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On 2015/12/14 3:27, Brian Barker wrote:
At 02:16 14/12/2015 +0900, Thomas Blasejewicz wrote:

Values that *appear* as the examples above may be stored as numbers or as text. It is worth considering carefully what your data should be. Many data items that look like numbers are in fact text strings that happen to consist only of digits. Telephone numbers and numeric postcodes are examples. The last four digits of my telephone number are 4852. No-one would pronounce that "four thousand, eight hundred and fifty-two". Someone else will have the same number but ending 2426. Does his telephone ring half as loud or half as often as mine? Of course not. Telephone numbers and postcodes can also start with a zero, which in these cases is significant, unlike leading zeroes in numbers. My telephone area code is 020: that's not "twenty". If your bank PIN was set (unwisely) to 0123, you could not get money out of an ATM using "123" or "00123". Nor do you get more money by having a "larger" PIN. James Bond was not Agent Seven (despite what UK telephone directories believe).

It is possible - probably very easy - to enter similar data as a mixture of different types. If your "decimal separator" is set one way but you enter numeric data containing the alternative, it will be interpreted as text - or perhaps even as a date. Data prepared in a different locale may not be as it appears. There are two simple ways to guide you to see the nature of your data:

o Set the horizontal alignment to Default. You can click whichever alignment button is selected in the Formatting toolbar to cancel it, or go to Format | Cells... | Alignment | Text alignment | Horizontal. Numbers will be right-aligned and text left-aligned.

o Go to View | Value Highlighting. Numbers are shown in blue and text in black.

Choose carefully what your data should be. Convert any in the wrong form. There are many ways to do this; the TEXT() and VALUE() functions may help. Paste results back over your data. Now control the appearance of your data by formatting it (Format | Cells...). Ensure you have made appropriate choices at Tools | Options... | Language Settings | Languages - in particular "locale setting" and "Decimal separator key".

I trust this helps.

Brian Barker

As precise and informative as always. Thank you!
However, I will not have the time to reformat everything.
This is a "review" job (of a translation) with tens of thousands of cells for which I have only a few days.
Technical specifications of things I cannot see or deduct from the text.
Original client = Japanese company, but the order came from their German subsidiary, which apparently ordered the translation from an Italian agency. Initially they seemed to try a translation into English and from there into German and the translator apparently did not know the difference between , / . AND the work apparently needed to be done in one of those CAT tools, which did not work for me, so that I got "special permission" to work
with a CSV file derived from that CAT tool.

Maybe that will help you to image what the "data" look like ...

But that does not alter the fact, that your instructions are VERY helpful.
I will definitely make use of them in the future.

Delving again into that hell of letters and numbers ... probably until 2 am

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