On the left, you can download the templates for entering your experimental data into the database.
Following is some advice how to handle them (downloadable as "Description of templates").

Apart from the templates, there is a lookup table containing all dropdown list values. If new values or new lists are needed, please contact the INF team. Some values are abbreviations. Click on them in the lookup table and you will get an explanation.

The LookupTable_FN.xlsx file must be saved in the same directory as the templates and is automatically opened and closed with the template.

The templates only work properly when macros are activated. To activate macros please click through the following steps:

  • Excel2007: Office symbol (upper left corner) → Excel Options → Trust Center → Trust Center Settings → Macro Settings
  • Excel2010: File (upper left corner) → Options → Trust Center → Trust Center Settings → Macro Settings


The following is true for all templates apart from the imaging template.
Each template file contains 4 sheets.
  1. IDF (Investigation Design Format):
    • used for general experimental data (e.g. experimental factors, protocols, contact information)
    • experimental values used for several samples can be transferred to the SDRF sheet via macro by filling in the defaults at the bottom of the IDF sheet.
  2. SDRF (Sample and Data Relationship Format):
    • describes specific experimental details and relationships between biomaterial, biological experiment and data processing
    • experimental factors and protocols of the first sheet are defined in more detail
    • using the button "Add defaults to currently selected rows" imports defaults from the IDF sheet into the SDRF sheet
    • at the rightmost end of the sheet, clicking the button "Fold Change Assignment" adds columns for describing which samples were compared to others; the column caption is editable (notion: treatment_VS_control, e.g. mutant_VS_wildtype or compound_VS_nocompound)

  3. To fill in data into both sheets, please follow these instructions:
    • Fill in as much as possible. The more data you provide, the more useful they are. Colored cells are mandatory. Yellow cells must be filled in by the experimentalist, green cells by the bioinformatician.
    • Each cell has a comment appearing when clicking on its column/row header describing what kind of data is expected.
    • Most cells contain drop down lists. If you need to add new values to the list, please contact the INF team.
    • Some drop down lists allow a combination of their values (comment says "multiple choice by multiple call"); each call appends a newly chosen value to the previous ones; erase values by using the delete key or via the menu entry "delete content".
    • Please do not select complete rows to add default values via macro but only the first cell per row, otherwise the macro will be very slow.
    • If you do not need all 2000 prepared lines, erase the unnecessary ones to reduce file size. To do this, select all rows you want to erase and click the button "delete row(s)".

  4. IDF example: contains an example for filling in the first sheet
  5. SDRF example: contains an example for filling in the second sheet


The imaging template also contains the IDF sheet that is used for general experimental data (e.g. experimental factors, protocols, contact information). There are eight more sheets which collect different parts of the experimental setup. Since this is quite a lot, there is a separate example file, which can also be downloaded and can help to fill all tables correctly. Important hints:
  • It is extremely important to fill the sheets from left to right because some values in the later sheets depend on values in the former ones.
  • Fill in as much as possible. The more data you provide, the more useful they are. Yellow cells are mandatory.
  • Each cell has a comment appearing when clicking on its column/row header describing what kind of data is expected.
  • Most cells contain drop down lists. If you need to add new values to the list, please contact INF.
  • Some drop down lists allow a combination of their values (comment says "multiple choice by multiple call"); each call appends a newly chosen value to the previous ones; erase values by using the delete key or via the menu entry "delete content" .