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I ended up using this option for this time, create a column using the VALUE function, then copy and 
paste special numbers only.

For future I will look at other options. This is something that will be done a lot for the next 
year or so.

I am in the process of converting my sheep records from a LO Spreadsheet system into an SQLite 
database along with writing my own flock management program, LambTracker. During the 
writing/conversion I am maintaining both systems because I have a requirement to keep records for 
the federal government and I can't risk a bug in my SW screwing up the database or making my 
records/reports inaccurate. So while I am still in the writing/debugging (estimated to be the next 
year for initial work, then another year to fine tune) I need to maintain both systems. 

I will look at other options that will automate the process for the future but I needed to get 
something done quickly as I had to report the results this week. 

On Nov 10, 2013, at 6:37 PM, Brian Barker wrote:

At 14:57 10/11/2013 -0700, Oogie McGuire wrote:
I have a spreadsheet that is the output of a SQLite Database on Android. It contains numbers 
that have been formatted as text. When I copy the columns into my LibreOffice Spreadsheet I want 
to make sure that they are interpreted as numbers. However they come in as text and the manuals 
and help at Libre Office are less than useful.

I found reference to a value function, but no information on how to apply it to this data.  I 
tried just changing the format of the cells to be number but that didn't do anything at all.  
I've also attempted various styles of paste special but still it doesn't work.  There has got to 
be a way to quickly say this text is all really numbers and get it working!

There are various ways to do this, and you may want to experiment in order to discover what suits 
your work flow.

The VALUE() function?  Yes, you can use that:
o In a spare column, row, or range (as appropriate), or even on another sheet, enter =VALUE(Xn) - 
where Xn is the start of the range.
o Fill the formula down the column, along the row, or through the range.  You now have a copy of 
your data - but as numbers, not text.
o If desired, copy the numeric values and paste them back over the originals, but using Edit | 
Paste Special... (or right-click | Paste Special... or Ctrl+Shift+V) instead of ordinary Paste.
o In the Paste Special dialogue, remove the tick from "Paste all" if necessary and ensure that 
Numbers and Formats are ticked but Formulas is not ticked.
o You can now delete the temporary values or delete their rows or columns if you wish.

No, changing the format of the cells will not help: a cell's format affects the way its value is 
displayed and the way inserted values are handled, but not the actual contents of the cell.

Another easy way is via a comma-separated-value file.  Save the sheet with your rogue text values 
using File | Save As... and selecting "Text CSV (.csv)" for "Save as type:".  Now open the 
resulting (temporary, scratch) CSV file in LibreOffice and you will have numeric values that you 
can copy where you need them.  Yes - as has already been suggested - you could alternatively 
import the CSV file as an additional sheet in your existing spreadsheet document.

I trust this helps.

Brian Barker

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Eugenie (Oogie) McGuire 
Desert Weyr  
Paonia, CO USA

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