Data Desk comes with standard defaults for all its manipulation, calculation, plot and smoothing options. You set your own defaults by selecting the desired options from each Options dialog and clicking the Set Defaults box. These changes are saved with the program and are active for analyses generated in the current and any future data file.

The Preferences submenu is found in the Data Desk menu. You may want to open it while reading these descriptions:

Preserve Results History makes the Results folder a true record of everything you do. It records “checkpoint” versions of results windows if you change them with HyperViews or drags.

Ordinarily, Data Desk leaves variables selected after many commands so you can continue to use them. You can change that choice here.

Ordinarily, the selected plot tool remains selected as you make new plots, but you can choose here to have it re-set automatically with each new plot.

An alternative color scheme (used in earlier versions of Data Desk and now offered as “Dark mode” on Macs) plots cases as points of light or color against a black background.

The Frame rate is the rate at which still images are presented to animate such things as rotating plots. 15 frames/second is usually adequate, 30 is full-motion video.

Zoom sets the speed at which windows open and close.

The Default plot symbol is initially a circle, but you may choose a different one.

The Interface scale adjusts sizes of objects and text.

Variable Editing specifies how the Tab and Return keys work during variable editing.

The Numbers to Text submenu lets you control the precision and presentation of numbers in any derived variable, generated variable, or scratchpad. The standard setting is for Fixed notation with 8 significant digits. When using scientific or engineering notation, Data Desk provides for the rounding of data to eliminate spurious values close to zero. You control this feature by entering the number of digits to round to in the Round to Nearest box. For example, the number 0.1234 displayed with scientific notation, 3 significant digits, and rounded to 0.0001 is displayed as 1.23e-2. The number 0.0001234 with the same parameters is displayed 1.00e-4. Changing the rounding parameter to 0.000001 displays the number as 1.23e-4.

Categories Limit specifies how many categories should be allowed in a categorical variable before posting a warning. This is primarily to catch instances of using a quantitative variable accidentally as a categorical variable.

The final three Preferences submenus set preferences for commands in their respective menus.