Issue 90226 - leading numerical char + operator = formula
Summary: leading numerical char + operator = formula
Alias: None
Product: Calc
Classification: Application
Component: editing (show other issues)
Version: 4.1.0-dev
Hardware: PC Windows, all
: P3 Normal with 2 votes (vote)
Target Milestone: ---
Assignee: AOO issues mailing list
QA Contact:
Depends on:
Reported: 2008-06-02 00:08 UTC by tab
Modified: 2013-11-15 09:48 UTC (History)
2 users (show)

See Also:
Latest Confirmation in: ---
Developer Difficulty: ---


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Description tab 2008-06-02 00:08:13 UTC
I a column of 'Expenses'I have cells that, normally, receives only constants,
such as '264.58'.
Sometimes, however, I have to add an item, ie, change the constant to a formula:
'264.58+86.3'. Easy: I hit f2 (to enter the edit mode) and, since the cursor is
at the end of '264.58', I enter '+86.3'. Problem: that's not a formula without a
leading =.  To enter that = sign, I have to hit Home to put the cursor at the
formula beginning, and hit =. (If entering the initial = sign is a problem to
begin with --Issue 20496; eg, ggabriel Thu Jul 29 00:11:54 +0000 2004; Issue
46416--, it becomes worse in this case, when it has to be added in front of an
existing number.)
	I read all the discussion around Issue 20496, and the suggestions to put a
leading + or - to identify a formula, but the requirement to put ANYthing in
front of the first datum ('264.58') will add at least two keystrokes --too much,
when repeated often.
	It would be a lot easier (not only to me, but to anyone trying to enter a
formula beginning with a number) if Calc recognized the obvious: that
'264.58+86.3' is a formula. Or, that any string beginning with a numeral (or .,
-, +, =) is a formula, eg: '20.7+D5'; '6*A44-F12+64.9'; '.5*sum(E8:F22)'.
If the user wants this to be text, let her precede it with an apostrophe;
because real text seldom begin with a numeral, this leading apostrophe will be
required much less often than a leading = in a formula.
	This convention would make constants particular cases of formulae. This may be
undesirable as constants may take less memory. But they can easily be
distinguished from formulae by the absence of an operator; for example, '2.5' is
a constant; '2.5*A4', '2.5-4' are  formulae.
	In conclusion: a string would be interpreted as a formula if it began with a
numerical char (0..9, ., -, +, =) and contained an operator.
	The leading = sign (or +, or -) would remain useful in such formulae as
'=sum(B4:C10)' or '=C3^2'.
Comment 1 oc 2008-07-15 10:44:59 UTC
reassigning features and enhancements to user which
will be the default owner for those tasks (was introduced some time ago)
Comment 2 Edwin Sharp 2013-11-15 09:48:06 UTC
I'm against 264.58+86.3 being recognized as formula.

But pressing Home can be eliminated by allowing 264.58+86.3= being recognized as formula. i.e. 

instead of