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[SOLVED] Find & Replace absolute newbie question

 
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Economix
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:42 pm    Post subject: [SOLVED] Find & Replace absolute newbie question Reply with quote

This is my first post and first "technical" issue with open office calc.

I am pre-processing a data file to submit to a machine-learning program. I have a "date" column that looks like

2008-01-03-23-49
0
2008-01-04-01-32
2008-01-04-02-13
0
0
-----etcetra--------

The etcetra is there because there are about 63000 observations (rows). I would like this "date" columns to look like

2008-01-03-23-49
?
2008-01-04-01-32
2008-01-04-02-13
?
?
-----etcetra--------

as the "?" is how the data mining software I will be using understands a "missing value". The problem is, when I use the Find & Replace method, I end up with

2??8-?1-?3-23-49
?
2??8-?1-?4-?1-32
2??8-?1-?4-?2-13
?
?
-----etcetra--------

which will be unacceptable by the data mining software. Any ideas of how I can get "surgical" with the Find & Replace method? Any help is appreciated...thanks!!

Edit: Not to mention, when I put 0 by itself into the Find field, even though I selected the column I wanted the changes performed on, it alters ALL of the 0s throughout my spreadsheet. Can I have it only do this to the column I select specifically?

Also, can anyone direct me to any resources specifically detailing the Find & Replace features, since I am sure I'll be making a heavy amount of use of this feature. Thanks again!


Last edited by Economix on Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:47 pm; edited 1 time in total
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JohnV
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Find & Replace:
Search = ^0$
Replace = ?
Under More Option check Regular Expressions
Replace All
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Economix
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks JohnV! That was exactly what I was looking for...any idea about the addendum to my question? For now, I am going to scour this forum to see there are any other threads related to this question.

Thanks again!
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JohnV
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Can I have it only do this to the column I select specifically?
Under More Options check Current Selection Only.
Quote:
Also, can anyone direct me to any resources specifically detailing the Find & Replace features
In the Find and Replace dialog click Help and look for the link, near the top, to List of Regular Expressions. Lots of posts here about how to use them.

Search = ^0$ means zero is the first character in the cell (or paragraph) and it is follow immediately by a carriage return (paragraph break) so it is the only character in the cell (or paragraph).
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Economix
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent!! Thanks once again, JohnV. You are very helpful. Since we're on this topic - I spent the greater part of today attempting to do one more alteration to my OOo data set. There exists a column which contains (in each of its cells) 2 words separated by a single space. Is there a way I can eliminate the space between them, thus creating a column of just one word in each of the cells?

I have tried using the Find & Replace methodology with Find: \n and Replace with: Replace all (I saw this in another thread I stumbled upon during my search). It didn't work, though.

Any ideas?? Thanks again!
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Economix
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I entered [:space:] in the "Find" field, and it worked, but I am not sure what to put in the replace field yet...maybe I'll try [:space:]{0} and see if it works...

[edit] It didn't work...but I changed [:space:]{0} to an empty field and it worked!!!

Thanks you JohnV!!!
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