User Guide



jamovi is available for Windows Vista (64-bit) and above. Installation on windows is quite straight-forward, and should be familiar to anyone who has installed software on Windows before. Download the latest version from the download page, and double-click the icon.

At some institutions (particularly universities), the “normal” approach to installing software is blocked by IT security policies. In this case, you can download our .zip version. To use this, simply download, unzip to a location on the computer, and naviagate to the bin folder. Double-clicking jamovi.exe will begin jamovi. It’s possible that additional security restrictions prevent jamovi from working in this way, in which case it would be worth raising the issue with your IT staff.


jamovi is available for macOS 10.9+ (Mavericks and newer). To install it, download the .dmg file from our download page, and double-click the downloaded file. This will present you with a “file view”, and you can install jamovi by “dragging-and-dropping” the jamovi application to the Applications folder (in the usual way). After this, jamovi will appear in your applications, and can be started like any other installed application.

jamovi for macOS has an auto-update mechanism, and can alert you to when new versions are available. You can update your version of jamovi from the app menu (the three dots at the top right of the window).


jamovi is currently available for Ubuntu 16.04, 17.04 and 17.10 (Xenial, Zesty and Artful). To install, add the jamovi PPA to your system, and then install using apt. The following commands will achieve this:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:jonathon-love/jamovi
sudo apt update
sudo apt install jamovi

The Ubuntu software update process will notify you when new versions of jamovi are available, and perform updates automatically.

Getting Started

When first starting jamovi, you will be presented with a user interface which looks something like this.


To the left is the spreadsheet view, and to the right is where the results of statistical tests appear. Down the middle is a bar separating these two regions, and this can be dragged to the left or the right to change their sizes.

It is possible to simply begin typing values into the jamovi spreadsheet as you would any other spreadsheet software. Alternatively, existing data sets in the CSV (.csv) file format can be opened in jamovi. Additionally, there are a number of example data sets available in jamovi. To open a file, select the File tab at the top left hand corner, select ‘Open’ and then ‘Examples’ or ‘This PC’, depending on whether you want to open an example, or a file stored on your computer.

In the future, jamovi will support opening a much greater range of file formats. We intend to support files from Microsoft Excel (.xlsx, .xls), SPSS (.sav), LibreOffice (.ods) and more. In the mean time, it is possible to use these programs to save data as CSV (.csv) files, and then open them in jamovi.

If jamovi does not open a CSV file correctly, do file an issue (bug report) in our GitHub issue tracker. We are keen to make our importer as robust as possible.


Analyses can be selected from the analyses ribbon or menu along the top. Selecting an analysis will present an ‘options panel’ for that particular analysis, allowing you to assign different variables to different parts of the analysis, and select different options. At the same time, the results for the analysis will appear in the right ‘Results panel’, and will update as you make changes to the options.

When you have the analysis set up correctly, you can dismiss the analysis options by clicking the arrow to the top right of the optional panel. If you wish to return to these options, you can click on the results that were produced. In this way, you can return to any analysis that you (or say, a colleague) created earlier.

If you decide you no longer need a particular analysis, you can remove it with the results context menu. Right-clicking on the analysis results will bring up a menu, and by selecting ‘Analysis’, and then ‘Remove’, the analysis can be removed.

The Spreadsheet

In jamovi, data is represented in a spreadsheet, with each column representing a ‘variable’.

Data Variables

The most commonly used variables in jamovi are ‘Data Variables’, these variables simply contain data either loaded from a data file, or ‘typed in’ by the user. Data variables can be one of four types:

These types are designated by the symbol in the header of the variable’s column.

Nominal Text variables are for categorical variables which have a text representation, and no meaningful numeric value. For example, a column called Gender with the values Male and Female would be nominal text. So would a person’s name.

Nominal variables are for categorical variables which have a numeric value. These variables are used most often when importing data which codes values with numbers rather than text. For example, a column in a dataset may contain the values 1 for males, and 2 for females. It is possible to add nice ‘human-readable’ labels to these values with the variable editor (more on this later).

Ordinal variables are like Nominal variables, except the values have a specific order. An example might be a Likert scale, with 3 being ‘strongly agree’, and -3 being ‘strongly disagree’.

Continuous variables are variables which exist on a continuous scale. Examples might be height or weight. This is sometimes refered to as ‘Scale’ or ‘Ratio scale’.

When starting with a blank spreadsheet and typing values in, the variable types will change automatically depending on the data you enter. This is a good way to get a feel for which variable types go with which sorts of data. Similarly, when opening a data file, jamovi will infer the variable type from the data in each column. In both cases, this automatic approach may not be correct, and it may be necessary to manually specify the variable type with the variable editor.

The variable editor can be invoked by selecting ‘Setup’ from the data tab, double-clicking on the column header, or by pressing F3. The variable editor allows you to change the name of the variable, and (for data variables) the variable type, the order of the levels, and the label displayed for each level. Changes can be applied by clicking the ‘tick’ to the top right. The variable editor can be dismissed by clicking the close arrow, or by pressing F3 again.

New variables can be inserted or appended to the data set using the ‘add’ button from the data ribbon. The ‘add’ button also allows the addition of Computed variables.

Computed Variables

Computed Variables are those which take their value by performing a computation on other Variables. Computed Variables can be used for a range of purposes, including log transforms, z-scores, sum-scores, negative scoring and means.

Computed variables can be added to the data set, with the ‘add’ button available on the data tab. This will produce a formula box where you can specify the formula. The usual arithmetic operators are available. Some examples of formulas are:

A + B



(dose - VMEAN(dose)) / VSTDEV(dose)

In order, these are the sum of A and B, a log (base 10) transform of len, the mean of A and B, and the z-score of dose.

More functions will be added in subsequent releases of jamovi.


A number of functions appear in pairs, one prefixed with a V and the other not. V functions perform their calculation on a variable as a whole, where as non-V functions perform their calculation row by row. For example, MEAN(A, B) will produce the mean of A and B for each row. Where as VMEAN(A) gives the mean of all the values in A.

Recoded Variables

The ability to recode variables in jamovi is under development. Keep an eye out for a future release.

Copy and Paste

jamovi produces nice APA formatted tables, and attractive plots. It is often useful to be able to copy and paste these, perhaps into a Word document, or into an email to a colleague. To copy results, right click on the object of interest, and from the menu select exactly what you want to copy. The menu allows you to choose to copy, say only the image, or the entire analysis. Selecting copy, copies the content to the clipboard, and can be pasted into the other program in the usual way.

Syntax Mode

jamovi also provides an “R Syntax Mode”, in this mode, jamovi produces equivalent R code for each analysis. To change to syntax mode, select the Application menu to the top right of jamovi (a button with three dots), and check the “Syntax mode” checkbox there. It is possible to leave syntax mode by clicking this a second time.

In syntax mode, analyses continue to operate as before, but now they produce R syntax, and ‘ascii output’ like an R session. Like all results objects in jamovi, you can right click on these items (including the R syntax) and copy and paste them, for example, into an R session.

At present, the provided R syntax does not include the data import step, and this must be performed manually. There are many resources explaining how to import data into R, and we recommend you take a look at these (Most analyses in jamovi require data as a data frame).