The variable organizer allows dataset editors to sort variables into groups and determine the order in which they will appear in the sidebar. It can also be used to quickly edit variable names, descriptions, and aliases.
If the folder you wish to organize is already shared with other users, you may wish to consider creating a draft before organizing it (or making other large changes). This will allow you to assure that the dataset organization appears as you expect before pushing the reorganized dataset to your clients.
Open the variable organizer by opening dataset properties and then selecting the Edit Variables tab:
You need to be the current editor in order to edit variables. You can become the editor of the dataset by unlocking the padlock in the upper right corner. An 'unlocked' padlock appears as follows:
Variables are listed in their current order, along with their descriptions and aliases.
On the right side of the interface, you’ll see the Actions sidebar:
The options available in this sidebar depend on whether you have any variables selected. See below for more information.
Changing variable order
The order of variables in the list can be changed by dragging and dropping them, which includes a dropzone with a dashed border where the dragged variables are moved making it easier to see where to place them. Select multiple variables at once using shift-click and command-click (Mac)/control-click (PC). Once a group of variables has been selected they can be dragged as a group.
Creating and using folders
Create a folder by clicking New Folder in the right sidebar and giving it a name:
The new folder will appear at the top of the variable list. You can drag and drop variables into the folder to move them. Click the folder icon to open the folder and view and organize its contents.
To move a variable into a folder, simply drag and drop the variable into the 'Move to...' box on the right. The following box appears which allows you to easily move it to an existing folder or create a new one to place it into:
Editing variable and folder names, descriptions, and aliases
To edit variable and folder names, descriptions, and aliases, simply double-click any variable or folder name, description, or alias to edit it. You can also use Tab to move to the next field or Enter to move to the next row (i.e., if you are editing a description you’ll move to the next description).
Hiding and deleting variables
You may have variables that are used for derived objects like weights, filters, and other variables, but that shouldn't be used in analyses themselves. Hiding a variable removes it from the variable sidebar and browse view cards, but keeps it in the dataset so any derived objects are unaffected. Hidden variables are moved to a Hidden folder that can only be accessed in the variable organizer.
Deleted variables are permanently removed from the dataset; any filters, analyses, or other variables derived from a deleted variable may be removed as a result.
To hide or delete a variable or folder, you can drag it to the Move to hidden or Delete dropzones on the right side of the screen. Alternately, you can select one or more variables (using shift-click or command/control-click) and the appropriate dropzone. Note that hiding or deleting a folder hides/deletes its contents as well.
When no variables are selected, the Move to hidden dropzone reads Open hidden. You can click on it to open the hidden folder and to move variables and folders out of it.