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If you are importing a txt or csv file into Calc you can use INSERT >>
SHEET FROM FILE. The first part of the wizard will you can click OK. The
second dialog has a section "Other Options". In this section check
"Detect Special Numbers". There is a preview screen which shows what the
data will look like. If the column has the same data type (numbers,
text, datetime) Calc will convert the raw text into a more appropriate
data type. Also, once checkbox is selected, Calc will remember the
setting for subsequent imports.

This may be easier than cut/paste special.
Yes, as I said, if there is still a need to 'import', that's simple 
enough. But if the data is already in a spreadsheet, there is a 
well-known "paste special" simple procedure. It works in other (more 
than one) spreadsheet tools and usually is fast enough. The more 
important matter is that LO Calc is making this simple conversion 
more complicated than necessary.

I wonder if this should be reported as a bug / enhancement, so the 
behavior is changed / improved. Any comment from Calc developers 
would be really appreciated.


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