A huge (seemingly growing) amount spreadsheet related questions comes from
the fact that today's spreadsheet users do not understand the difference
between value and number format.
Regarding the values, they do not understand the difference between text
values and numeric values since a text may look like a number and a number
may look like a text. Regarding the number formats, they do not understand
that number formats don't apply to text and that no formatting attribute
must ever change a cell value (no color, no font, no border, number format
But the difference between number and text is very clear and it's
fundamental and it did not change since the days of "Visicalc" and "1-2-3".
It determines each and every feature in the whole spreadsheet application.
In this case we read a lot about the number format while missing the simple
information if it is number or text.
Talking about numbers, removing formatting attributes alltogether reveals
all problems since you see the actual numerically sorted cell values
(alleged day numbers in this particular case). The number format has no
influence on sorting nor formula result other than hiding some info behind
the numeric cell values.
Talking about text, we can use the user defined sort lists to override
alphabetical sorting. Again, no formatting attribute has any influence on
the sort order. A number format does not even change the appearance of a
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