Numbers 09: Durations & Templates

So along with my new MacBook I also upgraded to the new version of iWork.

This has produced several problems with my household bills. First of all, spreadsheets which previously worked now produce errors. This appears to be down to the difference way Number 09 handles durations. Previously I had calculations which subtracted one date from another, and used it as an integer number of days. Now that kind of automatic type-conversion produces an error, so first of all I had to manually add DUR2DAYS() function calls to explicitly convert them to integers. That’s fine, the coder part of me likes static typing.

While I was at it I figured I might as well see if I can implement my tables using templates. I thought that might allow me to design one table, then simply reuse it throughout my spreadsheet. Sadly this isn’t the way templates work. First of all they appear to be discrete duplicates, not references, so if you modify a template after already having created a table from it, the modifications don’t propogate to other instances of the table. That sucks, so templates are effectively just a scratchpad where you can copy pre-built tables from.

There are further issues, though: any forumlas on the template which refer to other sheets will disappear when you try to create a new table from the template (or in other words, those references are stripped when the template is created).

The upshot is that I’ve redesigned my tables (and thrown in a bit of colour too), but I won’t be using templates. Given their preponderance to drop my inter-sheet formulas, and lack of instancing, the only effective solution is to simply copy and edit existing tables.

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