File: cell-refs.texi

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@node   Cell referencing , The Screen, Typing, Basics
@comment  node-name,  next,  previous,  up
@section Cell Referencing
@cindex Referencing cells
@cindex Addressing cells
@cindex Ranges

  Many commands and functions operate on a given cell or group of cells,
and therefore take a cell or range reference (address) as an argument.
An individual cell is specified by its row/column coordinates, which
start with row 1, column 1 in the upper left of the spreadsheet.  A
@dfn{range} is a rectangular group of cells, specified by giving its
left and rightmost columns and top and bottom rows.

@cindex Absolute references
@cindex Relative references
  A reference may be absolute or relative.  An @dfn{absolute} reference
is measured from the upper left of the spreadsheet, and does not change
when the cell containing it is moved or copied.  A @dfn{relative}
reference, however, is measured as an offset from the cell it is in, and
when moved points to the cell at the same offset relative to the new
location.

  There are two ways of addressing cells in Oleo, called @code{a0} and
@code{noa0}.  To switch between the modes, use the @code{set-option}
command:
@cmindex set-option

@table @code
 @item M-x set-option a0
  Sets @code{a0} mode.
 @item M-x set-option no a0
  Sets @code{noa0} mode.
@end table

In both modes the case of cell and range letters is ignored.

@menu
* noa0 mode::                   Using noa0 Mode
* a0 mode::                     Using a0 Mode
* Comparison::                  Comparing a0 and noa0 modey
@end menu


@node   noa0 mode, a0 mode, Cell referencing, Cell referencing
@subsection noa0 Mode
@cindex noa0 mode
@vindex noa0

  In @code{noa0} mode (the default), absolute cell addresses have the
form @w{@code{R@var{row}C@var{col}}}, where @var{row} and @var{col} are
the row and column (as integers).  Thus, @code{R1C2} is the second cell
from the left on the top row.  The cell in the leftmost uppermost corner
is @code{R1C1}, and the cell in the rightmost lowermost corner is
@code{R65535C65535}.  

Relative addresses have the form
@w{@code{R[@var{rowoffset}]C[@var{coloffset}]}}, as in @code{R[-1]C[+1]}
(the cell above and to the right of the current cell).  An offset of 0
can be omitted, along with its square brackets: @code{RC[+2]} (the cell
two columns to the right).  The plus signs of positive offsets can also
be omitted.  Absolute and relative addresses can be combined, as in
@code{R4C[-1]} (the cell in row four that's one left of the current
cell).

  Ranges in @code{noa0} mode are specified as
@w{@code{R@var{row1}:@var{row2}C@var{col1}:@var{col2}}}, where the row
and column references may be either absolute or relative, and can be
mixed.  Thus, @code{R1:4C1:[-2]} refers to the cells of rows one through
4, columns one through the second column to the left.  If @var{row1} =
@var{row2} or @var{col1} = @var{col2}, the colon and second number may
be omitted, as in @code{R1:10C2} (rows one through ten in column two).

@node   a0 mode, Comparison, noa0 mode, Cell referencing
@subsection a0 Mode
@cindex a0 mode
@vindex a0

  In @code{a0} mode, relative references have the form @w{@var{col_let}
@var{row_num}}, where @var{col_let} is the letter of the column and
@var{row-num} is the row number.  @var{col_let} can be upper or lower
case.  The cell in the leftmost uppermost corner
is @code{A1}, and the cell in the rightmost lowermost corner is
@code{CRXO65535}. The columns are initially single letters (A-Z) , then
double letters (AA-ZZ), then triple letters (AAA-ZZZ), and finally some
quadruple letters (AAAA-CRXO).  

@code{B3} refers to the cell in the second column of row 3.
Since this is a relative reference, it will change when the containing
cell is moved, to refer to the cell at the same relative position;
e.g. if the cell is moved two columns to the right the reference will
change to @code{D3}.

  Absolute references have the form
@code{$}@var{col_let}@code{$}@var{row_num}, as in @code{$A$1} (top left
cell).  These do not change when the containing cell is moved.  Both
types can be mixed with predictable results, e.g. @code{$A4} has an
absolute column but a relative row.

  Ranges are given as @var{cell_ref}@code{:}@var{cell_ref} or
@var{cell_ref}@code{.}@var{cell_ref}, where the @var{cell_ref}s describe
diagonally opposite corners of the range.  Thus, @code{A1:B2} refers to
the topmost, leftmost four cells in the spreadsheet.

@node Comparison,  , a0 mode, Cell referencing
@subsection Comparison

In order to get an understanding of these two adressing modes, assume that the
cell cursor is in @code{E7} = @code{R7C5}.  The left hand column is @code{noao}
mode, and the right hand one is @code{a0} mode.

@example
                 R1C2              $B$1
                 R[-1]C[+1]        F6
                 RC[+2]            G7
                 R4C[-1]           D$4
@end example