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Hebrew Spreadsheets


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#1 rdtaylorjr

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 03:57 PM

Does anyone know of a good spreadsheet app (similar to MS Excel) for mac that supports right-to-left languages?

Numbers and Mesa don't. MS Office and OpenOffice are both very user unfriendly on the mac, in my opinion, so I haven't even tried them. My current default is Google Docs, but it lacks some of the features I need. Are there any other options?

#2 Lorinda H. M. Hoover

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 04:50 PM

Have you tried NeoOffice? It's a Mac-specific port of OpenOffice.org.

Running Accordance on:

Mac 10.9 (Mavericks)

iOS 7 (iPad)

Windows Vista Home Premium


#3 rdtaylorjr

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 05:24 PM

Thanks for your response! I was including Open, Libre, and Neo in my comment about OpenOffice. I have tried them all, and I really want to like them, but I just don't. I like simple, super-customizable interfaces. That's what makes so many native mac apps so great. NeoOffice tries to look like a native mac app, but it's still just a clunky Linux program with a Cocoa mask. I'm probably being too critical. Anyway, does anyone know of any other alternatives?

#4 jpkang

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 06:11 PM

Can you say more about how you want to use this (likely) mythical tool?
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#5 rdtaylorjr

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 07:00 PM

Sure. I just switched to mac a few months ago, and before that I used Excel for a lot of different things including sorting through different occurrences of Hebrew lexemes and comparing the way a certain lexeme is translated in the Greek, Syriac, and Latin versions. I like using a spreadsheet for this type of work because you can easily sort and arrange the data and compare it in various ways.

In Numbers, you can input Hebrew into the cells, but for some reason it won't let you edit the Hebrew from within the cell. I'm not sure why.

Mesa won't even let you input Hebrew.

As far as this being mythical, I hope you're wrong! I'm basically looking for something like Mellel or Nisus Writer Pro, but for spreadsheets, not word processing--something that was created with users of right-to-left languages on mind.

#6 jpkang

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 07:23 PM

My guess is that running Excel for Windows under emulation will be the best solution for now.

I've been using right-to-left scripts on the Mac since the mid-90s (Hello, Worldscript!) and mature Unicode support for certain scripts has been painfully slow on the Mac that it's a small miracle to me that products like Mellel and Adobe InDesign CS Middle Eastern even exist. It looks like Mellel's tables can be sorted, but of course that won't be as elegant for lots of tabular data.
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#7 danzac

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 07:25 PM

I think you're stuck with excel. You could use google docs spreadsheet too, or socrata supports Hebrew too I think.

fwiw, with the MT/LXX parallel database you can do a search and set it to show you just the "articles" (i.e. individual lines) which sounds like what you like to see in a spreadsheet.

#8 rdtaylorjr

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Posted 12 November 2011 - 07:26 PM

I thought I'd report back and let you (and anyone who may have the same question in the future) know what I've found.

Numbers
Cannot edit Hebrew text from within cell, displays Hebrew backwards

MarinerCalc
Displays vowel pointings incorrectly even with fonts like SBL Hebrew, otherwise works ok

Mesa
Does not seem to allow unicode input at all

NeoOffice
Pointings misaligned in cells, horrible Hebrew display in formula bar, input is ok

Excel for mac
Alignment and display is ok, but cursor stays on the right, and when you type in a cell that already contains Hebrew, the new text appears in some random spot, not at the cursor.

Glide Crunch
Weird service that is trying to be a cloud os, but "Crunch" is a downloadable spreadsheet app. Does not support Hebrew.

A few that I did not try because they were either extremely expensive or extremely outdated:
Papyrus
Ragtime
Thinkfree Calc
Flexisheet
Quantrix Modeler

Finally, one last app that is actually showing some promise...

Tables
Works with Hebrew, input and display both look good, haven't tried Syriac or Arabic yet. Two downsides: 1) It doesn't have a lot of features, so I'm wondering how soon I'll go looking for how to do something and find that it doesn't support that function at all. So far that hasn't happened. 2) It can hang up and crash whenever you ask it to sort, resize, delete, etc. a large number of cells at one time. Usually this isn't a problem, especially if you have the overall size of the sheet limited.

#9 Tony Pyles

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 12:08 PM

I thought I'd report back and let you (and anyone who may have the same question in the future) know what I've found.

MarinerCalc
Displays vowel pointings incorrectly even with fonts like SBL Hebrew, otherwise works ok

NeoOffice
Pointings misaligned in cells, horrible Hebrew display in formula bar, input is ok


Did you try using New Peninim as your font? It is a Hebrew unicode font but is not OpenType, so I have had much better luck getting the pointing in the right spots in applications like Pages. But don't ask about Masoretic accents…

#10 Ken Han

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 12:42 PM

If your needs are simple, Mellel's table function may suffice. Of course it's not a spreadsheet app, but it doesn't sound like you are doing any calculations.

#11 RobM

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 01:05 PM

Have you tried using tables in Word for Mac? One of my OT profs lives and breathes tables in Word for Mac to sort and categorize syntactical constructions. I think he uses unicode in the tables.




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