2.1.2 Project Explorer

Display or Hide Project Explorer

To show or hide Project Explorer:

  • Click the Project Explorer button Button Project Explorer.png on the Standard toolbar or click View: Project Explorer on the Origin menu (hot key: Alt + 1)
  • Right-click the PE title bar to auto Float, Dock or Autohide the window.

Video Image.png See how it's done by watching this video: Auto Hiding Project Explorer and other Dockable Windows

Project Explorer Overview

Project Explorer (PE) is a tool to help you organize the contents of your Origin project files (OPJ).

PE window features2.png
  • Project Explorer is split into two panels. The primary panel (top) shows project folder structure. The sub-panel (bottom) shows windows in the folder highlighted in the primary panel.
  • Context menus in both panels provide options to delete, hide, print, etc. Menu options vary depending on what is selected or where you have right-clicked.
  • Right-click the PE title bar to display the panels stacked (vertically aligned) or side-by-side (horizontally aligned).
  • Right-click on the sub-panel in Details view to turn individual headings on or off.
  • In the sub-panel, select multiple windows by holding Shift or Ctrl while clicking on windows with your mouse.
  • The sub-panel supports differing views of windows: Details (default), List, Small Icons, Large Icons, Extra Large Icons.
  • In any window view, mouse over each window to see window comments, contents or a window preview.
  • When hovering on a folder in the primary panel, a tooltip shows folder contents and optional comments. Right-click the folder and choose Properties to add comments to a folder.
  • When displaying windows as Extra Large Icons, you see a preview image of the window that is generated on-the-fly anytime that the window is updated.
PE window XLIcons previews.png

Note: Prior to 2018, the sub-panel listed sub-folders under the selected folder. If you would like to restore the old behavior, open the Script Window (Window: Script Window), type the following and press <Enter>:
@PEF = 1

To permanently change the behavior, see FAQ-708 How do I permanently change the value of a system variable?

Project Explorer Previews

In all sub-panel Views, hovering on a window produces a popup preview. Preview images are generated on-the-fly and will update when a window is updated (a sub-panel Refresh (F5) may be needed).

PE window previews onHover.png

Workbooks are unique in that they allow you to choose from three types of previews:

  • Compressed Image (Default): The popup image for all window types is a duplication of what the user sees when switching the sub-panel to Extra-Large Icons view.
  • Summary and List View: The popup image is a summary of book content (comments if any, number of sheets, etc.) plus a List View table with column Short Name, Long Name (if exists) and Sparklines.
  • Summary and Raw Data: The popup image is a summary of book content (comments if any, number of sheets, etc.) plus a standard (Raw) view of the workbook with column Short Name and Sparklines.
PE window previews Summary RawData.png

A Preview setting made to one book is globally applied to all workbooks in the project. Preview is a window property and is set in the Window Properties dialog box.

To change the default preview setting for all project workbooks, see @PEWP in the LabTalk System Variable list. For information on changing the value of a system variable, see FAQ-708 How do I permanently change the value of a system variable?

Find Windows in Your Project

In addition to previewing windows in the PE sub-panel, you can use PE's Find dialog box to locate windows in your project file:

  1. Right-click on any PE folder and click Find.
  2. Enter a search string in the Find What box.
  3. Search within the Entire Project, the Active Folder or the Active Folder and Subfolders.
  • Options to match case or whole words or to use wildcards "*" or "?" in your search.
  • Search Folders, Graphs, Books, Sheets or Columns and Select options to narrow or broaden your search.
  • Additional options to search worksheet data and text objects on graphs.

For more information, see: Finding Data in the Origin Project.

Speed Up Project Loading by Not Displaying Windows

By default, all windows in the project file are shown in the Origin workspace. As you accumulate windows in your project file, you may find that the project is slow to load or that the workspace has become overly crowded. One option is to load your project without displaying windows.

  • To configure the workspace so that project windows do not display on loading, click View: View Windows: None or right-click in the PE primary panel and choose View Windows: None. This View Windows setting remains in effect throughout the session but Origin will default to Windows in Active Folder upon restarting.
  • Once a project is loaded, you can set your working folder in the primary panel and turn window display back on by choosing View: View Windows: Windows in Active Folder.
Note: Earlier versions of Origin had a third option that controlled display of windows in the active folder and subfolders but it was found that users sometimes deleted critical data because they were confused by windows that appeared from other folders. To restore the third "Subfolders" option, open the Script Window and at the command prompt, type the following and press Enter:
@PER = 1;
The "View in Subfolders" option then becomes available in the right-click context menu or View: View Mode menu.
View windows in subfolders.png

Move a Folder or Window

  • To move a folder or window within the Origin project, drag the folder/window onto another folder.

Create a Shortcut to a Window

  • Right-click on a window and choose Add Shortcuts to Favorites. A Favorites folder is added to the OPJ folder structure.
  • Press Alt and drag a window onto another folder.This creates a shortcut to this window in this folder.

Change the Display or the Order of Columns in Details View

When the PE sub-panel is in Details view (right-click an open area and choose View: Details), you customize what information displays:

  • Right-click on the column header and select or de-select a heading to display or hide the heading.
  • Drag to reorder displayed column headings.

Sort in Project Explorer

In Detailed view of Project Explorer, multiple attributes of windows and folders are listed.

  • Click on the column header to sort the windows in project explorer. Upper arrow means ascending. Down arrow means descending order.
  • To do nested sort with multiple attributes, hold down SHIFT key before clicking on secondary attribute column header and on.

Rename a Folder or a Window or Add Comments

  • To modify a folder or window Long Name, right-click the folder(either panel)/ window and choose Rename or Properties.
  • To rename by in-place editing, left-click once on the folder(either panel)/ window (Long Name or Short Name column is showing on sub panel), then click a second time. Type the name.
  • In addition to Long Name and Short Name columns, there is a Name column which displays the window Long Name if it exists. You can rename either the Long or Short Name from this column by clicking the LN/SN button to toggle between the two names.
PE Name Toggle Button.png
  • To add/edit Comments by in-place edit, left-click once in the Comments column (sub-panel), then click again. Type your comments.
  1. Prior to Origin 2015 SR1, choosing Rename in PE led to editing of the window Long Name. You can restore the old behavior, by setting the System Variable @PERB = 0 (see documentation of @PERB).
  2. You can choose to show window Long Name (Short Name if Long Name not exits) only in View modes other than Details by right click in the lower panel and uncheck Show Long and Short Names'. By default, both Long and Short Names are shown in format of SN - LN.

View Graphs as Slide Show or Send Graphs to PowerPoint

  • To view a slide show of graphs in your project, right-click on the PE folder containing the graphs and choose Slide Show of Graphs.
  • To view a slide show of all the graphs made from one or more worksheet columns, select the columns then click Column: Slide Show of Dependent Graphs in the main menu.
  • To send graphs to a PowerPoint file, right-click on the PE folder containing the graphs and choose Send Graphs to PowerPoint.

Modify Graph Order for Slide Show or PowerPoint

  • To change graph order, first make sure that the Slide column is displayed in the PE sub-panel's Details view.
  • Click the Slide column header to sort graphs in ascending order. You may need to widen your PE view to see the Slide column. Note also, that you can drag PE column headers to rearrange column order.
  • To change graph order, drag graph icons. Note that graph order is changed but the sort order is kept.
  • To skip a graph, right-click on the window icon and choose Skip Slide.
PE skip slide.png

Save a Portion of the Project as a New Project File

  • To save a folder in the project file as a new project, right-click on the folder and choose Save As Project.

Merging Data from Multiple Projects

You can have only one project file (OPJ or OPJU) open in a given session. However, there are a couple of options for combining data from multiple Origin projects:

  • Append Project Files: You can append the contents of another project file to the current project. In the upper-panel of Project Explorer, select the target folder then choose File: Append; or right-click on the target folder and choose Append Project. You will be asked if you want to create a new folder for the appended project. If you answer No and (a) the appended project has no windows in the root folder and (b) has only a single sub-folder, then the folder contents are added directly to the target folder. Otherwise, a new folder is added to the project file and folder names are enumerated as needed, to avoid naming conflicts.
  • Run Another Instance and Copy: You can run another instance of Origin and copy data from one project to another. As of Origin 2019b, you can use Project Explorer to copy and paste workbooks or folders from one project to another. Right-click on the folder (upper panel of PE) or workbook (lower panel of PE) and choose Copy from the shortcut menu. To paste a folder, right-click in the upper panel and Paste. To paste a workbook window, choose a target folder in the upper panel then right-click in the lower panel and Paste.

You can also copy and paste workbooks and folders within a given project.

Copy and Paste Folder Across Origin

  • To copy and paste a folder, including all the windows inside, to another instance of Origin, right-click on the folder and choose Copy/Paste.
Copy Folder Across Origin.gif

Hide a Folder from the Origin Viewer

The Origin Viewer is a freely-distributed, standalone application that allows viewing and copying of information contained in Origin Project (OPJ) files and Origin child window files (OGG, OGW, OGM). If you would like to prevent your data from being viewed or copied by someone using the Viewer, do the following:

  • Right-click on the folder in Project Explorer.and choose Restricted in Viewer. The folder icon should now display as locked.