11 Replies Latest reply: Feb 8, 2010 1:47 AM by Barry
RCMjr Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)
In Excel, there is a Format Painter which will allow me to copy a Conditional Format, for example, from one cell to others. The advantage of using this is that I don't have to re-write all my Conditional Formats - the painter does that for me.

Is there something like that in Numbers '09?

Thanks.

Chip

iMac G4, Aluminum MacBook, Mac OS X (10.6.2), 80G iPod, crappy Epson R200 printer
  • Jerrold Green1 Level 7 Level 7 (29,925 points)
    Chip,

    Copy Style and Paste Style seem to function pretty much as the format painter does in Excel. I know there have been some comments about style not having the expected result with cell borders, but cell formatting and conditional formatting seem OK to me.

    Download the free trial and give it a spin.

    Jerry
  • RCMjr Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)
    That did it. I looked for something like that but didn't see it. Thanks.
  • MrT2 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    As a former (and current) Excel-user: I also found the copy/paste style/format-options in Numbers, but although i select a range of cells (a couple of rows and columns) with all a different color, when i paste it to a target range, Numbers formats all cells with the color of the top left cell. In Excel, i often use the format painter to copy the formatting of a selection of cells (where cells in the selection might have different formatting), and paste it successfully to a target range. Numbers seems to only look at the left-top-most cell and apply that formatting to the target range ?!?
  • Badunit Level 6 Level 6 (11,400 points)
    It needs some work.
  • Barry Level 7 Level 7 (29,210 points)
    MrT2,

    As Badunit says, it needs some work. To make sure Apple sees that message, please go (in Numbers) to the Numbers menu and choose Provide Numbers Feedback.

    Regards,
    Barry
  • MrT2 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks BadUnit and Barry! I just used the feedback option. I also reported (in a seperate feedback): "As a former (and current) Excel-user: I'm used to being able to copy several columns to a target range. When i select more than 1 column in Numbers, select COPY, go to a target column and select PASTE, only the left most column is copied?!"

    My wife was very enthusiastic about Numbers. Now, she is a real 'fanboy': everything Apple is holy. And as soon as something from Microsoft breaks, she's all over that. So just starting to use Numbers, i really hoped to find a pretty developed product. But if things like copying more than 1 column, or format-paint more that 1 color isn't supported yet, i think Numbers is a couple of iterations behind Excel. And i'm a little disappointed at this point. I will keep on exploring more of Numbers, hoping i will be surprised by things that are better/more than Excel, or at least the same feature richness of Excel... Thanks for replying guys!

    Message was edited by: MrT2
  • Barry Level 7 Level 7 (29,210 points)
    MrT2 wrote:
    ... But if things like copying more than 1 column, or format-paint more that 1 color isn't supported yet, i think Numbers is a couple of iterations behind Excel. And i'm a little disappointed at this point. I will keep on exploring more of Numbers, hoping i will be surprised by things that are better/more than Excel, or at least the same feature richness of Excel... Thanks for replying guys!


    You're welcome. Thanks for sending in the feedback.

    Your comment regarding copying/pasting more than one column surprises me, as I've had no problem with copying/pasting multi cell selections, including selections of whole columns and of multiple non-contiguous columns.

    Checking this just now, I also found that the cell format elements (fill colour or gradient, text colour, font, size) also copied and pasted correctly in a three column selection with format changes in the first and second columns. The one attribute that didn't transfer was the custom cell borders set on one of the cells (This is a known issue).

    The checks were done using a document created in Numbers, not an imported document, so part of the issue may have to do with features of a 'foreign' document either not supported in Numbers or implemented in a manner not supported in Numbers.

    Regarding "i think Numbers is a couple of iterations behind Excel." I don't consider that surprising at all. MS Excel has been out for how many years now? The version bundled with my netbook says it is version 12.0.6... Numbers was first released in early 2008; Numbers '09 is version 2.0.3. That does seem to be at least "a couple of iterations' difference.

    I don't think you'll ever see "the same feature richness" (or the same 'feature bloat', depending on the viewer's biases) in the two products. To begin with, the design considerations/development targets of the two seem pretty different—Apple didn't set out to create an Excel clone, but did attempt to provide a degree of file compatibility between the iWork applications and the similar ones in MS Office. For those who require a higher degree of 'sameness,' the main MS Office applications are also available for Mac.

    Regards,
    Barry
  • MrT2 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thank you Barry!

    I opened Numbers right away to check why you seem to have no problems, and i thought i have. What i found (yes, a new non imported sheet):

    When copying a range of cells, for example, select range b4...f15: there is no problem. Unless you select a couple of columns by pointing to the top of the column (how do i describe this correctly :-)): if you paste that multi column range, only the left most column gets pasted.

    The same goes for the format painting: i selected 3 whole columns: only the left most column format gets painted to the target range. Again when you just and paste that: no problem.

    Thanks, now at least i know a workaround .

    I didn't know Numbers was so young . I hoped Numbers was a full alternative to Excel. I'm a little into "let's have more choice, that's good for competition". I understand in this case Numbers is not a threat to Excel .

    Excel for the Mac is in many ways an option for people looking for the features you get when using Excel on Windows, but as Excel on Mac does not support VBA, more complex sheets with VBA-code can only be run on a Mac by using Windows under things like VMWare Fusion... And i hoped i could someday say i really you could really, if you want, work without Microsoft-stuff (not a goal in itself for me, but i would like to have the option to do so :-)). Of course, i can, by finding other solutions than can be done by using VBA, i know, but let me stop, i'm on a side track here .
  • Barry Level 7 Level 7 (29,210 points)
    MrT2 wrote:
    When copying a range of cells, for example, select range b4...f15: there is no problem. Unless you select a couple of columns by pointing to the top of the column (how do i describe this correctly :-)): if you paste that multi column range, only the left most column gets pasted.


    Interesting. I selected columns B..E of a small table (by clicking on the column tab for column B and dragging to E), Copied, then inserted a new table and Pasted into columns C...F with the following results:
    • Click on C1, Paste: Selection boundary showed only C1 selected, but all copied columns pasted to the correct location with data, formula and formatting intact.(note 1)
    • Click on column tab C, Paste: Selection boundary showed only column C selected, and only the first column was pasted (with data and formatting intact (the only formula in the original was in E10)
    • Select columns C...F using column tabs, Paste: Selection boundary shows 4 columns selected, and all copied columns pasted to the correct location with data, formula and formatting intact.(note 2)
    • (note 1): The new inserted table contained only columns A...D, but expanded to accommodate the 'extra' two pasted columns.
    • (note 2): A second test with target columns selected using the column tabs. This time I added extra rows to the target table before selecting columns C...F and pasting. The target table was now 'taller' than the source table. When I pasted, the results were the same as before, except that a second copy of the cells from the (shorter) source table were also pasted into the (longer) columns of the target table. (Could be a useful feature to keep in mind.)

    Excel for the Mac is in many ways an option ..., but let me stop, i'm on a side track here .


    Agreed. Not supporting VBA can be a major issue for those whose spreadsheets require it. What tools you use depends on the job you need to do. Interesting side track.

    Regards,
    Barry
  • MrT2 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks again Barry.

    Based on your info, i did what you did, and have now learned how the Numbers-designers apparantly have designed the copy-paste function . Being used to Excel works against me here . On the other hand: selecting a couple of columns (using the columns tabs) you want to paste, selecting the 1st column where you want to paste the copy-range (again, selecting the column tab), would make me assume you get pasted what you selected. I now understand i have to specifically select the number of columns in the target area to get pasted what i selected as a copy range. I wonder whether that is common sense UI-design (a pop up asking whether you want to expand the target selection to accomodate for the whole source selection might be an idea here ;-)), but at least i now know how to do it . Thanks again!
  • Barry Level 7 Level 7 (29,210 points)
    MrT2 wrote:
    I wonder whether that is common sense UI-design (a pop up asking whether you want to expand the target selection to accomodate for the whole source selection might be an idea here ;-))


    I wonder that as well. Not sure about the pop-up idea, unless it was triggered only when the copied selection was larger than the Paste selection. More to my dislike, though is the inconsistency: If I choose a block of cells by dragging from, say, C4 to G17, copy, then select a single cell and paste, the whole 5 x 13 array is pasted, which is not what happens when I select a range of columns, copy, then select a single column and Paste.

    However, 'what should be' is a topic for Provide Numbers Feedback, 'what is and how to work with it' is the topic here in the forums.

    Thanks for the question. I'm always glad to get one that makes me learn something.

    Regards,
    Barry