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RE: Calculation Software

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I've just been working on an Excel spreadsheet using such "named variables"
for cells. I've found that if I give the cells names and then type the
formula as a text string using the variable names, I can then copy the text
string to the adjacent cell to calculate the value - I  replace the first
character with an equals sign, and then do any cleanup of the formula that
may be necessary (to meet required syntax). This gives me a cell with the
formula written in text form, and it is easier to write the formula using
names vs cell locations. 

If I type it as a formula with an equals sign first, when I copy the formula
to an adjacent cell, it copies the cell locations (row & column) rather than
the cell names. Thus, entering the text string first seems to work better. 

-----Original Message-----
From: Christopher Wright
To: SEAOC Newsletter
Sent: 7/13/2004 10:16 AM
Subject: RE: Calculation Software

>The biggest problem with Excel is that the formulas used in the cells
are
>not visible, whereas with Mathcad "what you see is what you get".
Without meaning to push Excel too hard, you can clear up a lot of the 
confusion by using named variables in Excel rather than row and column 
references. =P*D/(2*S*E-1.2*P) really does make a lot more sense than 
=B3*B11/(2*B9*B10-1.2*B3), and you can strip the equals sign and display

the formula in an adjacent cell if you need to.

By way of a disclaimer, I raced out and bought MathSoft's wretched port 
to the Mac some years ago, believing in my heart that it really couldn't

be all that bad. It was worse, and when their snotty rep told me I
should 
be running on a PC, I resolved to have nothing more to do with Mathsoft.

Most Mac users agreed, and I really hope they lost their shirt on the 
product. Mathematica is better anyway. So is my HP-69 calculator, even 
though it's dead.

Christopher Wright P.E.    |"They couldn't hit an elephant at
chrisw(--nospam--at)skypoint.com        | this distance"   (last words of Gen.
___________________________| John Sedgwick, Spotsylvania 1864)
http://www.skypoint.com/~chrisw



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