Lotus 123 slash command

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Lotus 123 slash command

Postby ijramirez » Wed Oct 22, 2008 4:19 am

Anyone know of any extension that mimics Lotus 123 slash keyboard accelerator commands. To me that is a great feature Lotus 123 always had. My secretaries REFUSE to use Excel or OpenOffice Calc because they cannot live without that feature. (and I agree with them). Is there is any site that collects ideas for future extensions? i look at the ooo extensions site but I couldn't find a place for suggestions.
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Re: lotus 123 slash command

Postby squenson » Wed Oct 22, 2008 6:44 am

I don't want to be rude, but your secretaries (and yourself) are living in the past and if they can convince you, the boss, that this is sufficient to NOT learn something new, you are in bad shape. The world is changing, not always to the better, but it IS changing! Lotus 123 has a microscopic market share and I doubt that OOo would implement such feature for you three. Excel has it though, so the excuse is not acceptable in my opinion. And by the way, pressing the Alt key in a Windows application brings you to the menu.

But to be more constructive, here is the link to query issues and eventually submit one. You have to register (no link with this forum) in the top right corner. http://qa.openoffice.org/issues/
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Re: Lotus 123 slash command

Postby acknak » Wed Oct 22, 2008 3:43 pm

It's been so long since I've used (or even seen) Lotus 123, that I've forgotten what those commands do. Could you give a couple of examples?

Like squenson, I'm guessing that the ship has sailed on this one, but I'm curious to understand what is so nice about the way 123 works.
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Re: lotus 123 slash command

Postby ijramirez » Sat Oct 25, 2008 3:03 am

Obviously your ranting is totally uncalled for. Percentage-wise Lotus 123 might have a small market share but that doesn't take away from the THOUSANDS of people who still use it. Why? Because most people use Excel because "that is what other people are using" not because it does anything special that other Spreadsheet software can't do. So the argument that something is new and therefore people must use it is silly. Tella that to the fools who ran to the store and bought Windows Vista. Obviously you don't know what the slash command in Lotus 123 is.


squenson wrote:I don't want to be rude, but your secretaries (and yourself) are living in the past and if they can convince you, the boss, that this is sufficient to NOT learn something new, you are in bad shape. The world is changing, not always to the better, but it IS changing! Lotus 123 has a microscopic market share and I doubt that OOo would implement such feature for you three. Excel has it tough, so the excuse is not acceptable in my opinion. And by the way, pressing the Alt key in a Windows application brings you to the menu.
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Re: Lotus 123 slash command

Postby squenson » Sat Oct 25, 2008 6:31 am

I apologize if I gave you the impression to rant, this was not my intention.

You are right, you own the right to keep using Lotus 123 as long as you want. But OOo developers -- who are not officially reading this forum by the way -- also have the rights to NOT implement a feature that will concern only a few Users. You are talking about THOUSANDS of Users of Lotus 123, while in its first week the latest version of OOo has been downloaded THREE MILLION times. Development team still has many bugs or features to fix to make the product super user-friendly, so you should not have too much hope to see the "/" command implemented soon. Follow the link of my last post to register your request.

Also, please answer Acknak's question and let me know whether the use of the "Alt" key can be consider as an equivalent of the "/" command or not.
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Re: Lotus 123 slash command

Postby AnandaSim » Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:39 am

squenson wrote:You are right, you own the right to keep using Lotus 123 as long as you want. But OOo developers -- who are not officially reading this forum by the way -- also have the rights to NOT implement a feature that will concern only a few Users. You are talking about THOUSANDS of Users of Lotus 123, while in its first week the latest version of OOo has been downloaded THREE MILLION times. Development team still has many bugs or features to fix to make the product super user-friendly, so you should not have too much hope to see the "/" command implemented soon. Follow the link of my last post to register your request.

Also, please answer Acknak's question and let me know whether the use of the "Alt" key can be consider as an equivalent of the "/" command or not.


I just came across this posting - I was searching for Lotus 123/DOS commands for a possible new client. This discussion may show the generation gap - between 1-2-3 users of 1980s and OOO / Excel users of 2008.
Lotus slash commands were ingrained into our psyche in the 1980s. We had no GUI, no mouse - the slash commands were so well learnt that Lotus wanted to patent them and Borland Quattro, VP Planner and a whole industry had to discuss whether UI could be patented.

1-2-3 does not at all think like Excel/OOO - a simple idea for comparison is that for working with blocks of cells in Lotus, you carry out the menu actions and then select your block whilst in OOO/Excel, being a GUI, you select the block and then carry out the menu action. It's not only that. 1-2-3 would hair trigger our fingers to press + to begin a formula, the modern spreadsheets start a formula with =. There are so many other differences.

When I made the conversion back in 1993, I went cold turkey - essentially stop thinking 1-2-3 for a week, only use Excel for a week and then you break the habit. If you drive OOO/Excel like 1-2-3 there's a lot you're missing out on.

This possible new client was talking about using /FCAN in 1-2-3 ---- I haven't found an equivalent in Excel - Excel appears not to think that way at all. OOO Calc does Insert > Link to External Data ..........
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Re: Lotus 123 slash command

Postby Villeroy » Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:44 am

Since version 2.3(?) you can start formulas with a + or -. If some syntactical conditions are met, the leading = will be added.
Please, edit this topic's initial post and add "[Solved]" to the subject line if your problem has been solved.
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Re: Lotus 123 slash command

Postby rlincolna » Fri May 01, 2009 3:42 pm

I, too, would like to see a plug-in which allows this use. Of course, they are not required, but when learned and used they are far faster than clicking around with a mouse.

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Re: Lotus 123 slash command

Postby TheGurkha » Fri May 01, 2009 4:00 pm

I just checked the issue tracker and there doesn't seem to be ab open issue about this. To be honest, and to re-iterate waht has already been described above, I can't see this ever happening. The world has moved on, and the target audience for this is far too small. There are just too many other high-priority things that need to get fixed.
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Re: Lotus 123 slash command

Postby Miles3rd » Sun Aug 09, 2009 8:56 pm

I just wanted to add my 2 cents. There are HUNDREDS of thousands of us who have and still use Lotus 123 even though we also have and use Open Office and the Microsoft Office applications.

We have several hundred lotus applications with macro's that we have developed, fine tuned, and perfected over the years at our company. It would be extremely costly and difficult if not impossible for us to convert or reprogram some of the complex macro's that use the slash and LotusScript commands to Visual Basic or its equivalent. Accordingly, we continue to use our existing macros and most of our employees even prefer using the Lotus 123 software and macro's we have developed over the years once they see how easy they are to use. Even when they have access to the other software applications available on their computers.

Those of us who have been around since the late 1970's and early 1980's (i.e. VisiCalc period) and know the key slash commands in Lotus can, in most cases, walk circles around those who have to use the slower mouse and related commands. There are however, several things that can be done much faster and easier using the mouse and newer commands. We will continue to use all of the available software and commands available to us regardless of their age until something more efficient or useful comes along.
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Re: Lotus 123 slash command

Postby TheGurkha » Sun Aug 09, 2009 10:39 pm

Miles3rd wrote:We will continue to use all of the available software and commands available to us regardless of their age until something more efficient or useful comes along.


Cool. Just don't expect the new stuff to do it the old way.
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Re: Lotus 123 slash command

Postby Peter-DG » Tue Feb 09, 2010 8:45 am

Just my 2 cents: using a spreadsheet without the slash protocol is like driving a car with crank windows. You have to screw around with a mouse forever to do what a few instant key strokes will do. I use excel and Lotus-123 constantly and excel is real drudgery in comparison.

I'm really shocked that IBM didn't implement the slash protocol in their "Lotus" Symphony Spreadsheet. Anyone have any hands on experience with that spreadsheet setup?
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Re: Lotus 123 slash command

Postby Villeroy » Tue Feb 09, 2010 12:07 pm

I never use the mouse in Calc unless I need to draw some shape. This forum is entirely driven by users. No developers here,
It is not a popular voting system to propagate arbitrary/conflicting/counter-productive suggestions.

Code: Select all   Expand viewCollapse view
We have several hundred lotus applications with macro's that we have developed, fine tuned, and perfected over the years at our company. It would be extremely costly and difficult

The Lotus people did their job very well and you accepted their terms of trade. Now you want OOo take responsibility for your decision?
Please, edit this topic's initial post and add "[Solved]" to the subject line if your problem has been solved.
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Re: Lotus 123 slash command

Postby saftag » Tue May 04, 2010 1:21 pm

Hey there's some pretty sad bitchiness in this thread. What started as a simple question has resulted in some pretty lame rudeness.

Like the originator I love Lotus 123. I've been using it for 20 years and it's mostly automatic. It does everything that I need easier than the others. That is except convert into modern XLS files for distro to clients and friends.

Thus I'm trying to switch over to OOo and actually use it for most tasks now.

I'm really frustrated atm because I can't find an equivalent for the old Lotus "/RV" (/[range][value]) which converts a range of formulae into a range of numerals.
I need it for daily spreadsheets that use a column per day and today's column calculates various things based on yesterday's outputs to the same fomulae. Once the thing gets to about 3 years wide it tends to slow down somewhat. With /RV we can convert a year or two of data into plain numbers and delete all but the first (converted) column. Naturally you can't do that without converting because the maths gets screwed up.

So if anyone knows a OOo equivalent or workaround please let me know
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Re: Lotus 123 slash command

Postby acknak » Tue May 04, 2010 3:54 pm

This is a common operation; OOo Calc should really have a simpler button or menu available to do this, but it can be done without too much difficulty using Copy/Paste Special:

1) Select the cells you want to convert
2) Edit > Copy
3) Edit > Paste Special
Un-select "Paste All"
Un-select every other option below, except...
Select "Numbers" (and maybe "Text" if you have any text cells selected)
OK
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Re: Lotus 123 slash command

Postby saftag » Wed May 05, 2010 4:57 am

TYVM acknak

That sounds like it'll do the job
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Re: Lotus 123 slash command

Postby whgeiger » Thu Mar 31, 2011 10:56 pm

acknak wrote:This is a common operation; OOo Calc should really have a simpler button or menu available to do this, but it can be done without too much difficulty using Copy/Paste Special:

1) Select the cells you want to convert
2) Edit > Copy
3) Edit > Paste Special
Un-select "Paste All"
Un-select every other option below, except...
Select "Numbers" (and maybe "Text" if you have any text cells selected)
OK


In reply to some of the Old vs. New comments made here, the following is submitted:

To Copy Values in Lotus 123

/RV<sc>.<ec>~<sc>~

Bottom Line: Which is quicker?

Old vs. New, Antiquated vs. Modern are bogus issues.
The problem is one of 'Not Invented Here at Microsoft', so we (some unknowingly) suffer the consequences by the millions.
While entering data in a spreadsheet, why would one want to leave the keyboard to manipulate it with a mouse? Answer: Because Billy Gates said so!
The lowest common denominator rules here as well. But as BG would be quick to point out, that strategy moves lots of product, mice included.

Regards,
WHG

Legend
<sc> start cell, <ec> end cell, ~ Enter Key
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Re: Lotus 123 slash command

Postby Villeroy » Thu Mar 31, 2011 11:03 pm

If you would spend some time on this forum you would learn that a command sequence like /RV<sc>.<ec>~<sc>~ is far beyond the capabilities of today's computer users. The more people try to use software the lower the IQ of the average user until they are used by the software. Today's "advanced user" would ask somebody else to write a Basic macro which composes and executes your command sequence.
Please, edit this topic's initial post and add "[Solved]" to the subject line if your problem has been solved.
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Re: Lotus 123 slash command

Postby whgeiger » Sat Apr 02, 2011 8:56 pm

Villeroy wrote:If you would spend some time on this forum you would learn that a command sequence like /RV<sc>.<ec>~<sc>~ is far beyond the capabilities of today's computer users. The more people try to use software the lower the IQ of the average user until they are used by the software. Today's "advanced user" would ask somebody else to write a Basic macro which composes and executes your command sequence.


Hi V,
The methodology used to execute a command, via either keyboard or mouse, is a lot simpler than the concepts and metaphors embodied in the spreadsheet venue. The issue remains which UI approach is quicker, and easier to use? I suggest that the menu approach used in Lotus-123 makes the slope of the learning curve a lot shallower than that of the disorganized and daunting ribbon clutter found in today's version of Excel. So, the IQ issue you raise may not support your argument of mouse-GUI superiority in the spreadsheet setting.
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Re: Lotus 123 slash command

Postby Villeroy » Sat Apr 02, 2011 9:13 pm

You don't have to convince me. Please read about the problems of today's computer users. They do not want to use software. They want the software to do things by point and click, nothing but point and click.
On the other hand, Ctrl+C, Ins, Enter is not too bad (after you specified the details once for the current session).

Very interesting: http://channel9.msdn.com/Blogs/2008Sess ... the-Ribbon
It shows how MS tries to comply with the lowest level of user experience after 2 decades of office software.
Please, edit this topic's initial post and add "[Solved]" to the subject line if your problem has been solved.
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Re: Lotus 123 slash command

Postby Dave Morgan » Sat Apr 09, 2011 3:22 am

I agree with the OP, regardless of market share, Lotus slash commands are extremely efficient. I've been using Excel spreadsheets since the the mid 1990's, but still prefer slash commands to menus, dialogs, and mouse clicks. Functionally Excel IS more powerful than Lotus, but the UI is a kludge. Basically it's a spread sheet with word-processor menus duct-taped onto it. A simple spreadsheet that takes minutes to create in Lotus, takes hours in Excel. If you're keyboard illiterate, or if you do a lot of formatting, then Excel is adequate. However, if you touch type and need calculations without formatting, then Lotus slash commands are still far superior.

Excel is actually the perfect symbol of Microsoft arrogance, since the slash keys were included in the original design. But someone at Microsoft (most likely Gates himself), decided they had the better way. Unfortunately, they never asked users what they wanted.

Adding slash commands to Excel would be trivial -- they're probably still in the code.


Eventually, Microsoft will rip off the keyboard and replace it with a steering wheel. The cycle from tool to toy will then be complete. It's really too bad.
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Re: Lotus 123 slash command

Postby Villeroy » Sat Apr 09, 2011 11:28 am

Code: Select all   Expand viewCollapse view
Unfortunately, they never asked users what they wanted.

Surely they did ask. I am convinced that most of the potential users at that time did not grasp the benefit of commands. You get most of the potential new users with a learning curve starting at zero. For the same reason they did not care of the command line until they noticed that Windows became a pain in the ass for the more professional administrators.
Please, edit this topic's initial post and add "[Solved]" to the subject line if your problem has been solved.
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Re: Lotus 123 slash command

Postby ijramirez » Mon May 23, 2011 3:24 pm

As the original poster of this thread, I was really surprised by some of the answers. Making an issue of "new" vs. "old" is absurd. My staff and i know OOo Calc and Excel very well, so is not that we are clinging to Lotus 123 because we don't know any better. But if there is a more efficient way of doing a spreadsheet function, why changing to something "new" that is a lot less efficient when it has to be done over and over again during the course of a work day? As a matter of fact the so call "keyboard shortcuts" present in modern software is an attempt to imitate some of the slash commands in 123 and the dot commands in WordStar. I wonder how people would feel if a software company decides to eliminate <CTRL> c <CTRL> x or <CTRL> v for copying, cutting and pasting and force users to always go the "new way" of grabbing the mouse, moving it to the Edit menu and then down to copy, cut or paste. Probably wouldn't be important for those who don't do it often, but if hey do that tens of times during the day, they would be missing keyboard accelerators.

So if the answer to my question was: "sorry I don't know if that extension is available", I can accept that. Very simple, don't need the lecturing from people who don't know better and probably don't have a business to run. Who needs a cannon to kill a fly when the proper tool is a swatter?
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Re: Lotus 123 slash command

Postby z06pilot » Mon Jun 27, 2011 4:35 pm

I really miss the slash command too. I remember that at least the first version of Excel had an option to map the Lotus 123 command set to the keyboard, I think because no one would switch for that very reason. I wonder what kind of effort would be required to develop a plugin for this functionality; it would be a real winner in my opinion.
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Re: Lotus 123 slash command

Postby mriosv » Sat Nov 26, 2011 5:44 pm

You can write almost everything that the 123 can do as text in cells, like a program, and then you can execute directly from the cell or from a buttom or call from other macros, give names, uses all the spreadsheet functions, change the macro while is running, etc. In this area there is not comparation
Here part of the macro to do a dialog box (the commands and functions are in spanish).
Captura.PNG
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Re: Lotus 123 slash command

Postby Fageol » Wed Dec 03, 2014 1:14 pm

Mouse-oriented spreadsheets feel like such kludges compared to the old DOS 123 or Quattro Pro. I was a member of this forum many moons ago, I rejoined hoping to find some way to restore the old slash command like Lotus 123 or Quattro Pro. No luck. But if anybody knows of a 123-command-style spreadsheet, I'd love to hear about it.
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Re: Lotus 123 slash command

Postby Villeroy » Wed Dec 03, 2014 6:41 pm

I rarely use the mouse in Calc. If you refuse to learn some useful navigation and selection shortcuts you should definitively stick with an application you actually like to use. This one is not for you.
Please, edit this topic's initial post and add "[Solved]" to the subject line if your problem has been solved.
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Re: Lotus 123 slash command

Postby Fageol » Wed Dec 03, 2014 7:21 pm

Thanks for the reply. I'll have to try to figure out how to move blocks of numbers, text, etc. from one place to another without naming them as a range and then dumping them elsewhere. Things like that. Copy and paste seems to require a mouse. Maybe it's just because I'm an old guy (a few days from age 73) and like so many geezers, recall some past simpler times. Sorry I'm no longer capable of replying in German -- it's been too long since I lived in Kaiserslautern courtesy of the U.S. Army.
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Re: Lotus 123 slash command

Postby Villeroy » Wed Dec 03, 2014 8:28 pm

What is a "block of cells". OK, it's one rectangular cell range. Limited by what? By empty cells? Are you talking about a region of adjacent non-blank cells? Or is it the used range of a sheet which reaches from the top-left non-blank until bottom-right non-blank? Both can be selected by user defined shortcuts. Other rectangles can be selected by a standard keyboard's navigation keys together with Shift and Ctrl analog to keyboard selections in text editors and file browsers.

Ctrl+A selects the entire sheet which is a built-in but useless shortcut because nobody ever wants to do anything with a billion cells.
I bound this shortcut to "Select Data Area" of command category "Edit" which selects the current region of adjacent non-blanks.
Please, edit this topic's initial post and add "[Solved]" to the subject line if your problem has been solved.
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Re: Lotus 123 slash command

Postby Fageol » Wed Dec 03, 2014 8:48 pm

In the old 123/Quattro days one hit the slash key then the letters R (range) and S (select) and pushed the arrow keys to outline a rectangular selection of cells bounded by whatever one highlighted. Then one hit the enter key and with the arrow keys moved to the upper left cell of a range of cells where the information was to be placed. Then one hit the enter key again. So without moving off the keyboard, one could readily move information. I guess pressing shift and ctrl and arrow keys (assuming that I understand you correctly) to highlight a bunch (or range, or block) of cells and then doing the copy and paste routine seems less facile. I can't think of some of the other perceived (perhaps only by me) conveniences of the slash command. To me it's like the difference in typing in an Autocad command versus mousing to a menu, selecting an operation, and then performing it. I guess I'm a keyboard kind of guy. I'm not too experienced at Autocad; however the people whom I know who are experience use keyboard commands, e.g. "l" for line, instead of mousing somewhere to tell the program to originate a line.
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