Calc/Features/Variable formula convention

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Variable Formula Convention

Specification Status
Author Kohei Yoshida
Last Change See wiki history
Status draft


This feature enables use of several different formula syntax conventions in Calc. The three formula conventions will be supported initially, with possible future additions of more conventions as needed. The conventions that will initially be included are

  • Calc A1 (current convention)
  • Excel A1
  • Excel R1C1

The current formula convention can be switched at run-time, via the Options page. In addition, argument separator, and array column and row separators will be replaceable.


Reference Document Check Location (URL)
Issue ID (required) available Issue 20857 Issue 72191 Issue 92056
Test case specification (required) n/a


Role Name E-Mail Address
Developer Kohei Yoshida
Quality Assurance nobody
Documentation nobody
User Experience nobody

Detailed Specification

Competing spreadsheets offer R1C1 addressing for very long time. Calc needs this feature to remain competitive and better serve customers. As user needs to select either A1 or R1C1 addressing Calc has to have UI control to govern this setting.

This specification proposes to introduce radio button selector to choose between supported addressing types in Tools – Options – Calc – Calculation dialog in accordance with Picture 1 (formula_syntax_option_page.png, picture shows 3 types supported by code).

Formula syntax option page.png

Suggested accelerator keys
  • l” for Calc A1;
  • x” for Excel A1;
  • R” for Excel R1C1.


No migration is involved.


Default setting should be Calc A1 style.

Choosen formula convention will be saved in OOo registry:

<node oor:name="Calculate">
 <node oor:name="Other">
<prop oor:name="FormulaSyntax" oor:type="xs:int">
  • Value 0 - for Calc A1 style (default);
  • Value 1 - for Excel A1 style;
  • Value 2 - for Excel R1C1 style.

File Format

No file format change is involved.

Open Issues

No open Issues.


  1. Daniel Rentz's note on Excel separator conventions per locale
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