Apache OpenOffice (AOO) Bugzilla – Issue 107681

Calc: entering large numbers & stopping scientific/extended notation

Last modified: 2013-01-29 21:51:34 UTC

Large numbers should be enterable without approximation to extended or scientific notation. I understand the problem that for Calc to perform the math users expect you rely on the platform's hardware to save on major programming work and that the hardware is usually designed to an IEEE standard limiting numbers to about 15 decimal places. I see this also affects large positive integers even without a decimal part. I found it with 20-digit numbers. But sometimes we just want very little arithmetic because we're willing to do our own work, for which we do want to enter the numbers and have them stay the way we enter them. I found a workaround: type a letter and follow it, in the same cell, with the very large number I want. Of course, adding them up then gets even more complicated, requiring another workaround. The approach that might be best is to allow us to turn extended notation off when it starts approximating in exchange for accepting less sophistication with calculations available. I use OOo 3.0.0 OOO300m9 (Build 9358). I don't plan to upgrade now since this one works. I looked in the help index but it had nothing on scientific notation or extended notation. Thank you. -- Nick

I'm not sure, what your request is about. Because of constrain to double format, OOo can only calculate with 15 significant (decimal) figures. But you can format the cell to use more places, they will be filled with zeros. If you will write numbers with more significant figures, that is only possible when you write them as text, for example be putting an apostrophe at the beginning or formatting the cell to text before entering the figures. But then you have to do all calculations by yourself, using macros for example. Please try again to explain, what feature Calc should get.

You got it. > If you will write numbers with more significant figures, that is only > possible when you write them as text, for example be putting an > apostrophe at the beginning or formatting the cell to text before > entering the figures. But then you have to do all calculations by > yourself, using macros for example. You've described the problem. The solution is to make calculating more like the method for shorter numbers, since that's already familiar to users. But probably it can't be programmed to be done the same way. So, what would help is if the method for large numbers at least could be given a similar user interface and supplied with Calc. Then users wouldn't all have to invent workarounds or be mystified by trying to handle large exact numbers.

I set this to new, because the feature wish is clear now. But please read my comments in issue 104430 and also have a look at issue 54078.

I read both and their links. No disagreement. This feature does not need to reproduce all of Calc's math capabilities. The most popular will do for now. Calc might thus outperform, say, Excel in meeting users' expectations.