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    Re: Using Calc.
    From: George Huxtable
    Date: 2009 Jan 18, 00:21 -0000

    Responding to my failed quest for a decent printed manual for Calc (the
    spreadsheet program that comes free with Open Office) comparable with the
    various 1000-page manuals that exist for Excel-
    
    Frank had written, in [7022]
    
    George, you're looking for: "a better printed manual for Calc"
    
    Go to google books, type in Open Office, click Search. There are quite a few
    manuals for the software and some are available in "Limited Preview" which
    should mean that you can read some chapters online (but unfortunately, that
    may not work from an IP based in the UK due to copyright laws).
    
    If that doesn't work, hit a big bookstore (in the US, Borders usually has
    the better selection). There are many choices --be sure to look for one
    that's up-to-date. Of course, if you have to spend $40 or so for the
    documentation... suddenly it's not the "free" solution it appeared to be."
    
    ====================
    
    I already had a printed manual for Open Office, which devoted only 140 pages
    to Calc, and so provided insufficient detail, in my view. I concluded that
    the detailed Calc manual I was looking for didn't exist.
    
    Frank reiterated-
    
    | The problem, George, is that there are in fact a great many of these books
    available. There "may" be a monolithic, tell-it-all (and expensive) manual
    among them, but is that really what you're looking for?
    
    ==================
    Yes it is.
    
    And searching in a similar way to that suggested by Frank, I have not found
    one that deals with a recent version of Calc (mine came with Open Office
    2.0, 2 or 3 years ago) in any more detail that the 140 pages provided in the
    book by Perry that I referred to.
    
    I am not looking for another single volume attempting (and failing) to cover
    all aspects of Open Office.
    
    If Frank can show my where my search is going wrong, or even better,
    discover details of just one of the "great many of these books available",
    that meets my requirement, I would be grateful.
    
    =====================
    I had mentioned one of the problems I had come across-
    
    "But (for example) if you try using a spreadsheet to do any sort of
    recursion or accumulation, you soon find there are traps set to avoid
    "circular references".
    
    To which Frank replied-
    "Yes, circular references are bad."
    
    I disagree. Circular references, in which a cell tries to calculate a result
    that depends on its previous value, are not in themselves "bad". Sometimes
    they are necessary. 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.
    
     "Maybe you could spell out what it is you're trying to do? There might be a
    simple solution, and it is apparent that there are plenty of people on
    NavList who can help. "
    
    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. 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
    instead.
    
    George.
    
    contact George Huxtable, at  george{at}hux.me.uk
    or at +44 1865 820222 (from UK, 01865 820222)
    or at 1 Sandy Lane, Southmoor, Abingdon, Oxon OX13 5HX, UK.
    
    
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