On Labstep, a 'Protocol' is the name of document that contains a set of instructions that you can follow. Examples of documents that you may want to save as a Protocol are procedures, methods, templates, SOPs and of course, protocols

You can import your existing protocols to Labstep and easily convert them into the smart Labstep format. You can also create a new protocol from scratch.

Please note you can only edit a protocol on a desktop computer. This feature is not yet available for mobile devices.

To create a new protocol from scratch:

  1. Click the '+ new' button in the top right-hand bar and select 'Protocol'. Or, navigate to Protocols in the left-hand navigation bar and click 'New Protocol'. This will open the Protocol Editor interface
  2. Type out the details of your new protocol.

Importing an existing document

  1. Click the '+ new' button in the top right-hand bar and select 'Protocol'. Or, navigate to Protocols in the left-hand navigation bar and click 'New Protocol'. This will open the Protocol Editor interface
  2. Select the text, images and tables in your existing document and copy.  Your existing document can be in any format, e.g. a Word document, PDF, Excel spreadsheet and images are automatically recognised too.
  3. Paste the copied content into the Labstep protocol editor.
  4. Now you can structure your document as you wish, or organise your content according to the default Introduction, Materials, Procedure and References

Formatting your protocol

There are a number of different formatting options available including, header, bold, italics, super script, as well as numbered and unnumbered lists. 

Please note that when the 'Header' icon is selected some of the other options will be unavailable. To make these options available again deselect 'Header'.

Other options you can add to your protocol that you can find in the format bar are:

  • Adding a file from your device,
  • Adding an image from your device,
  • Adding a link to text,
  • Adding a code snippet and
  • Adding a reference. 

Adding text as interactive steps

When running through your protocol as part of an experiment, the Labstep Protocol Runner interface allows you to tick off steps as you go. To establish these steps in your master protocol, either 

  • highlight the text for an individual step and click the blue (+) icon, or 
  • highlight all steps and format as a bulleted list (by selecting the bullet point icon in the format bar) and select the blue (+) icon. This will add all numbered lines as an individual step with one click. 

Note - Labstep uses smart technology to identify (un)numbered lists to automatically convert these into steps.

Linking materials to your inventory

You can also reference resources from your inventory in your protocol. This will allow you to keep track of all materials needed to execute a protocol. When adding a protocol to an Experiment entry, the referenced inventory items will show in the 'Materials' tab of the Experiment. 

  1. Click the (flask) icon to add a new material,
  2. Set the name, amount and unit,
  3. Using the drop-down menu, select the corresponding resource in your inventory or create a new one by typing in the name (this new resource will be added to your inventory overview).

Adding timers to a protocol

You can add timers to use as a stopwatch or a count-down timer. Timers can be activated when walking through your protocols. When a timer runs out, an alarm will notify you of this. A record will be kept for timers stopped under or over time. 

Adding tables to a protocol

Tables in Labstep look like Excel tables and contain much of the same functionality. To add a new table,

  1. Click the (table) icon in the format bar,
  2. Choose the amount of rows and columns

This will open the table editor. Formulas and calculations are included: in a Labstep table, select a cell, and type “=” to begin a formula. We cover most Excel functions. Find out more here. 

Saving a protocol

All protocols are continuously saved and backed up. By clicking 'Save and Exit', you can leave the protocol editor. A window will be prompted where you will be asked to how you have changed this protocol. These details will be saved in the Changelog of the protocol and are for your own reference / version control. 

 

Can't find what you are looking for?

Message the Labstep support team directly using the in-app chat using the (?) icon with any questions or help you might need.

Alternatively, you can contact us via email at info@labstep.com.

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