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Using Variables Fields and Multiple Conditions
Using Variables Fields and Multiple Conditions

Everything you need to know about how to use input and output variables and conditions across the platform.

Barney Walker avatar
Written by Barney Walker
Updated over a week ago

You can now run protocols and experiments using multiple conditions in parallel with our new variable fields feature. Whether you are running a protocol on multiple samples in parallel, varying the reagent used or testing the effect of other input variables, you can now collect structured data on all these conditions in just a few clicks.

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Variable Fields

  • Inputs

If there is a field in your experiment or protocol that may have a different value across different conditions, you can convert it to a variable by activating the toggle in the field settings.

This can be done for inventory fields (such as the sample used, the reagent used etc) or data fields (such as the temperature) when running a protocol.

With variable fields, you can select multiple items or add multiple values within the same field. For each value you add, it creates a new condition.

💡 Labstep team tip: If you have fields that have the same value across all conditions, such as a common buffer, or the temperature of the room, you can leave them as constants so you only have to enter one value!

  • Outputs

When recording the outputs of your protocol/experiment (such as samples created or data points collected such as “Yield”), you can again record a different value for each of your unique input conditions by toggling the variable option in the field settings.

The easiest way to record this output data is through the conditions table.

💡 Labstep team tip: If you have a data field for a raw data file that relates to all your conditions, leave it as a constant so you only have to upload the file once!

The Conditions Table

The conditions table gives you an overview of all the input variables that may be different for each condition and allows you to easily record the outputs associated with each.

→ "Inputs" are all the input parameters or inventory you set at the start of your experiment/protocol. This could be inventory fields, such as the sample used, or numerical values such as Temperature.

→ "Outputs" include all the inventory or data generated throughout an experiment/protocol.

💡 Please note when you repeat an experiment, the "Inputs" remain the same but the values of any "Outputs" will be reset.

  • Accessing the Conditions Table

You can access the conditions table from any variable inventory or data field.

You can also embed the conditions table into the body of your protocol/experiment document using the slash command for "Conditions Table".

💡 Labstep team tip: You can also set up the Conditions Tables from the Experiment entry. To do so, follow the same steps as highlighted above.

  • Using the Conditions Table

Navigation → You can navigate the conditions table using the arrows on your keyboard to make data entry faster.

Shortcuts → You can also use keyboard shortcuts such as Ctrl+C / Ctrl+V to copy and paste values within the table.

Copy-Paste → You can also paste in values from a spreadsheet.

Auto-fill → You can also use auto-fill by dragging the corners of cells to complete a sequence.

  • Editing the Conditions Table

You can add conditions by clicking the ‘Add Conditions’ button at the bottom of the table and entering the number of conditions you would like to add. To delete a condition, hover over the condition number in the most left-hand column and click on the ellipsis.

Additionally, you can add or remove columns from the conditions table by clicking the cog on the ‘Input’ or ‘Output’ column group header. This will add extra ‘variable’ fields to your experiment/protocol.

Exporting the Conditions Table

  • Copy-paste

You can either copy-paste with headers or group headers. To do so:

  1. Select the cells within the table

  2. Right click

  3. Select "Copy with headers" or "Copy with group headers"

  • Export as .csv or .xslx

You have the choice to export a Conditions Table as either a CSV or Excel. To do so:

  1. Click on a cell

  2. Right click

  3. Navigate to "Export"

  4. Select the format of your choice

Summary of Use Cases





  • Testing different samples

  • Using different DNA parts in a cloning procedure.

  • Testing the effect of different buffers


  • Testing the effect of different temperatures.

  • Testing the effect of different settings on a machine.

  • Testing the effect of different sample treatment options etc.

  • Testing different samples


  • Using the same buffer for every condition.


  • Settings, temperatures, and other factors you want to track are the same across all conditions.

  • Factors you might want to vary in future experiments.



  • Samples created

  • Cells passaged or split


  • Raw data files (one per sample)

  • Numeric measurements

  • Qualitative measurements


  • N/A


  • Raw data files (one per experiment)

Lineage Tracking and Linked Data

  • Lineage Tracking

For variable inventory fields, input items will only appear in the lineage of items created in output fields in the same condition (i.e. in the same row of the conditions table).

For constant inventory fields, input items will appear in the lineage of all output items (if tracking is enabled).

  • Linked Data

For variable data fields, output data will only appear in the ‘Data’ section of items in the same condition (i.e. in the same row of the conditions table).

For constant data fields, output data will appear in the ‘Data’ section of all items.

Still need help?

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