Preferences dialog

Revision as of 17:57, 24 January 2023 by Lchrisman (talk | contribs) (ER 20639 - inverted preference to "Flag nodes with NO description'')


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The Preferences dialog lets you inspect and set a variety of general preferences and styles. To open this dialog, select Preferences from the Edit menu.

Preferences 6.3.png

The easiest way to learn what each preference does is to move the mouse over it, and read the Tooltip (as in most dialog boxes). See below if you need more details.

Most preference settings are saved with the model. But, Personal preferences (in the lower left quadrant of the dialog) apply to all models for this user on this computer. For example, if you uncheck Maintain recover info, it will stop saving a recovery file for all your models (not recommended!)

Change identifier

Normally, Analytica generates an identifier from the Title you give to each object, using thefirst 20 characters, and substituting '_' for any spaces or punctuation characters, (See Creating and editing nodes for more.)

When title changes: Check this box to change an object's identifier whenever you change its title. If not checked, it changes the identifier only when you explicitly edit it.

Ask before renaming: Check this box to see a confirmation dialog before it automatically changes any identifier.

ToolbarExprButton.png Opens: When you click ToolbarExprButton.png in the toolbar, press Control+e, or choose to edit a variable from a warning message, it shows the definition of the variable or function, in whichever of these views you select:

Personal Preferences

These Personal preferences apply to all models for you (the user) on this computer -- unlike the other preferences in the dialog that apply only to the current model.

Use Return to enter data: A standard MS Windows keyboard has a Return key located on the alphanumeric section of the keyboard, and a separate Enter key located on the numeric keyboard. When this checkbox is unchecked (the default), the Return key starts a new line in a multi-lined text field (such as a definition) while the Enter key or Alt+Return signal that the data entry is complete. When checked, these are reversed, with Enter or Alt+Return starting a new line and Return completing the entry of data.

Maintain recovery info: When this checkbox is checked (the default), Analytica saves each change to a recovery file, starting from the last point at which the model was saved. If the application terminates unexpectedly due to a software or hardware problem, the next time you start Analytica, it detects the recovery file and displays a dialog offering to resume the model where you left off, including all changes. The only reason to switch off this option is when you are editing huge edit tables, in which case, this feature can slow down editing and consume significant disk space for the recovery file. Even when Maintain Recovery Info is checked, we recommend you save your model at frequent intervals.

Expression assist: When checked (the default), it shows the Expression assist pop-up window as you type into the definition of a variable or function. It a list of identifiers that match a partial identifier and help on function parameters. When unchecked, it won't show the popup window as you type, but you can still open them by typing Ctrl+space, or Ctrl+? to toggle it on and off. See Creating or editing a definition.

Help balloons: When checked, it shows a help balloon when you move the mouse cursor over a node for a second -- if the node has a Description or Help attribute. The balloon provides a convenient way for end-users to browse a model. By default, balloons are only active in browse mode. When you uncheck ...only inbrowse mode, balloons also appear in edit mode.

Large text in attributes & tables: Check to use a larger font size (11 pt) in the attribute panel, object window and table cells. (This doesn't affect font size in influence diagrams. For that, use Diagram Style dialog and Node Style dialog.)

Max open windows: Set the maximum number of Analytica windows open at one time. When you open a new window, if it already has this many open, it first closes the window that has been inactive for the longest. This avoids taking up screen and computer resources to display lots of windows that are anyway hidden behind other windows.

Default result view

When you first display the Result window for a variable, it shows the result first using the view you select:

  • Chapter4 36.png Display result as a table.
  • Chapter4 37.png Display result as a graph.

If you change the view in the result window, it remembers that view when you reopen that result.

Model preferences

Check variable class: Display a warning if:

  • A variable whose class is not Chance contains a probability distribution.
  • A constant depends on another variable (other than indexes to an edit table).

Check value bounds: Enables out-of-range warnings when:

  • ...against Check attribute: the computed value of a variable falls outside the range specified by the Domain attribute
  • ..against domain bounds: the computed value fails to satisfy the expression specified in the Check attribute.
  • Show undefined: Nodes without a valid definition display with cross-hatching:
Chapter4 38.png

Flag nodes without descriptions: Show a red triangle in the upper-right corner of nodes that have no text in their description attribute:

Node with no description.png

Show module hierarchy: Show a hierarchy bar at the top of each Diagram window showing its nesting level.

Show result warnings: If checked, it stops evaluation and shows a warning message, when it encounters a warning condition. If unchecked, it continues without displaying a warning.

Auto recompute outgoing OLE links: Analytica automatically recomputes and updates OLE-linked tables whenever model changes affect them. With large models, it is sometimes best to uncheck this box to avoid immediate time-consuming recomputation after each small change.

Use Excel date origin: When this is unchecked, Analytica represents dates as a number indicating the number of days since January 1, 1904. When this is checked, is uses January 1, 1900, the same as Excel for Windows.

Legacy model settings

These exist to support backward compatibility with models created in earlier releases.

Domain acts as self index: In Analytica 4.2 and earlier, when the domain was defined as a list of values, that list also acted as the self-index of the variable. Analytica 4.3 separates the self-index from the domain index of a variable, which enables the two to be distinct and leads to a cleaner semantics for the domain attribute. Checking this preference preserves the pre-4.3 semantics, which ensures backward compatibility when it is required. When you load a legacy model into Analytica 4.3, this preference will be checked initially. When you turn this off in Analytica 5.1 or later, you'll be presented with an option to have Analytica scan your model and rewrite definitions that may be impacted. See Turning off Domain acts as self index.

Proactively evaluate indexes: Check to cause Analytica to evaluate index objects immediately when opening a model. Uncheck it to speed up loading of a large model -- it will postpone evaluation of indexes until they are needed (such as when you view an edit table or compute a result using that index).

x+y returns NAN for text: When on, x+y does not report a warning or error when x or y is text, and returns NAN as the result. In addition, when Sum is applied to an array containing text without setting the «ignoreNonNumbers» parameter to true, the result will be NaN, without a warning or error. Some legacy models have used + or Sum for text concatenation. This is a bad idea -- you should use & or JoinText for text concatenation. But to preserve that functionality without making changes to the model, you can turn off this preference and also set MaxModelThreads to 1 to turn off multithreading.

See Also


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