PEN Quick Start - Opening a Project

by Rachelle Howell, Ian Mathew

Opening a Project

This tutorial will walk you through the steps required to open your project using the PEN tool. Once you have opened your project and connected it to a local directory, you can upload files to and download files from that project. If you have downloaded the PEN tool and are running it locally, you can move files between your local computer and the NEEShub Project Warehouse. If you have launched the PEN tool within the NEEShub, you can move files between your NEEShub Home Directory and the NEEShub Project Warehouse.

For more information on your options for launching the PEN tool (downloading vs. launching within the NEEShub), please see this tutorial.

The process that you go through to open a project and connect it to a local directory will be the same regardless of whether you have downloaded the tool or you are running it in the NEEShub.

The Opening/Connecting Process

The process for opening a project in the PEN tool is as follows

  1. Launch the PEN tool
  2. Log in to your NEEShub account
  3. Create a local directory (optional)
  4. Open a project and connect the project to the local directory (can be done automatically by the PEN tool or may be done manually by the user). This tutorial will cover the process in which the PEN tool automatically connects a project to a local directory. The manual process will be covered in this tutorial, which tells you how to to open a local directory without connecting it to a project, and this tutorial, which tells you how to connect a local directory to a project.

Launching the PEN Tool

When you launch the PEN tool for the first time, you will not be logged in and no project will be open. The initial screen will show an empty panel on the left, and a login prompt in the panel on the right. At the top of the tool, you will see that no user is logged in and that the tool is not connected.


Logging in

Log in using your NEEShub login and password. Upon successfully logging in, you will be taken to the project load screen (shown below in the Opening a Project section).


Creating a local directory (optional)

The local directory is the directory on your local computer or in your NEEShub Home Directory where the PEN tool will recreate the Project Warehouse Directory structure and place files. When you import a file into the PEN tool, a copy of the file will be placed in this directory. When you download a file from the Project Warehouse, it will be downloaded to this directory. This directory will be connected to a particular project during the login and connection process. It is unique to that project (i.e., it cannot be shared between projects), and it will be used each time you connect to the project with which it was initially associated.

You do not have to create a local directory; you can let PEN create the local directory for you. By default, the PEN tool will create the directory using the path specified in the Tools > Preferences menu and the directory will be named based on the project number to which the directory is to be connected.

Opening a Project

You will need the following information to open a project:

  • The location of the local directory if you have created one (you may let the PEN tool create one for you automatically)
  • Your project number

If you do not know your project number, you have two options. Your first option is to locate your project in the list of available projects that the PEN tool will display during the login process. Your second option is to locate your project number on your project page in the Project Warehouse (shown below).


When you log in successfully, you will be taken to a project load screen.

On the project load screen, specify your project number and the location of your local directory.

If you do not know or were unable to locate your project number, you can scroll through the list of available projects displayed by the PEN tool. If you have opened a project before, that project will be moved to the top of the list. If you have been working on a local directory that has been loaded in PEN but not yet connected to a project, that local directory will also be displayed in the section at the top of the available projects list.

PEN will suggest a local directory based on a setting in the Tools > Preferences menu. You can change this directory by clicking on the “Change” button to the right of the directory field, and you can locate your local directory using the “Browse” button, which will become enabled when the “Change” button is clicked. If you did not create a local directory and you wish to have the PEN tool automatically create a local directory for you, you can let PEN automatically populate this field. NOTE: You can change the suggested default directory that is automatically generated by the PEN tool. If new directory you specify does not exist, PEN will create the new directory for you.

Once you have filled in the necessary information, click the Open button. This will open the project and connect it to the specified local directory.

NOTE: You can access any public project through PEN regardless of whether or not you are a member of that project. However, if you do not have the appropriate permission settings, you will not be able to upload files, create new experiments, or edit the object/file information. If you have trouble uploading files, creating experiments, or changing object/file information when working in PEN, the first thing to check is your permission settings in the Project Warehouse.


Project Open and Connected!

Once your project has been opened and connected to a local directory, you will see the project’s directory structure in the left panel, and the file/object information and file import tabs in the right panel. Your login and the project number of the project that is open will be shown at the top of right panel. The directory path of your local directory will be shown at the highest level of the directory structure in the left panel and at the top of the right panel.


Related Tutorials

Opening a local directory

Connecting a local directory to a project

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