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At 17:56 29/04/2017 -0400, Doug McNutt wrote:
I'm having a problem, once again, for copy and paste from US Bank downloads into my spreadsheet ... 20170428153706454600 and 20170425154724510819 are two "numbers" that the bank uses as unique flags that need to be saved ...

Your scare quotes betray that you are getting the point that these are not numbers at all, but merely text strings that happens to be composed only of digits. The way to tell that they are not numbers is to ask yourself what would be the point or effect of adding them together or subtracting one from the other - the very sort of things that you do with numbers. (Answer: None at all.)

Note the apostrophe-like character that I have added at the beginning.

That is necessary only if you are *typing* numeric strings into your spreadsheet. (And it should be an apostrophe, not an "apostrophe-like character" - whatever that is.)

Precision of 64 bit floating point forbids allowing Calc to convert the sequence to a floating point number when I copy and paste.

Well, you don't want these strings to become numbers anyway.

The number gets placed in the cell in a way that cannot be seen because it is drawn in space that is above the top of the cell. Increasing the height of the row makes it appear.

I'm guessing that you are somehow copying not just the numeric string but some trailing character representing a line or paragraph break. What happens if you
o double-click the cell to allow editing within the cell,
o move the cursor to the end of the cell contents - on the space under the text itself, that is, and
o press Backspace?

Can anyone provide a procedure that will always work?


o First, format the cells to receive this data as Text. You want text, not numbers. Choosing the appropriate format is one of the first things you should do in a spreadsheet. Surely all these tokens will go into a single column that contains nothing else? So you need merely to select the column header and set the format to Text.

o When you paste in the data, use Edit | Paste Special... (or Ctrl+Shift+V) instead of ordinary Paste and choose "Unformatted text". In the unlikely event you see the Text Import dialogue, click the column header under Fields and change "Column type" from Standard to Text.

I still have problems with mm/dd/yyyy dates which sometimes get apostrophes added to them by the Calc software.

This behaviour varies with your locale and other settings. Remember to set cell (or column) format appropriately first. Are you again pasting in extraneous characters?

Does Calc save dates as floating point 64 bit words?

Spreadsheets save dates as numbers - the number of days from a date origin - but displays them according to your chosen format.

I trust this helps.

Brian Barker

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