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Showing posts from March, 2013

Keyboard short cuts on LibreOffice

LibreOffice has a great system to cusomize keyboard short cuts and a bunch of other stuff. It's not very obvious. Go to Tools->Customize and then "Keyboard". There you can make up your own keyboard short cuts for things like "Insert row" and so on.

Reading spreadsheet data in Python: The lack of a good ODS reader

I try and keep long term data in as simple a format as possible, which means text where ever possible.

In earlier times I would enter data in excel spreadsheets and then read them from my Python programs using the xlrd package which is excellent. This works well, but in the back of my mind is the thought that someday Microsoft might do something funny with their business model making office software more janky to use and all my fears about keeping data in proprietary formats would come true. Oh, look, that day is today.

So, I'm completely abandoning the MS Office suite and going back to basic text files.

However, there is a tension between keeping tabulated data in a simple form, such as csv, and entering it in a convenient manner.

Excel, of course, nags you everytime you edit a csv file and save it. Libreoffice is excellent: it handles loading and saving in a very streamlined fashion. However, every time you open up the csv file you need to tell Calc what widths you want for the…

Avoiding space issues after LaTeX macros

In LaTeX you can define macros that expand out in the text, e.g. \newcommand{\ef}{{\it Eptesicus fuscus}}When you place this in the text, e.g. "\ef is the scientific name for the big brown bat." there is no space after the expanded form, which reads "Eptesicus fuscusis ...."Instead of using \ef use \ef{} with {} denoting an empty argument for the command.