google sheets - so frustrating...

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WasabiOsbourne
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google sheets - so frustrating...

Post by WasabiOsbourne »

for those who don't know... google sheets is google's cloud spreadsheet. like excel but i assume much less powerful

anyway, i bought a chromebook - a very small laptop and/or a tablet with a keyboard............ love it so much. haven't touched my ipad once since i bought this 4 months ago.... and chromebooks are cheap. perfect for simple word processing and spreadsheets and surfing the internet.

so i'm trying to use google sheets but finding it very frustrating. seem to get errors for pretty much any formula i put in and i have search engine-ed syntax of google sheet's formula. some is similar to excel, some not. but logic is exactly the same.

am i missing something like you don't put hit ENTER to make a formula live......... sort of like array's in excel where it's a different keystroke combo than enter.

hoping people can help... getting a book delivered tomorrow that should help. frustraing that i think what i have been doing should.

thx in advance :)
jchef
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Re: google sheets - so frustrating...

Post by jchef »

Have you tried Microsoft Office Online?

In case you weren't aware, Microsoft now offers a free online version of Office accessed through a web browser. It doesn't have as many features as the standard desktop version and it only works when you have an internet connection, but you may find it more to your liking if you having been using MS Office for a long period of time.


But if you are trying to do something complex, you may find that both Google Docs and MS Office Online don't support it. Neither is as feature rich as the desktop version of MS Office.
hcj
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Re: google sheets - so frustrating...

Post by hcj »

I've been using Google sheets for a few years -- switched over from Excel -- I don't remember exactly but I think I am doing all the same things I did in Excel. Let's say if I want to add up a column of numbers... I click in the cell, type something like:

=sum(A1:A10)

then I hit "enter" and it calculates. Does something basic like that work for you?

Also when I start typing it usually comes up with some help text to help me complete it, are you seeing that?
Topic Author
WasabiOsbourne
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Re: google sheets - so frustrating...

Post by WasabiOsbourne »

hcj,

thx.. that sort of worked....... but then variations of it didn't work...

i wonder if some of the documentation for it is flat out wrong - whether general web or google help content

it's working a bit better but i swear some of this stuff is exactly as i put it in before and got error messages....

anyway i am getting there......... it's a bit like excel for macs. everything logically is the same but much of commands/syntax is different...or maybe open office is better analogy
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TimeRunner
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Re: google sheets - so frustrating...

Post by TimeRunner »

Are you using Chrome browser? (IDK if that makes a difference, but it's worth a shot.) Function help: https://support.google.com/docs/table/25273?hl=en
One cannot enlighten the unconscious.
hcj
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Re: google sheets - so frustrating...

Post by hcj »

Another thought: I don't know about chromebook but on my phone, in the Google sheet app, it likes to add a comma at the end of my formula. I always have to delete that before hitting enter, or I will get an error message.

Try checking your formula character for character against what you used in excel and see if there's something funky like that? If you're using a complicated formula, check for spaces where there should not be a space?
hcj
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Re: google sheets - so frustrating...

Post by hcj »

If you want to post the link to your spreadsheet, I would be happy to take a look and see if I can help troubleshoot. You would need to make sharing permission "anyone with the link".
AlohaJoe
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Re: google sheets - so frustrating...

Post by AlohaJoe »

You haven't actually told any of us what you are trying to do or why it isn't working.

In general, those things make it easier for others to help you.
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badbreath
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Re: google sheets - so frustrating...

Post by badbreath »

I am switching over slowly since the Megacorp is. I do not like the excel or Power point google like programs but maybe it is I am very efficient at the MS ones.
“While money can’t buy happiness, it certainly lets you choose your own form of misery.” Groucho Marx
Topic Author
WasabiOsbourne
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Re: google sheets - so frustrating...

Post by WasabiOsbourne »

AlohaJoe wrote:You haven't actually told any of us what you are trying to do or why it isn't working.

In general, those things make it easier for others to help you.
thanks for the condescending response........ i realize it's some sort of a delusional status symbol of this forum so i'm used to it.

=sum(g30,f30) ............ the numbers for g30 and f30 are 8.92% and 3.61%......... and of course google sheets answer to 2 decimal points is 0.00%

and =f30-g30 ..............comes out as #value!
hcj
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Re: google sheets - so frustrating...

Post by hcj »

Try using a: instead of , for the sum.

The subtraction one looks like it ought to work. I'll play around with it later.
AlohaJoe
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Re: google sheets - so frustrating...

Post by AlohaJoe »

WasabiOsbourne wrote:=sum(g30,f30) ............ the numbers for g30 and f30 are 8.92% and 3.61%......... and of course google sheets answer to 2 decimal points is 0.00%

and =f30-g30 ..............comes out as #value!
Both of these work as expected for me, just like in Excel and Numbers. Google Sheets doesn't have any special syntax needed for this case. Another poster upthread suggested you share the overall sheet, which is probably the next step in debugging what is going on.

For sum you can use either comma or colon. Colon (A20:B30) is for specifying an array. But you can also use comma like you did and just pass in a bunch of things.

re: the online version of Excel (Office 365)....I used it for several months up until around February and was sorely disappointed with it. It is substantially worse than Google Sheets, at least right now.
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munemaker
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Re: google sheets - so frustrating...

Post by munemaker »

I'd look for a free online course. I bet Google has one, and perhaps 3rd parties as well.
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in_reality
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Re: google sheets - so frustrating...

Post by in_reality »

WasabiOsbourne wrote:
and =f30-g30 ..............comes out as #value!
Check your formatting. Are both cells numbers? That will happen if one cell is text and the other a number or if both are text and not numbers.

I love google sheets for it's ability to get data on pricing and info from M*.

Worst case, put up a sample sheet that doesn't work in google drive and then share the URL with us.
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LAlearning
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Re: google sheets - so frustrating...

Post by LAlearning »

From your example it looks like you are doing it wrong ... A la Steve jobs
I know nothing!
harikaried
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Re: google sheets - so frustrating...

Post by harikaried »

The only way I was able to get Google Spreadsheets to result in 0 for the =SUM(G30,F30) and #VALUE for =G30-F30 is with G30 == "8.92%..." and F30 == "3.61%..." Using regular percentages and numbers even with additional spaces gives correct calculations.
hcj
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Re: google sheets - so frustrating...

Post by hcj »

in_reality wrote:
WasabiOsbourne wrote:
and =f30-g30 ..............comes out as #value!
Check your formatting. Are both cells numbers? That will happen if one cell is text and the other a number or if both are text and not numbers.

I love google sheets for it's ability to get data on pricing and info from M*.

Worst case, put up a sample sheet that doesn't work in google drive and then share the URL with us.
Agree with this. I was able to reproduce the 0.00% sum result when I reformatted both cells as plain text.

(Oddly enough, the subtraction formula still calculates correctly for me with F30 and G30 formatted as plain text...)
Topic Author
WasabiOsbourne
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Re: google sheets - so frustrating...

Post by WasabiOsbourne »

hey, thx very much.....

it was data download from portfoliovisualizer.com so i guess it did see it as text......... microsoft excel i have sometimes had problems with formatting but never with pv.com.. scraping - the primitive techniques i've used - often brings things into excel as text.

is google sheets flexible and powerful like excel or is it extreme stripped down version?

one of the best things about chrome book is its simplicity......... it could be a big drawback if people expect too much.

anyway, thank you very much...... p.s. i really hate giving a garbage zero answer i.e a garbage numerical. an error message is much better
AlohaJoe
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Re: google sheets - so frustrating...

Post by AlohaJoe »

harikaried wrote:The only way I was able to get Google Spreadsheets to result in 0 for the =SUM(G30,F30) and #VALUE for =G30-F30 is with G30 == "8.92%..." and F30 == "3.61%..." Using regular percentages and numbers even with additional spaces gives correct calculations.
Excel (at least on my laptop) has exactly the same results when using the above inputs, so it doesn't appear to be an Excel vs. Google Sheets issue.
BAM!
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Re: google sheets - so frustrating...

Post by BAM! »

Like others have pointed out, I bet it's a formatting issue. Something which you could also run into trouble with using Excel for that matter!

Keep sticking with Google Sheets. It has some features which are more powerful than excel, like query functions, and importing emails + calendar data from your google account. I use Google Sheets exclusively all the time to run numbers, almost on a daily basis.
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4nursebee
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Re: google sheets - so frustrating...

Post by 4nursebee »

I never type in formulas, rather I move up to the top left and insert a formula using the tabs. I think I always then hit enter. Basically I only use it for addition...
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TimeRunner
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Re: google sheets - so frustrating...

Post by TimeRunner »

Google sheets is pretty powerful. Take a look at the functions in the support link I posted upthread. :idea:
One cannot enlighten the unconscious.
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Epsilon Delta
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Re: google sheets - so frustrating...

Post by Epsilon Delta »

Another thing to check for: Entering formulas is not quite the same thing as the formulas already in the sheet.

There could be issues of auto complete or auto correct that make it hard to enter correct formula even if, once entered, the formulas work correctly. I don't have any reason to believe that this is the case with Google sheets, but anyone who has every tried to type "pH" or "kHz" into pretty much any Microsoft program should know what I'm talking about. In the case of Google sheets it's also possible that the browser (or a browser add-in) is causing problems entering correct formulas.
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WasabiOsbourne
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Re: google sheets - so frustrating...

Post by WasabiOsbourne »

thx for all the feedback. i appreciate it....... i have book coming today.

a bit strange how little easy documentation there is. my two local mega-book retail stores don't have anything on google sheets and its sister programs. they do at other stores and of course A.com

very frustrating trying to learn something brand new that is very different from Excel in terms of actual execution and then find data formatting issues when you don't know how to data format in sheets... also, i have almost never had a data formatting problem in excel downloading data. lots of programs with primitive data scrapes but i know that going in.

thanks again.
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TimeRunner
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Re: google sheets - so frustrating...

Post by TimeRunner »

Google sheets (and the larger universe of Google docs) users may find this official blog useful. You can subscribe via RSS reader as well:
https://docs.googleblog.com/
One cannot enlighten the unconscious.
Topic Author
WasabiOsbourne
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Re: google sheets - so frustrating...

Post by WasabiOsbourne »

thanks again for all the help. the links were helpful and are very appreciated.

looks like there are more books than i thought but not very popular books.. and google sheets has been around longer than i thought. it was "new" just to me.

there are meaty books from years past...... BUT i'm finding they teach about spreadsheets and word processing when i figure 90%+ of people starting to use google sheets today know the basics of spreadsheets.

i need a book that basically says here are things in excel and how you do them in google sheets.

something like open office is different than excel but it's mostly a moderate number of simple things that show up constantly... like semi-colon instead of comma...

the one basic thing flustering me is there aren't really that many obvious places to click to do things.
c078342
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Re: google sheets - so frustrating...

Post by c078342 »

Why be cheap? Excel can do anything any spreadsheet program can do. Buy a 365 subscription and be done with it. With Google sheets, you get what you pay for. And I'm not a fan of Microsoft, but having used Excel extensively for years, it is the best.
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