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At 02:56 11/11/2013 +0200, Ady Noname wrote:
If the numbers (formatted as text) are already saved in your spreadsheet, I would normally suggest a simple procedure involving "paste special" and multiply (by "1"). This has worked for me in several other spreadsheet tools. But Calc will (currently?) fail, because Calc adds a single quotation mark at the beginning of the cell. So what seems to be just "1" (without the double quotation marks), in Calc actually is "'1" (without the double quotation marks, but including the single initial single quotation mark).

No, the reason this fails is because you are trying to multiply text by a number. If this worked, the original problem would not exist: the user would be able to involve his text values in mathematical formulae directly. And it's wrong to think of that leading single quotation mark as actually being in the cell. Preceding a numeric value by a quotation mark is how you indicate in typing that you want the value to remain as text and that you do not want the value interpreted as a number. It's also the way that values shown in the Input Line that might appear to be numbers are indicated actually to be text. But there is no quote in the cell.

You could select the relevant cells, change their format and then 'find and replace' on that same selection. But, since this is a special (hidden) character, I'm not sure how to make it happen ('find and replace' might not find the specific character).

Indeed: it won't find it because it's not there!

As a simple user, I see this "hidden" addition of the initial single quotation mark as a _BUG_, and as one of those basic "features" that work poorly in LibreOffice Calc than in several other spreadsheet tools. I don't know if this behavior can be "corrected" or improved.

Aaargh! The quotation mark is not added to the cell, but is used to indicate that you have preserved the value as text, not had it interpreted as a number. That's most definitely a feature, not a bug! There are genuine uses for this: if you live in Newark, New Jersey, USA, your ZIP code may be the five-character text string 07102. But the postal system will not like your misrepresenting this as 7102 - the number seven thousand, one hundred and two.

Brian Barker

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