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Find Function

 
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d2w
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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 9:58 am    Post subject: Find Function Reply with quote

I have a few of my co-workers using open office for the past few months. (Trying it out to see if we will move to open office instead of staying with you know who). We have come across a few problems, but I have found the solutions, so far besides this one.

Now I've come across another problem. Our administrative assistant was trying to use the find function in calc. She didn't know the exact phrase she was looking for so she tried to put in some of the phrase (excel would go out and find similar matches). But calc just looks for what she put in, not for similar matches. Do I have to put an asterix by the file name if I don't know the full name of the file?
Or is there another way to do this?

Any and all help will be greatly appreciated!

TIA

Doug

Sorry if this is a repost, but I tried to search and didn't find anything.


Last edited by d2w on Mon May 19, 2008 9:48 am; edited 1 time in total
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d2w
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PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 7:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TTT - anyone have some input on this for me?
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Villeroy
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PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 8:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You post in the spreadsheet forum and mention a "find function" which is documented in the help files and works exactly as in Excel (=FIND(what;where;[position]).
OK, obviously you don't refer to a spreadsheet function. Menu:Edit>Find&Replace has some sophisticated extras that had been matter of some discussion in this forum. Then you mention file names describing some auto-complete feature. So you are trying to find files? You do not tell us which office version you are using. You do not even tell us the operating system where you stored the files you are looking for.
Well, this is exactly the type of posting, I use to drop without reading ever again.
If Menu:Tools>Options...OpenOffice.org>General,[X]"Use OpenOffice.org dialogs" does not give the functionality you seem to be missing then I'd suggest you rephrase your question in another sub-forum titled Setup and Troubleshooting (if I understand correctly, the problem is not related to spreadsheets at all).
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d2w
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PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 9:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

version: 2.3
OS: XP pro


Well this question could go into Setup and Troubleshooting, but I am more concerned in a spreadsheet (especially in a larger spreadsheet w/a few pages). Using the find function will be more helpful in my situation.

I've went into excel, find & replace and put in the string with just part of a phrase that I am looking for, and it comes back with similar matches. In calc, find & replace, I open the same spreadsheet and put in the same string within the find & replace and nothing appears. It seems as if needs to be the exact phrase/word. Calc doesn't give similar matches. My question, is there a way to get similar matches in Calc?

Or do I have to upgrade to version 2.4?


Please don't assume next time, and try not to be such a dick. I am just trying to get use to open office, but if there are more people like you, I rather just go back to microsoft products.
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keme
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PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Resolving ambiguity: A "function" can mean two things in Calc. Data manipulating "instructions" that go in a formula within a cell, and a specific way the program can be made to work. The former is the most common usage, but here "function" means the latter. Find and replace is part of the functionality of Calc, or "a function of Calc" if you will...

In Excel you can use the ? and * wildcards to "widen your search". In Calc you get a more powerful, but also a bit more complex, syntax, known as "regular expressions" (or regex). In short, the period means "any character" in OOo regex syntax, while the asterisk means "any number of the previous character". In find & replace you also need to select more options and tick the Regular expressions box.

So to mimick Excel's question mark, you use the period in Calc. To mimick Excel's asterisk, you use period+asterisk.
For more advanced use, read the help on "Regular expressions", then just try it out.
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David
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PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 3:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think d2w is looking for a "grepping" utility perhaps; one that will find close matches, as does Google in its searches. [In fact, Google will find close matches rather than what is sought specifically, I think.]

David.
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keme
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PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

David wrote:
I think d2w is looking for a "grepping" utility perhaps; [ ... ]


Which is what I wrote, sort of...
GREP: Global search with Regular Expression, then Print the result back.

Of course, the "find" is not a perfect "grep". The "find all" would be closer, but as far as I can see it's not reliable in Calc.
Using a filter with regex will find all occurrences, but not "globally" (limited to one column per expression).
Still, if I'm reading the request right, those are the best options I can see in Calc, unless we want to delve into macro programming (or register the spreadsheet as a database and build a query ...).
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RickRandom
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PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 11:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the original question was about:

1. Using File, Open.
2. Then being able to search for a specific filename (with wildcards) or file content, as you can in Excel, via a "More" or "Options" button.

It's a feature I use in Excel at work where I have 20 years of spreadsheet files, and I also use the equivalent feature in Word.

I think it doesn't exist in Calc. You'd need to use the Windows Explorer / File Manager search and in XP it always seems rubbish compared with the one in earlier versions of Windows.
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