Monday, August 13, 2007

Frequent spreadsheeters are used to constructing formulae by pointing with the arrow keys. It's part of the spreadsheet conditioned reflex set to whack equals, arrow left, hit star, point left left, whack enter, to construct a typical "cost times quantity" cell formula. This has been braided into the finger muscles and the spinal cord of spreadsheet workers since VisiCalc, through Lotus, SuperCalc, Multiplan and Excel. Numbers retains the equals operator to introduce a formula (much more intuitive than Lotus's plus sign and less confusing than SuperCalc's complete lack of formula signifier) but forces you to mouse around the relevant cells to assemble your formula. It's a bit of a drag, honestly. I hope this becomes something the end user can change.

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