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    Using Calc. was Re: Constructing A Logarithm Table
    From: George Huxtable
    Date: 2009 Jan 16, 22:24 -0000

    "Calc", available free as part of Open Office had been recommended, by 
    Nicolas de Hilster, as a good alternative spreadsheet program to Excel.
    I had asked whether anyone could recommend good printed documentation for 
    using "Calc", comparable to the 1000-page manual available for Excel, as I 
    had found great difficulties in using what I called "on-line help".
    In reply, Scott Owen has pointed out that within Calc, there exists 
    "in-program help". Well, that's exactly what I was trying to use, and 
    finding it so difficult; but chose the wrong term to describe it. Sorry 
    about that.
    I would like to find a better manual that the one I have, which is a single 
    volume covering all of OpenOffice.org 2, (etc) "All in One", by Greg Perry, 
    which devotes 140 pages to Calc. Not nearly enough to do the job thoroughly. 
    Frank Reed has suggested some search procedures for finding a suitable text, 
    which I had tried already, without success. What I really need to find is 
    someone who has and uses such a manual, that he can recommend. No Navlist 
    member, yet, has put his hand up and identified such a manual for Calc, and 
    it looks to me at present as if no such text exists.
    Not that I've been trying to use Calc to do anything particularly exotic. 
    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". There are ways around this, but the Perry book doesn't mention 
    them, or even acknowledge that a problem exists. By delving in the help 
    files, once you have discovered the name that's been chosen to file this 
    business under, you can work out what to do, but it's not a simple process.
    So I'm still looking for that book.
    contact George Huxtable, at  george@hux.me.uk
    or at +44 1865 820222 (from UK, 01865 820222)
    or at 1 Sandy Lane, Southmoor, Abingdon, Oxon OX13 5HX, UK.
    ----- Original Message ----- 
    From: "George Huxtable" 
    Sent: Monday, January 12, 2009 4:28 PM
    Subject: [NavList 7014] Re: Constructing A Logarithm Table
    Nicol�s de Hilster wrote, about choosing a spreadsheet program-
    I would suggest Calc from OpenOffice (http://www.openoffice.org/). It is
    free, reads (and can save) MicroSoft Excel sheets and works cross-platform.
    I have little doubt that Calc (which came free, as a part of Open Office) is
    indeed powerful. I have tried, quite hard, to use it. But is there decent
    printed documentation for it? The only manual I could find combined all
    aspects of Open Office, so it was over-condensed. Many important features of
    Calc, available in the program itself, went unmentioned in that manual. And
    if you can't find that a feature exists, it might as well not be there.
    I'm aware that "online help" is available, but that's one of my pet hates,
    for any software. I'm much happier riffling through the pages of a book (if
    it has a decent index) then digging through menus and submenus for stuff
    that's been cunningly concealed. And quite a lot of the online help with
    Calc has been obscurely written and is hard to understand.
    In comparison, my old copy of Excel 2000 has a superb manual of over 1000
    pages, to which much attention has been given to making it clear and
    If Nicol�s can recommend a better printed manual for Calc, I will go back
    and try it again. There's a big in-principle attraction, for me, in free
    software that can be updated for nothing, compared with expensive commercial
    stuff that becomes no-longer supported, then calls for expensive upgrading.
    contact George Huxtable, at  george@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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