Desktop Survival Guide
by Graham Williams


Figure 2.10: The Rattle menu and toolbar.
Image start:rattle_startup_toolbar

The most important button on the toolbar (Figure 2.10) is the Execute button. All action is initiated with an Execute, often initiated with a click of the Execute button. A keyboard shortcut for Execute is the F2 function key. A menu item for Execute is also available.

It is worth repeating that the user interface paradigm used within Rattle is to set up the parameters on a tab and to then Execute the tab.

The next few buttons on the tool bar relate to the concept of a project within Rattle. Projects were discussed in more detail above.

Clicking on the New button will restore Rattle to its pristine startup state with no dataset loaded. This can be useful when a source dataset has been modified. A common scenario is that we have manipulated our data in a spreadsheet or database program (external to R) and re-exported the data to a CSV file. To reload this file into Rattle, if we have previously loaded it into the current Rattle session, we need to clear Rattle as with a click of the New button. We can then specify the filename and reload it.

The Report button will generate a formatted report based on the current tab. A number of report templates are provided with Rattle and will generate a document in the open standard ODT format, for the open source alternative to Microsoft/Word and open standards supporting OpenOffice/Writer.

Whilst support for user generated reports is limited, the Log provides the necessary commands used to generate the ODT file. We can thus create our own ODT templates and apply them within the context of the current Rattle session.

The Export button is available to export various objects and entities from Rattle. Details are available together with the specific sections in the following chapters. The nature of the export depends on which tab is active, and within the tab, which option is active. For example, if the Model tab is on display then Export will save the current model as PMML. The Export button is not available for all tabs and options.

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