Column name instead of letter

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Column name instead of letter

Postby sfhertach » Thu Apr 27, 2017 5:34 am

I am trying to create a spreadsheet to catalog some antique books. I want to name the columns instead of using the capital letters...Title- Author- Publisher- etc. How do I change?

Title Edited. A descriptive title for posts helps others who are searching for solutions and increases the chances of a reply (Hagar, Moderator).
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Re: spreadsheet

Postby FJCC » Thu Apr 27, 2017 6:26 am

There is a limited facility for doing this that is explained in the Help under Column Headers - Using in Formulas. It looks to me like you can only reference the whole set of data in the column and not a subset. Can you explain in more detail what you want to do? There may be another answer.
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Re: spreadsheet

Postby RusselB » Thu Apr 27, 2017 7:10 am

I personally have nothing against using spreadsheets for a simple database, but I have to say that this sounds like a job for Base (the database component of Open Office), as there's nothing in the given information, nor that I can think of in relation to a project of this type (cataloging books) which would require calculations (possible exception being if you needed to get a total value for specific books).
That said, I would like to suggest that the OP consider creating/using a database, rather than a spreadsheet.
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Re: spreadsheet

Postby Zizi64 » Thu Apr 27, 2017 7:15 am

I want to name the columns instead of using the capital letters...Title- Author- Publisher- etc. How do I change?


You can not remane the columns (and the rows). You can rename a sheet, or a cell, or a cellrange...
But you can make your own headers for your table. Put the names into the cells of the first row. The tha data list will begin in the next row.
And you can switch off the displaing of the original colunm/row names from the menu: View - Columns & Row headers
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Re: Column name instead of letter

Postby Lupp » Thu Apr 27, 2017 12:57 pm

FJCC surely wanted to hint at the 'Tools'>'Options'>'OpenOffice Calc'>'Calculate'>'Automatically find column and row labels' setting.
(I would dissuade users from relying on it. It is too easily causing errors/malfunctions, imo.)

The letters (or groups of) and numbers used to identify the columns and the rows are essential in spreadsheets. If there are not exclusively "dead data" but also evaluations by formulae, there must be a well specified way to create references. Virtually no evaluation could be based on "implicitly created ranges" only.

Chosen labels are entered into the cells above the data commonly.
If there actually are data in the sheets and nothing else user may hide the technical headers of columns and rows by deselecting
'Tools'>'Options'>'OpenOffice Calc'>'View'>'Window'>'Column/row headers'. I would judge this a very bad idea.
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Re: Column name instead of letter

Postby jrkrideau » Thu Apr 27, 2017 1:08 pm

sfhertach wrote:I am trying to create a spreadsheet to catalog some antique books. I want to name the columns instead of using the capital letters...Title- Author- Publisher- etc. How do I change?


If you want to construct the equivalent of a library catalogue and not a sales catalogue you may want to look into a bibliographic management system. I have used Zotero for years with very good results.

For a sales-type catalogue I think RusselB's advice is excellent.
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Re: Column name instead of letter

Postby sfhertach » Fri Apr 28, 2017 5:02 am

I appreciate all the replies. I've got seven 30 gallon totes full of antique books which I inherited. I have no idea what I have other than they are mostly old English literature. So what I want to do is inventory them and list them by title, author, publisher, date of publication, etc. Thinking I might have them appraised and maybe put them up for sale. The spreadsheet is the first thing that came to mind.
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Re: Column name instead of letter

Postby azalea4va » Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:10 pm

I definitely agree that creating forumulas that have descriptive names for values in columns, as opposed to something like $AR12, makes the spreadsheet far more readable (which is always a good thing).

You can do something like this. Let's say that column AR you want to label as the STATE column. Click on a cell in any row, say row 5. Then go to 'Sheet -> NamedRanges... -> Manage -> Add'. Create a name like 'ThisRow_STATE' and specify the formula as $AR5. The $AR is the column you are naming and the '5' matches the cell you clicked on (without a dollar in front of the 5, it is a relative value so it refers to the "current" row). Click Add/OK.

Now you can use the name ThisRow_STATE anywhere in a spreadsheet formula and it will yield the value in the AR column of that cell's row. Pick any name descriptive name you want instead of 'ThisRow_STATE'.
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Re: Column name instead of letter

Postby Villeroy » Thu Apr 11, 2019 7:47 am

sfhertach wrote:I am trying to create a spreadsheet to catalog some antique books. I want to name the columns instead of using the capital letters...Title- Author- Publisher- etc. How do I change?

Such catlog does not require any formulas.
Start the list with one row of column labels.
Create a new directory.
Store the list in that directory as dBase(*.dbf)
Connect a Base document to the directory.
Now you have a dBase database with one table having named columns.
You can work years and years with it. Millions of records are possible.
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Re: Column name instead of letter

Postby Villeroy » Thu Apr 11, 2019 12:37 pm

More details about the above suggestion.
Save spreadsheet list with one row column labels as dBase(*.dbf) in a dedicated directory.
--------------------------------
File>New>Database...
[X] Connect to existing database
Type: dBase
Specify your dBase directory containing the dbf file.
[X] Register the database (make data availlable for text documents and sheets)
Save the database.
Use the form wizard to embed a form document to the database. A database form is attached to a Writer document and the Writer document is embedded in a Base document.
-------------------------------
My demo form download/file.php?id=37979 is a database form attached to a stand-alone Writer document. I created it manually with toolbars "Form Design" and "Form Controls".
The underlying database of my example form is the "Bibliography" database which is shipped with OpenOffice and LibreOffice. That table is also a dbf file in a dBase directory.
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