if you change the formatting of cells, e.g. from ‘text’ to ‘number’ (or the other way around), it is currently evaluated with a delay, namely the next time an input is made into the cell. This ‘irritates’ users from time to time and leads to questions in forums and in ‘bugs’.
[edit b. 2021-05-21] to avoid misunderstandings, this question is about if changes of the type! of the cell format should be reflected in the content of the cell, not about changing 2.499 to 2.50 with formatting to 2 decimal places. the details of display of numeric values shouldn’t change the value. It is a question to avoid situations like in bug 98590 having two identical looking cells reacting and calculating differently, and to give the user control over his data, ‘i want this text, i get it text’. [/edit]
Theoretically there would be the possibilities:
A - an immediate reaction to a format change in the cell, with the possibility for the user to see that his changes were ‘accepted’, ‘worked’, and in case of an error (e.g. text cannot be calculated), to see it immediately (not sure, but having a chance), to assign it correctly to the cause, and if necessary to remove it with a simple ctrl-z and to continue working with undamaged data, or
B - that the user’s changes are not processed at first, so he thinks ‘it didn’t work’ and ‘blindly’ throws other changes after it (potentially setting up more traps), only to be surprised months or years later by changes or unwanted consequences of changes he can’t attribute, may not have even made himself, and can only correct with tedious debugging. And with a good chance to come across other landmines he or other people have installed before or in between?
[edit b. 2021-05-23] in the following paragraph is was completely mistaken … now it is like ‘B’, the developer arguments for ‘B’, and Excel does it like ‘B’, sorry, digital errors are always so ‘total errors’ if you run in one [/edit]
- ‘now it is like “A”’, and
- a developer who argues vehemently for leaving it like that because he thinks it is ‘better’ for the users of e.g. large tables,
i see one more point in favor of “A”, namely:
- Excel does it that way (but Excel at least marks the differently formatted cells),
from the ‘usability’ point of view i see
‘A’ ‘B’ as irresponsible ‘sending blinded users on a slippery path’,
and i think you don’t have to go along with every nonsense Excel shows, to serve progress, correctness and! compatibility without having to make lazy compromises again and again, two optional modes ‘Excel compatible’ and ‘correct’ would make sense anyway.
So, question to the users (not the experts), how would you like to have it:
(A) - Format changes are processed immediately,
(B) - format changes are processed only at the next input to that cell, or
(C) - the possibility to determine this via an option (and to switch if necessary),
(Ca) - separately for each table as an option,
please no replies or discussions but just comments, and short, best just ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’ or ‘Ca’,