Auto map, parsing stat values, saving
Recodes are a great way to eliminate unwanted detail. For example, an auto model table could be recoded to answer the simpler questions of "Make", "Domestic/Import", "Segment", or "Car/Truck", although a standard recode like that can usually be added by mTAB when the study is being created. When creating a recode which will span across multiple studies, or which will need stat values (to calculate means, etc), there are a few things you can do to save yourself a lot of time.
Parsing Stat Values
When you are recoding a question like "Household Income", or "Miles Driven" and will want to use statistical formatting options on it like mean, there is a shortcut you can use which may save a lot of time. Build your recode as usual, by entering the numeric text of your labels. (It must be actual numbers in the new responses for this to work. Commas and dollar signs are OK.)
When you are finished adding all of the new responses, select Edit Stat Values located in the recode menu and options panel. In this screen you will see all of the responses you typed in. At the bottom of this window, click on "Parse Weights". The new statistical values will show up to the right of the new responses. If the responses encompass a range, then you may want to see how stat values work in order to get a more accurate mean.
Automapping - When recoding across multiple studies
When you recode across related studies, you can save a lot of time by utilizing the Copy Old To New and Auto Map features. This is only necessary if a question is yellow. Green questions have not changed from one study to the next and therefore do not need recoding. Red questions cannot be recoded since they are not in both studies.
As soon as you name your recode, select Copy Old to New located in the Recode ribbon. This will automatically map all the old responses to new responses which are exactly the same. Next, click on the drop-down box of Apply to Study and select the next study. You will see at this time that none of the responses are mapped. Select Auto Map located in the recode ribbon. Click OK on the resulting screen and you will see that most of the responses should be mapped. At this time browse through the responses to make sure everything is mapped the way you want it. If not, then re-map the response through clicking and dragging the response to the appropriate label. For responses that were not mapped automatically, you can add them to an existing or new "Other" response, or create other responses to include them in.
As soon as you create a recode, the icon will change to show a square R rather than the usual question mark. If you create a recode, and do not click on save while you are in the recode window, it is saved as a session recode, which has a white R. This recode will be lost when you exit mTAB. If you like a recode and know you want to use it frequently enough, or want to share it you should save it in the recode window before clicking on the OK button. Saving is done under the Recode drop-down menu or the File menu in the Recode Editor. The question icon will change to a black R.
Note: If you have a session recode, it can be saved as part of a saved tab file. Then, even though the recode is not saved as its own file, it will exist as part of the tab which can be opened. This type of "saved tab recode" can be saved as a regular recode at any time.
Saved recodes will come up in any study using that same question automatically. If you want to permanently delete a recode, then in mTAB you can highlight the recode in the "Available Topics/Questions" window, then press your delete key.