working with multiple spreadsheets

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working with multiple spreadsheets

Sebastian Queißer
Dear Calc team,

at work I often have to compare figures from different spreadsheet
files (for example imagine a movement analysis for some figures from
financial reports of different reporting quarters). In my opinion
neither OpenOffice nor MS Excel has a really intuitive and fast method
for achieving this.

Though MS Excel is based on a multi document window, the only advantage
is, that Excel can arrange the opened files vertically or horizontally.
This a bit better than with OpenOffice where you have to arrange two
complete OpenOffice windows by yourself.

Nevertheless I prefer the single document window of OpenOffice, but my
suggestions would be to add some sort of layers (as you have it in a
painting programm). In every layer one spreadsheet file can be loaded.
Then one would need something similar to the split window function.
After using this, one should be able to assign different layers to
different parts of the window. Now the user can work with different file
as if they were one.

A special case would be to open the same file again in a new layer and
use my proposed feature to work easily across different sheets within
the document.

Another interesting thing making life easier would be some sort of
"synchronized scrolling". Imagine you have very similar spreadsheet
files only filled with different data. Take two of them and display them
side by side assuming the feature described above. Now you want to look
up some figures in the first file to compare them to the correspondent
figures in the second file. Then it would be nice if the view of the
second file follows your scrolling / cell cursor movement in the first
file.


What do you think about the proposals? Would it be hard to implement?
Or doesn't it make sense to you?

Best regards,
Sebastian

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Re: working with multiple spreadsheets

Niklas Nebel
Sebastian Queißer schrieb:
> Though MS Excel is based on a multi document window, the only advantage
> is, that Excel can arrange the opened files vertically or horizontally.
> This a bit better than with OpenOffice where you have to arrange two
> complete OpenOffice windows by yourself.

In Windows, you can select two windows in the task bar and arrange them.

> Nevertheless I prefer the single document window of OpenOffice, but my
> suggestions would be to add some sort of layers (as you have it in a
> painting programm). In every layer one spreadsheet file can be loaded.
> Then one would need something similar to the split window function.
> After using this, one should be able to assign different layers to
> different parts of the window. Now the user can work with different file
> as if they were one.
>
> A special case would be to open the same file again in a new layer and
> use my proposed feature to work easily across different sheets within
> the document.

That could be useful, but there would be some overlap with the operating
system's window handling.

> Another interesting thing making life easier would be some sort of
> "synchronized scrolling". Imagine you have very similar spreadsheet
> files only filled with different data. Take two of them and display them
> side by side assuming the feature described above. Now you want to look
> up some figures in the first file to compare them to the correspondent
> figures in the second file. Then it would be nice if the view of the
> second file follows your scrolling / cell cursor movement in the first
> file.

Yes, that would certainly be useful. I think there is already an issue
about it, but nobody's currently working on it.

Niklas

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Re: working with multiple spreadsheets

Sebastian Queißer
Hi Niklas,

thanks for your answer.

On Do, Nov 05, 2009 at 09:10:58 +0100, you wrote:
> Sebastian Queißer schrieb:
> >Though MS Excel is based on a multi document window, the only advantage
> >is, that Excel can arrange the opened files vertically or horizontally.
> >This a bit better than with OpenOffice where you have to arrange two
> >complete OpenOffice windows by yourself.
>
> In Windows, you can select two windows in the task bar and arrange them.
Yes, also with Linux I think there are window managers which can do
this. I already thought of this. But letting the window manager arrange
the spreadsheets beares another problems. Having in both or all three or
four windows drawn the whole toolbar (which is not small in OpenOffice)
wastes a bit of space.

>
> >Nevertheless I prefer the single document window of OpenOffice, but my
> >suggestions would be to add some sort of layers (as you have it in a
> >painting programm). In every layer one spreadsheet file can be loaded.
> >Then one would need something similar to the split window function.
> >After using this, one should be able to assign different layers to
> >different parts of the window. Now the user can work with different file
> >as if they were one.
> >
> >A special case would be to open the same file again in a new layer and
> >use my proposed feature to work easily across different sheets within
> >the document.
>
> That could be useful, but there would be some overlap with the
> operating system's window handling.
I cannot see the point why the window manager should get in trouble. My
idea is that there is only one OpenOffice Calc application which opens
the other spreadsheets. The window manger (or operating system) doesn't
even notice that you opened a second spreadsheet.

Ok, you could say we want to keep the application simple. But then I ask
you, why are there different tabs or sheets contained in a spreadsheet?
My proposal would only extend the concept of spreadsheets to an
additional dimension. I think the picture of an additional layer hit it
very well, perhaps the third dimension could also be useful to speed up
some sort of calculations, but this would be a second step.

Regards,
Sebastian

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Re: working with multiple spreadsheets

Sebastian Queißer
In reply to this post by Sebastian Queißer
Dear Calc team,

I discovered issue #44079 [1] where someone requests at least the MS
Excel feature for arranging different opened sheets.

I cannot imagine that my proposal is so hard to implement. I'd like to
have a look at the code, could anyone give me some hints where to start
looking at?

Best regards,
Sebastian

[1] http://qa.openoffice.org/issues/show_bug.cgi?id=44079

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Re: working with multiple spreadsheets

Niklas Nebel
On 11/07/09 22:06, Sebastian Queißer wrote:
> I discovered issue #44079 [1] where someone requests at least the MS
> Excel feature for arranging different opened sheets.
>
> I cannot imagine that my proposal is so hard to implement. I'd like to
> have a look at the code, could anyone give me some hints where to start
> looking at?

The implementation of "New Window" could be a good place to start. It's
a single implementation for different document types, in
sfx2/source/view/viewfrm.cxx, see handling of SID_NEWWINDOW.

Niklas

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kmw
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Re: working with multiple spreadsheets

kmw
This post has NOT been accepted by the mailing list yet.
As this subject seems to have given low priority, I'd like to revive it, since the lack of synchronized scrolling is the one function that prevents us from using Calc over Excel.

Knut
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Re: working with multiple spreadsheets

casalgado
This post has NOT been accepted by the mailing list yet.
Please let me know if there is any progress on this topic. It is very useful for me "Synchronous Scrolling" on spreadsheet.