I had a spreadsheet with 8 columns and over 700 rows which I have frequently re-sorted using the “Data → Sort…” option. I decided that I no longer had need of column “D” and blanked out the contents by selecting the column and pressing “delete”. This left a blank column between columns “C” and “E”.
I then selected some cell somewhere and used “Data → Sort…” to sort the table without thinking, not noticing that Calc was including only some of the columns in the data set to be sorted. So, now, columns “A” through “C” match with each other and “E” through “G” match with each other, but between these two groups of columns, there’s a mismatch.
By the time I realized what had happened, I had saved and closed the file. No, I didn’t have “always save a new version on closing” selected in “File → Versions…”. I also did not have “Always create backup copy” selected in “Tools → Options → Load/Save → General”. (Both are selected now, but that doesn’t solve my immediate problem.) I don’t believe there’s any way I can sort the individual groups such that they match up again (such as, say, “timestamp added” and an auto-incrementing integer field that would always have the same sort order.) I also don’t believe I have any other way of recovering an old version of the file outside of LibreOffice Calc (I’m on Arch Linux, so Windows’ older file version feature isn’t applicable here) though if any of you have any ideas I haven’t considered, I’d love any such suggestion.
I think you probably see my problem, but just to be explicit about my request, Is there any way to go about restoring the match between the two groups of columns (for all or even just a portion of the rows) without having to go through all of them and manually match them back up by hand from information outside of LibreOffice? I have all of the information I need to match them up written by hand in ball-point pen ink on hundreds of popsicle sticks – don’t ask – but I don’t have this information in digital form (unless it’s buried somewhere in some magical metadata LibreOffice Calc keeps somewhere) and I don’t relish the thought of spending hours manually copy-pasting data between spreadsheets row-by-row (or rather half-row-by-half-row) while juggling several hundred popsicle sticks.
Failing some magical solution that just fixes things with a mouse click or two, a way to automate some of the cumbersome copying/pasting and shuffling between spreadsheets would be appreciated. Maybe some process that for each half-row lets me simply select the matching set of cells from the other columns from a drop-down list (maybe with some intelligent type-ahead suggestions or some such) would be a lot better than nothing.
Thanks for taking the time to read through all of this! All suggestions greatly appreciated!
Edit: Should have thought to mention the LibreOffice version number:
Build ID: 22.214.171.124 Arch Linux build-1