HTML import option

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What’s new?

I just checked in to the Go-OO master branch an enhancement to Calc’s HTML table import feature. With this enhancement, you can select a custom language to use when you import an HTML table, which affects how the numbers are interpreted during the import.

What’s this good for?

Each language adheres to a different set of conventions, such as date formats, thousands and decimal separators, and other special number formats. Previously, Calc simply used the system’s language setting when importing an HTML in order to decide whether a cell is a nubmer or a text, and if it’s a number, what numbering format to apply. Although you could change the system language in the global options dialog, that was not always convenient especially when all you need to do is quickly import an HTML table with different language conventions, and you don’t want to bother changing the global language setting (and changing it back after the import is done). That’s where this enhancement will come in.

What can you expect with this change?

Well, you’ll get the following dialog

when you are importing an HTML table, to either select the system’s language (Automatic), or a custom language from the list of available languages. Just remember that, if you don’t know or don’t care about what language to choose, select Automatic and move on. If you do care, then select Custom and pick a language from the list.

Special number detection (especially the dates)

There is an additional option below, to toggle automatic number format detection. With this option checked, Calc will try to automatically detect special number formats, such as dates, scientific notations etc. If unchecked, Calc will only detect the simplest numbers i.e. numbers that only consist of digits, decimal separators and thousands separators (and a sign if there is one), while all the other numbers are imported as text. By default, this option is NOT checked, which means Calc will only detect the simple numbers.

BTW, I’m thinking of adding a similar option to the csv import, where automatic date conversion has been quite problematic in the past and driving lots of users crazy. Adding this option also to the csv import would IMO make sense.

Well, this is it. It’s actually a pretty minor enhancement, but I hope someone will find it useful. :-)

6 thoughts on “HTML import option”

  1. Hi Kohei

    I think anything you create that equates behaviour in Excel is important.
    Thanks for the great job you guys at openoffice are doing!

    best regards
    Porto, Portugal

  2. Carlos,

    Thanks for your kind words! It’s encouraging to know that there are people who find it useful.


  3. This is cool. It’s not a “pretty minor enhancement” but a rather useful!

    Thanks Kohei


    BTW, in my experience importing files (mainly CSV) to OOo/Calc is more comfortable than in MS EXCEL.

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