back to article Open Document Format updated to fix spreadsheets

A major change to the Open Document Foundation (ODF) spec to improve spreadsheet functionality has been ratified by standards chiefs. OASIS has voted to approve ODF 1.2, which the group claims now offers "a 100 per cent bug free and reliable, cross-product spreadsheet formula syntax". Change tracking has also been improved. ODF …

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Anonymous Coward

"...100 per cent bug free and reliable..."

100 per cent? All that proves is that their maths module has rounding errors or is flat out wrong.

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You can never...

"You can never prove the absence of bugs, only their presence". Words to live by - the fact your testing showed 0 bugs simply means you missed the "magic number" which will cause them.

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Two reasons I can't use OpenOffice Spreadsheet

1. The CSV files it outputs are incompatible with eBay. If you wish to bulk-list on eBay without using their buggy crashy app Turbolister, you must use Excel to generate CSV files.

2. Their 'Bug is a Feature' issue that allows data from cells to be deleted when they are invisible due to a filter having been applied. If you delete contents from a filtered column in Excel, only the visible data is deleted, the cells that are hidden remain untouched.

I'm not pro or anti, just that these have caused some head-against-wall moments for me.

However, in it's favour, it doesn't hide all the commands I've used for years behind a f#&king Ribbon Interface. WTF was that all about? Why was it not implemented as an optional addition for several revisions of Office, why?

Excel's main issue for me is it's tendency to fmess with my data... When dealing with SKUs, ISBNs and serial numbers I WANT leading zeros, I DON'T want Scientific E Notation... I just want a button that makes Excel leave my data the f#&k alone, leave it as I entered it.

Open Office could market their lack of a ribbon interface as a 'selling' point: "We're more like Excel than Excel is!"

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Len

1) is about CSV, not ODF in OpenOffice. That has nothing to do with ODF.

2) sounds like a problem with OpenOffice, not with the Open Document Format.

Have you considered LibreOffice or IBM Symphony? Both support ODF but may not have those issues.

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If you want Excel to leave your data alone type it in with a leading single quote ', or pre-format the cells as text. Either way the output CSV should be fine.

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Len
Happy

MS Office to update in April?

Interesting comment from Michiel Leenaars who expects Microsoft to announce ODF 1.2 support in April.

https://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/240930/spreadsheets_come_to_odf_as_version_12_wins_approval.html

MS Office 2007 and later currently support ODF 1.1 for reading and writing. As the technical details of the ODF 1.2 standard were fixed over a year ago (the rest taken up by proofreading, legal review etc.) many office suites already support 1.2

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@ Len

Good point, my CSV issues are not to do with ODF directly. However, they are relevant to the point raised in the article that the work done on ODF would encourage more organisations to consider using software other than MS Office.

I will have a look at Libre Office, thanks for the tip.

Mark 65, thanks too. Alas, the CSV output *should* be fine, but just isn't. After wasting a morning drawing this conclusion for myself, it was confirmed by trawling some forums.

Cheers guys!

Yeah, I tried the ' trick, but my data was being imported, not typed... and even in TEXT formatted cells Excel still displays in Standard Notation for long serial numbers.

At least there was no smug Paperclip adding insult to injury, else the laptop woulda gone out the window!

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