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    Re: Using Calc.
    From: Frank Reed
    Date: 2009 Jan 17, 18:56 -0800

    I wrote previously:
    "Yes, circular references are bad."
    And George, you disagreed. Fair enough. Instead of my succinct, blanket "bad", 
    I should have written "circular references are a bad idea; possible but 
    problematic, and not recommended in general". And if you do turn on 
    "iterative" recalculation, then you run the risk of difficult bugs arising 
    from other unintentional circular references.
    You added:
    "But you have to find a way to stop the automatic recalculation, usually 
    enabled "by default", that would otherwise resuilt in an endless loop. And 
    how to do that is a matter that tends to be deeply hidden in the works, and 
    in the documentation."
    And yet it's so easy to find the answers to these questions in the built-in 
    help. I know, I know... you don't like built-in help. And I understand that. 
    I am no fan of the documentation in Calc, which I consider second-rate. But 
    the answers, at least to this specific question, are just a few keystrokes 
    away. I hit "F1" to open Help. I click "Index" and under "Search term", I 
    type "ite" and before I have even typed the "r" of "iterative", it has 
    already narrowed down on "interative references in spreadsheets". Click on 
    that, and there's the details. If you need to turn off "auto-recalculation", 
    search on "recalc".
    And you added:
    "It was just an example of a trouble I've had. That job was successfully
    completed ages ago, using Excel, because I could discover how, from the
    Excel manual."
    Do you still have the Excel manual?? Calc is largely functionally equivalent 
    to the previous version of Excel. The only substantial difference, from my 
    experience, is the layout of the menus. Your Excel manual should serve as the 
    "monolithic, tell-it-all" reference and then all you need is a sort of 
    "decoder ring" to find out where the various functions are tucked away in the 
    Calc menu system. Maybe you can put up with the unpleasant built-in help, 
    just for that one use.
    "I've little doubt it could have been done using Calc instead,
    if only I could have found out how. Now, I would probably do it using VBA
    That might be a good solution. Of course, that's a whole nother can 'o worms, 
    since it usually requires yet another manual.
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