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At 10:02 15/09/2012 +0100, Leon Stringer wrote:
In the past you would prefix numbers with a single quote to get them treated as text in Calc (and other spreadsheets), i.e. you'd type '123 and see 123 in the cell with the contents left-aligned (in Western LTR languages at least). Now auto-correct appears to be changing the single quote to a left single quote so it appears in the cell, i.e. you see '123 in the cell.

I'm surprised you say "Now": this behaviour was certainly the case in OpenOffice, before LibreOffice existed. At least, that was my experience on Windows XP.

In Getting Started with LibreOffice 3.5 it says:
If "smart quotes" are used for apostrophes, the apostrophe remains visible in the cell.
  To choose the type of apostrophe, use Tools > AutoCorrect > Custom Quotes.
  The selection of the apostrophe type affects both Calc and Writer.

But there's no such option (there's Tools > AutoCorrect Options...).

Yes: at Tools | AutoCorrect Options... | Custom Quotes | Single quotes, you can remove the tick from Replace in order to suppress this behaviour.

I'm alarmed that a way of working that has been common in spreadsheet programs for a very long time has been changed ...

It doesn't appear to me that it has.

... but, does anyone know how number should now be entered as text in Calc?

Yes. You can switch off the AutoCorrect behaviour as above (and easily switch it on again after a particular period of data entry if you prefer).

But there is another workaround which may be more convenient, especially if you normally choose to rely on the AutoCorrect behaviour with quote marks. Calc sees the typing of the quote mark and the subsequent automatic correction as two separate actions, so you can achieve what you need by undoing the second action and leaving just the first. Immediately after you type the quote mark (and see the correction), go to Edit | Undo - or, more easily, press Ctrl+Z - and you will see the quote mark changed back to a straight quote. Then enter your number.

I trust this helps.

Brian Barker

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