[Novalug] OT: sorting spreadsheet columns
RossPatterson at Comcast.Net
Wed Jul 2 08:16:57 EDT 2008
At 00:49 7/2/2008, Jim Ide wrote:
>Spreadsheets are sometimes used as quick and dirty databases,
>although they were probably not intended to be used this
The documentation for the first electronic spreadsheet, VisiCalc, had
a section on how to use it as a database :-)
>f you click the Last Name column and select
>Sort from the menu, only the Last Name column will be sorted,
>and the other columns will remain unsorted.
That depends on what program you're using. Since we're talking about
spreadsheets, the dominant program is Microsoft Excel, and it will
offer to expand the selection for you. It does a pretty good job of
guessing what area of the sheet represents a contiguous table.
>I asked several persons I consider to
>be spreadsheet gurus why you would want this, and asked
>them to give me an example of when sorting just one column
>without disturbing the other columns would be useful,
>but none could come up with an answer.
When you think of a spreadsheet as more than just a single table, it
gets clearer. I've seen lots of spreadsheets that had multiple
independent sections on a single sheet, where a full-row sort of one
table would destroy another.
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