What Is a Slot?

The slot (symbol ) is a position in a row or column, usually in a keyboard or in an electronic device. It may also refer to a particular position in an organization or hierarchy. The word is also used to mean the space available in an airplane for a control surface, such as an aileron or flap.

The term “slot” can also refer to the amount of money returned by a casino machine after winning a round or series of games. This figure is calibrated in advance, and casinos are willing to pay a higher percentage for machines that give the illusion of being close to winning — or at least not losing much. In fact, the percentage of return is determined by a complex mathematical work that takes into account many factors, including the number of paying symbols on a payline and the size of those symbols.

In the sport of basketball, the slot is a position that allows a quicker player to get open for a quick shot and not be grabbed immediately by the defense. This player may be the team’s best shooter or a shifty guy who can move to different positions and still create problems for the defense.

A slot may also be the position of a player on a football field, where he can stand off to the side and gain an advantage over his opponent. A slot can be difficult to grab because the defender may have to jump or reach to get to it, so shifty players who can get away from a linebacker are often placed in this spot.

Some types of slots have additional configuration options that can be accessed in a separate Slot Dialog window. For example, an expression slot can be configured to show the expression in the column heading and to provide a toolbar with icons for showing/hiding Display Compression, Show Notes, and Plotting. A Series Slot with Periodic Input can be shown in either the Slot Dialog or the Slot Viewer, and it has special ornamentation in the column heading indicating its type, as shown in Figure 6.24. Clicking the icon opens the slot in its own dialog where you can edit the periodic input values.

The Slot Viewer is a convenient way to manage all of your slots in one place. It can be minimized or hidden by clicking the Slot Viewers button/menu in the lower right corner of the workspace. To reopen the Slot Viewer, select the button again or use the File, Slot Viewers menu item. If a slot has been undocked from the Slot Viewer, it will be displayed in its own Dialog window when clicked again. Some slots, such as Series Slots with Expression and Series Slots with Periodic Input, are not visible on the Slot Viewer, and many of the Slot Dialog’s configuration and menu options are disabled for these slots. To see these slots, uncheck the Show Only Selected Slots check box in the Slot Viewer dialog.