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Excel spreadsheet for revising grammatical forms

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Excel spreadsheet for revising grammatical forms

Postby brookter » Sat Sep 28, 2013 10:36 am

I've been using an Excel spreadsheet I put together for revising the basic conjugations and declensions of Latin grammar: it's quite rough and ready, but I wondered if it would be of any use to any beginners on the forum.

The spreadsheet simply uses the 'Conditional Formatting' feature to compare your input against the correct version: green and you're fine, red and you've made a mistake. It should be easy enough to use: the input tables are on the left of each sheet, the correct versions on the right. Reduce the size of the window so that you only see the input tables, then type away… When you've finished, close the spreadsheet without saving and it will be ready for next time without the need to got through and clear your previous input.

BTW, I use UK case order and macrons. NB: the conditional formatting requires absolute accuracy to work, so if you miss a macron on a word then it will be marked as incorrect. Similarly with spaces at the beginnings and ends of words, of course… As far as I know the grammatical forms are correct, but of course there may be errors that I haven't picked up. If anyone spots any, I'd be grateful if they'd let me know.

I hope it's useful to someone: please feel to adapt it for any (non-commercial) purpose…

[EDIT 30/9/2013]

It seems that the original file didn't work on earlier versions of Excel as Microsoft have changed how conditional formatting works. The following file has been tested successfully on Excel 2003 (includes macrons): https://db.tt/BuLTiLav

Mac users shouldn't have a problem with entering macrons (I use the Lingua Latina keyboard layout, which I downloaded from somewhere years ago, but I understand Maori works as well.)

I don't know how to input macrons on Windows however, so if you're having problems, here is a non-macron version of the file: https://db.tt/QBpK0dyp
Last edited by brookter on Mon Sep 30, 2013 10:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Excel spreadsheet for revising grammatical forms

Postby pmda » Sat Sep 28, 2013 4:51 pm

Hi Brookter, for some reason any answer I give, even correct ones, appear to turn red..not sure why?
Last edited by pmda on Sat Sep 28, 2013 4:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Excel spreadsheet for revising grammatical forms

Postby pmda » Sat Sep 28, 2013 4:51 pm

deleted post..duplicate of above
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Re: Excel spreadsheet for revising grammatical forms

Postby brookter » Sat Sep 28, 2013 5:52 pm

Not sure, as they all work fine for me.

Try this to test: copy a value from the right hand side, and paste it into the equivalent cell on the left, but using Edit > Paste Special and Values only. (If you use the standard paste it will overwrite the conditional formatting.)

It's possible that there's a conflict in the fonts or the encoding -- are you using Windows? I wrote it on the Mac and it works on two different computers. I'll test it out on Windows and see if there's a problem.

Thanks for letting me know.
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Re: Excel spreadsheet for revising grammatical forms

Postby brookter » Sat Sep 28, 2013 6:05 pm

pmda,

I've just tried it out on Windows and it works OK -- but this is on a Mac running Windows in Parallels, so that may be a factor. Unfortunately I don't have a Windows only machine to test it on.

Apologies for the obvious question, but does it work when you type in a word that doesn't have a macron in it -- I'm wondering whether different encodings have different character numbers for vowels with macrons. On the other hand, the spreadsheet is using Verdana, which is a microsoft supplied font anyway, I think.
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Re: Excel spreadsheet for revising grammatical forms

Postby pmda » Sun Sep 29, 2013 12:37 pm

Cutting and pasting (not using special anything) seems to work...but then typing direct doesn't. I'd upload a copy but I don't seem to have permission on this forum. Macrons don't seem to make a difference.
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Re: Excel spreadsheet for revising grammatical forms

Postby brookter » Sun Sep 29, 2013 6:31 pm

Thanks for letting me know.

I think I might have an idea of what's happening: do you by any chance have Excel 2003 or earlier? I've just dug out an old version of 2003 on XP and the conditional formatting doesn't work for me either. It looks like that 2003 is resetting all the conditional formatting formulas to a nonsensical value. The file still works correctly when opened with a later version, but when you open it in 2003, it's broken.

Just to test that this is actually what's happening, please could you try this version: https://db.tt/199JBclt

I've reset the formulas for the Present Indicative Active only: please could you try the old amō, amās, amat etc and see if that works -- it does for me in Excel 2003.

If that is what's causing the problem, I'll reset the rest of the spreadsheet.

Many thanks for your patience,

David
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Re: Excel spreadsheet for revising grammatical forms

Postby pmda » Sun Sep 29, 2013 9:37 pm

Yes I have Excel 2003. The version you uploaded works if macrons are not involved. If the word has a macron it doesn't work...if you don't use a macron...
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Re: Excel spreadsheet for revising grammatical forms

Postby brookter » Mon Sep 30, 2013 6:52 am

Hi, glad there's a bit of progress!

But please could you clarify what you mean by
The version you uploaded works if macrons are not involved. If the word has a macron it doesn't work...if you don't use a macron...


Do you mean that

a) it doesn't work if you write amo or

b) it doesn't work if you write amō?

If you mean a) then that's intentional as I wanted to learn the macrons. In fact conditional formatting works by comparing cell contents and 'o' is a different character to 'ō', so the only way of avoiding the problem, as far as I know, would be not to have any macrons in the right hand side.

If it's b) then I really don't know what's going on because it works fine on my version.

Thanks

David
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Re: Excel spreadsheet for revising grammatical forms

Postby brookter » Mon Sep 30, 2013 10:34 am

pmda,

I've now updated the original post with 2 versions: the first is the original macron-enable file, with the conditional formatting amended so that it will work with previous versions.

If you still can't get the macrons to work, then I suspect it's do with the way Excel on Windows deals with this sort of character and I don't really have a way of rectifying that. Therefore, I've also provided a file which doesn't use macrons at all, which I hope will at least be of some benefit.

Thanks for your interest,

David
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Re: Excel spreadsheet for revising grammatical forms

Postby pmda » Mon Sep 30, 2013 10:44 am

I meant it doesn't work if you write amo without the macron.
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Re: Excel spreadsheet for revising grammatical forms

Postby pmda » Mon Sep 30, 2013 10:44 am

It's a good project. I was thinking about something similar at one stage.
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Re: Excel spreadsheet for revising grammatical forms

Postby brookter » Mon Sep 30, 2013 5:31 pm

Hi pmda,

Thanks for your comments.

Just to confirm, if you want to be able to write amo without macrons, you must use the second file (https://db.tt/QBpK0dyp). If you use the macron version (https://db.tt/BuLTiLav), then you MUST include every macron otherwise the conditional formatting won't work.

Regards

David
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Re: Excel spreadsheet for revising grammatical forms

Postby pmda » Mon Sep 30, 2013 7:54 pm

Thanks brookter. I did memorise all the main paradigms some time ago, a la the Dowling method. I think it's a good way to check what you know but I found that I needed to hand write them many times to embed them in my head....
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Re: Excel spreadsheet for revising grammatical forms

Postby brookter » Mon Sep 30, 2013 9:11 pm

I did the same thing in full Dowling mode -- all the main paradigms written out 200 times till my hand hurt... but I found it easier to do maintenance learning on a spreadsheet where the feedback as to whether my ageing memory was failing (again) was very useful.
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