I ran into a problem with the formatting in cells today for sorting. I was trying to sort a number of dates, and they kept sorting as strings. I set the format of the cells to the appropriate date format, made sure all the cells were showing up that way, and tried the sort again. It didn’t work.
I went and read the following two blog entries:
- A Little Thing About OpenOffice Number Formats in Writer Tables and Calc Spreadsheets
- Weird Calculation and Sorting Problems in OpenOffice Calc Spreadsheets and Writer Tables
The bottom line here is that it’s not enough to change the format with the data in place. Once you start having this type of problem you apparently have to repaste the data.
One variation on the procedure occurs if you are pasting into a block. In that case, rather than the simple choice of unformatted or formatted text, you will get the following:
You just have to choose the proper thing to paste.