Re: Gnumeric usability improvements

On Sun, Jun 10, 2001 at 01:47:44PM +0100, Neil Booth wrote:

1) Date input is awkward.  In Excel I can type "12Jun" "12Jun01".
   IMO Gnumeric is overly strict in its interpretation of date input;
   I can only get it to accept stuff like 12/6/1 or 12-Jun-01.
   You might find it odd, but I would rate this the most annoying
   aspect of Gnumeric at present.
Hmm, good point.  As things stand we only compare against that
standard list of formats.  It is trivial to add more.

2) Select part of a formula in the formula bar (or in the in-cell
   editor) and press F9 to calculate the highlighted subexpression.
   This is an extremely useful feature, especially when editing
   complex formulae.  "Select a subexpression, inspect with F9,
   Escape" becomes a very natural idiom after you use it a few times.
Interesting, I was not aware of this feature.  It will take some
playing in Excel to see how difficult this is to add.

3) The keystrokes "End then Arrow Key" to move to the end of a
   consecutive list of non-empty cells in the direction specified (or
   to skip all empty cells in that direction, as appropriate).
Is this different from Ctrl-Arrow ?

4) Ctrl+# formats a number as a textual date (there are various other
   quick formatting key combinations).
Neat.  If you can find a list of these we can add them.

5) Shift+Space to select a row, Ctrl+Shift+Space to select all.  I notice
   that Ctrl+Space to select a column is implemented (but doesn't work
   the same way as Excel if the selection contains more than one column
   - Excel selects all selected columns, Gnumeric just the one with
   the active cell).  Not particularly important.
There are 2 things at play here.
1) 0.65 treats the full range selection the same way XL does.
2) We are forced to use Meta-space rather than Shift-space due to
   internationalisation problems.

6) Gnumeric appears to have no concept of "array formulae"
   (used with CTRL+SHIFT+ENTER in Excel).
   Array formulae are extremely powerful, and IMO an essential part
   of any spreadsheet.  We couldn't use Excel without them.
Gnumeric supports array formulas.  I think 0.6[34] had a minor bug
that made them unusable from the keyboard, but they are there.
NOTE : we only support matrix mode, Gnumeric does not do implicit
iteration as yet.

7) CTRL+SHIFT+A after a function name, or a function name followed
   by an opening parenthesis, lists the names of the arguments to
   the function in Excel.  This is very useful.  e.g. try it in
   Excel after typing "HLOOKUP" or "HLOOKUP(" before pressing enter.

Thanks for Gnumeric!  There's a long way to go; I wish I had time to
This is quite useful.  Please file 1-4 & 7 as enhancement requests at


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