This is a followup of my post yesterday about correct cell format.
Sometimes weird stuff happens in cells.
- Calculations don't work. They just sit there displaying the formula instead of running and displaying the results.
- Date formats don't work. You type in a perfectly good date and some bizarre number appears instead.
- Sorting doesn't work. Sorting numbers might change the order, but to an order you don't expect.
Why? Because the cells think that they are text. So it doesn't make sense to do calculations. You can't multiple bread * milk, so you can't multiply two other things that Openoffice thinks are text.
This happens in Calc spreadsheets and Writer tables. To find out if the contents of your cells are deluded about their identity, select them, right-click, and choose Number Format.
To correct this in Writer, just select the correct format and click OK.
To correct this in Calc:
- Close the number formatting window
- Select the problem cell
- Cut out the contents -- be sure to select and cut the series of characters in the cell, not the cell itself
- Reselect the entire cell, then press Delete
- In the window that appears, be sure that Format is selected. Click OK.
- With the cell still selected, right-click again and choose Format Cells. Select the correct format and click OK.
- Choose Edit > Paste Special
- Choose Unformatted Text and click OK
- Now the calculation should work correctly. And if it wasn't a calculation but a number, now rerun the sort and it should work correctly.
See yesterday's post about number recognition, toward the end, for how to recognize a badly formatted cell that thinks it's text, even though it might have a $ and decimal places.