In calc: cell is formatted as text, dash is treated like minus sign

The entire page is formated as numbers-as-text. Typing dashspacedashspcaedash (- - -) gets treated as a minus sign and the address of the next cell I click is entered. I want those dashes to indicate that no data is available.

Delete that substitution en Menu/Tools/Autocorrect options

Thanks but that doesn’t work. My input is not among the options to delete. I created a new string with 3 dashes to be replaced with 4 dashes but it is still treated like a function and adds the address of the next cell I click.

I was able to succeed by entering the string ‘- - - -’ (without quotes) and pressing the 'Accept" function button then refusing the suggested correction (which would have added an equal sign to the beginning of the string). But if I click inside that cell again, I have to repeat the process. Oddly, if I enter plusses with or without spaces, it still has to be done using the ‘Accept’ function button but doesn’t offer to correct it. 4 asterisks with or without spaces is accepted as text.

Appreciate your support

Just tested with many version from the very first LibO (V3.3) till LibO V 5.4.2 and AOO V4.1.2
It’s clearly a bug (imo) and it’s inherited from AOO (OO.o?) and was never changed.

A possible background: If a cell is formatted ‘Text’ (@) and gets entered a number, say 123, its .String property is set to 123 while its .Formula property gets prefixed an apostrophe: '123 . This is not the case if something like - - - is entered (where the “-” will cause a preliminary attempt to recognise a formula since some lazy users got accepted the omission of the “=” when entering a “formula” starting with a unary arithmetic operator. However, this doesn’t make observations consistent. BTW: .Formula even disregards the leading apostrophe if directly assigned with '- .

Just another facet of the general mess made of recognition?