Calc wildcards not compatible with Excel

I’m using LO 5.1.2 on a Windows 7 machine. I have a number of spreadsheets that use wildcards in certain formulas and I am gradually converting old Excel workbooks to LO Calc workbooks as I begin new work and bring an old workbook forward as a foundation.

Two things have to occur each time I open an old Excel workbook and save it to LO Calc. First, I have to make sure Regular Expressions is checked in the Calc options. Second, I have to change formulas using the asterisk wildcard and precede the asterisk with a period – so for instance I have to change “S*” to “S.*” in all affected cells. Otherwise, the formulas containing the wildcards will not yield the correct results.

To me, this seems to be a compatibility issue that could and should be easily fixed – particularly if we want more Excel users to try LO Calc. Comments anyone? Is anyone listening at The Document Foundation?

Please refer to the 5.2 release notes.

(I personally am not so happy with the inflation of options. In addition regular expressions are a well introduced concept, by far not only concerning office software, for decades now. They should be preferred over a competing construct conceived in stubbornness and …)

I agree about regular expressions, perhaps the option guides to a source of mistakes depending of the option used, but I think remember wildcards in 123 since 80’s beginning.

Hi Lupp:

I had recently discovered that LO 5.2 fixed the wildcard problem. As I opened this post to update, I saw your advice. I am therefore giving you the point. Thanks for taking time to respond.

If anyone is listening at The Document Foundation, I would like to believe you read my post and responded by fixing the problem. That said, I hope you are now reading this update and will accept my thanks. As a long-time M$O power user, I now prefer LO to M$O and recommend it when appropriate.