Help about Calc Functions

Regina Henschel rb.henschel at
Mon Apr 23 09:54:50 PDT 2012

Hi Italo,

please have a look at

Those indexes are needed in the help.

Italo Vignoli schrieb:
> I have tried to figure out the thinking behind the Calc Functions Help,
> but after a couple of days I have given up because it looks impossible
> to understand.
> Basically, the problems are the following:
> 1. Functions are not listed alphabetically. Does it make sense? Does it
> make sense to swap them inside the file to create al alphabetical order
> (which is the usual order for human beings)?

Both kind of indexes are needed, see the above mentioned Wiki-pages. In 
the help an alphabetic index of spreadsheet functions is missing.

> 2. Size of files is wildly different. There are huge files like Math
> Functions and small files like Financial Functions which are even split
> in sections (where the contents do not follow any order, while it would
> be more useful to have - for instance - "Financial Functions A-L"
> instead of "Financial Functions Part One"). Does it make sense to split
> large files to make them more manageable? Does it make sense to rename
> sections to make them like these: A-L and M-Z?

I find the splitting in "Part One", "Part Two" ... very unhandy, because 
I always need to look in all parts to find a function, when searching 
inside the help. Grouping of functions are meaningful, when they are 
easily confused, for example LOOKUP and MATCH. But in most cases I 
prefer a one function - one file structure together with an index. But 
unfortunately that would end up in more then 400 files. So some grouping 
seems to be necessary.

I personally would prefer to have an alphabetic order inside the 
statistical functions. But a thematic order might be useful too, if the 
topic is mentioned in the header. "Part One", "Part Two"... are useless.
For an example of a thematic structure look at the violet part on bottom 

> (Of course, this does not mean that I already know how to split help
> files or to create new help files... but it might be worth studying it
> if it makes sense to improve the overall usability of the help, which is
> now almost useless in several areas).

I agree. But even a more precise description like those linked in
does not help all users. There are examples missing, from which the user 
can decide, whether that function is useful in his case. The problem is, 
that such a help with useful examples would be to large to be provided 
as in-build help. Such help needs to go to the Wiki.

Even the pure description might be to complex to be shown in the 
in-build help. For example see my description in

> 3. There are<comments>  like "see also TANG". Does it make sense to make
> these comments, which might sometimes be useful, be visible to end
> users? In my opinion, having this kind of stuff buried into XML and
> invisible to the end user does not make sense, so either I uncomment it
> making it visible to end user or I delete it (I feel that the first
> option is the best one).

Are those comments inserted to help translators to get a consistent 
translation for cognate functions?

> Sorry for the length. Ciao, Italo

Perhaps more a topic for documentation at than for 
libreoffice at

Kind regards

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