Re: Excel ate my DNA!
- From: Helmut Wollmersdorfer <helmut wollmersdorfer gmx at>
- To: gnumeric-list gnome org
- Subject: Re: Excel ate my DNA!
- Date: Fri, 16 Jul 2004 18:53:12 +0200
Andreas J. Guelzow schrieb:
On 16/07/04 08:22:04 AM, Helmut Wollmersdorfer wrote:
I often was surprised - and sometimes angry - about this behaviour of
Excel. It is not easy to understand by an unexperienced user.
I am not sure what is not to understand.
I tried now in Excel (german version) to give you examples:
Precondition: default installation, new sheet
1) Enter 2004/01, 2004/1, 2004.1, 2004-1 and this keeps unchanged
2) Enter 01/04, 1.4 displays 01.Apr, fx displays 01.04.2004
3) Enter 20040101, displays ###########, mouse-over comment says
(translated from german) "negative date values and times are displayed
as ######". Changing format to standard let's disappear this behaviour.
After this, the behaviour is not reproduceable for the hole sheet. But
switching format back to date, shows the same behaviour. Obviously this
is an Excel bug.
4) Enter 2004-1-1, 2004.1.1 displays 01.01.2004
5) Enter 04-1-1, 04.1.1, 4.1.1 displays 04.01.2001
6) Enter 4:1:1 displays 04:01:01
7) Enter 4.1.1 4:1:1 displays 04.01.2001 04:01 (why now without the
Trying the same in Gnumeric 1.2.13 behaves very different to Excel. In
Gnumeric most of the entered values are not changed automatically. The
gnumeric way is more close to _my_ expectations.
Users seem to expect that
Gnumeric `knows' that certain entries are date and/or times. In fact we
get regular coments that Gnumeric mistook a date for a time (or vice
If somebody enters 040101, this can be a text (e.g. a part number in an
inventory), a number-value, a date or a time. Without given or choosen
format, a program can not decide automatically, what it is. Just let it
unchanged, and you can do what you want with it. Unchanged will _never_
Now I could envision a preference setting to have the inputs assumed to
be text by default.
That sounds good. Maybe there should be 3 possibilities:
1) a medium automatic behaviour like now in Gnumeric, which recognizes
some inputs, where mistakes cannot be possible. This preference should
2) Treat every input as text.
3) Clone the Excel way.
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