Selecting, copying and pasting data in the run table on an experiment

Riffyn provides the ability to copy and paste whole columns of data (or selected runs within a column of data) in the bottom panel of an experiment. You can access copy/paste in the usual way: Ctrl-C or Cmd-C to copy the selected column, and Ctrl-V or Cmd-V to paste into the selected column.


To use this function, it helps to say a few words about Riffyn's row/column selection mechanisms. As illustrated above, the yellowish shading shows which rows are selected, and the green outline shows both which cell and which column are selected. Rows can be selected or unselected by clicking, Shift-clicking, or Ctrl-Clicking (Cmd-Clicking) into any cell.

When you click into a cell in the selected rows:

  1. Keyboard edits will modify only that cell, and
  2. The entire column of data (within the yellowish selected area) is also selected for purposes of column copy/paste. 

This has two implications, no matter what cell you click on within the selected region:

  1. Ctrl-C will copy data into the clipboard from all selected rows in the selected column.
  2. Ctrl-V will paste data starting at the first selected row in the selected column, and will only paste data into selected rows.

This might feel slightly surprising because (1) Excel pastes down from the selected cell regardless of the row selection. I.e., in Excel, you only need to select the first row you want to paste into; the paste function will paste all copied values down starting at the first selected row. In Riffyn, hitting "paste" will only paste into selected rows, i.e., you need to select all rows you want to paste into before hitting "paste". (2) Riffyn doesn't highlight the paste column clearly.  (Sorry about point #2. It should do that, and it is on our to-do list.)

On the other hand, what's really cool about this behavior is that it allows you to copy non-contiguous blocks of data, and paste them across non-contiguous blocks.  For example, in the above figure, if we copy from the concentration column and paste it into the catalogue number column, the copy/paste will skip right over row E123. That's handy!


This behavior is particularly useful because it also works when runs are aggregated.  Thus if you copy / paste selected run aggregates, the action will skip over any unselected aggregates. This performs similarly to Excel where paste can be applied to hidden rows.

It takes a wee bit of getting used to, but you'll get than hang of it after a few minutes!

Another thing to note: when the clipboard contains more data than selected runs, it will not paste the excess data into any other cells. It will stop at the selected region. (It's a data integrity safety mechanism to ensure you don't overwrite data unintentionally.

So one final point. What if you accidentally paste data, and want to undo that?  Riffyn does not yet have an undo function. But there is still an easy way to clear the data you just pasted. You can clear the data in the top cell of the column and then apply a fill down (Ctrl-D or Cmd-D).  That is explained in this help doc.

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