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# Re: [libreoffice-users] calc compliance with openformula

```On 04/21/2012 05:51 AM, Jean-Francois Nifenecker wrote:
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```Le 21/04/2012 10:24, e-letter a écrit :
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```On 20/04/2012, Regina Henschel<rb.henschel@t-online.de>  wrote:
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```SUM( { NumberSequenceList N }+ )

e.g. SUM(a1+b2)
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No. it would be SUM(a1;b2)

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It would be better if calc returned an error, stating incorrect syntax

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I'm afraid it is *not* incorrect syntax. Likewise, SUM(5) is correct syntax as well.
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```The question is general because a general understanding is required!
The example concerns only integers, e.g. where a1=1 and b2=2, the
results are correct, but the question is about learning the correct
syntax so that formula entered in a calc spreadsheet will not be lost
or corrupted when the spreadsheet is opened in another odf compliant
software, e.g. gnumeric. I don't want to use a sum syntax such as
(a1+b2), which gives the correct result, but if opened in another
program, the formula is lost or gives an incorrect answer.

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All spreadsheet software I know of are accepting the syntax above. Of course, the syntax to use is preferably SUM(A1:A10), ie using a cell range rather than discrete cell references, but the latter can be useful (see 3. below).
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So the following are all syntactically correct:

1. SUM(A1:A10)
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-> returns the sum of the numerical values within the range. Non-numeric values are ignored.
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2. SUM(A1:A10;Z1:Z10)
-> like 1, with multiple ranges.

3. SUM(A1;B2;Z15)
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-> returns the sum of several cells. Non-numeric values are ignored, opposite to what A1+B2+Z15 would return (see Regina's answer).
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...and any combination of the previous.
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I think the above syntax was developed for Lotus 123 in the early 80's(?) and everyone else implemented the rules/syntax to be compatible with Lotus. By the mid 80's this syntax was standard for all spreadsheets.
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The only real change from Lotus is that (using 1) is in Lotus formulas were enter +SUM(A1:A10) while the IMHO the more logical =SUM(A1:A10) was introduced later by the mid 80's.
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HTH,
```
```

--
Jay Lozier
jslozier@gmail.com

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