calculation finishes, you should see something like this:

Figure 4

Fig. 4: The result of calculation: in the logarithmic coordinates you can see kinks near X=75.

Y(X) dependence still far from linear and, in addition, logarithmic Y scale reveals "noisy" area near X=75. Probably one need to transform X scale too in order to linearize the curve. Choose View|Worksheet menu item to display worksheet again and click column A in the column markers area (area 3 on Fig. 1) with the right mouse button, then select Set Y Column item from the pop-up menu:

Figure 5

Fig. 5: Using worksheet context menu to change X and/or Y column.

Keep in mind that this menu is context-sensitive: if you click data cell (area 2 on Fig. 1) or line numbers area (leftmost column), this item will be not available. After you set Y marker on the first column (A), you can recalculate column A in the same way as above. However, Recalculate Data Range command will now apply on the data range obtained from worksheet selection instead of data range assigned to the plot series object. Enter the expression cy^-0.333 into the Calculation Expression dialog box (Fig. 3) and perform calculation. As you can conclude, cy parameter in the expression denotes Y column which depends on the active data viewer: for plot, this is Y column in the series data range, while for worksheet, this is a column marked as "Y". See Expression Syntax topic for more detailed discussion of expressions, functions and parameters.

How to use editing commands?

After you have recalculated both X and Y columns as discussed in the previous exercise, Y(X) dependence became close to linear. However, near X=0.22, Y=-1 you can see undesirable spread of points that doesn't decorate your report:

Figure 6

Fig. 6: Selecting bad data points (2) with Plot Selector tool (1).

If you deal with data acquisition systems, probably you often meet similar artifacts, for example, as a result of instable electric contacts or abrupt changes of measurement conditions. In this case, you should edit data. Click Edit|Selector Tool menu item to activate Plot Selector tool and draw frame around "bad" data points as shown on Fig. 6, then choose Edit|Delete command in order to delete selected data points. Certainly, you may repeat this operation as many times as you need. After editing you may turn Plot Selector off: just click appropriate menu item once more.

Finally, you would like to insert your picture into the text processor application. It is very easy: click Edit|Copy menu item to copy the contents of the plot onto the clipboard. Use Paste Special command in your text processor and select Picture (Metafile) from the list of available formats. This step is required because like other Windows applications DM2003 copies data on the clipboard in various formats simultaneously (text, graphics, special binary objects and so on), so that target application may choose the most suitable format. Obviously, if you click "regular" Paste command, text processor will prefer text instead of picture. The result is shown below:

Figure 7

Fig. 7: DM2003 plot inserted into the WordPad document as picture.

For more information about editing operations in DM2003, see Edit action category.