Google Spreadsheets Is Already Driving Me Bonkers

I don’t know if anybody else is playing with Google Spreadsheets a lot, but it’s driving me a bit nuts. I got into the idea of importXML, but the way it’s coming out is just driving me crazy. For example:

… say I import an XML document, like a list of transactions. And I want to get three or four characteristics from each transaction. I can get them all from a single importXML, but Google Spreadsheets puts each characteristic on a different row. I want them all in one cell! Of course, I could just do an importXML for each item I wanted, but …

… Google Spreadsheets is limited to 50 function calls per sheet. ARGH! Only 50? This reminds me of when the Google API came out in 2003 and you could only use your key 1000 times a day, and that for ten results each time. You have this great tool and your brain is bubbling over with ways to use it — and you can’t! I would pay money for the ability to have 200 or so functions per sheet.

And it’s probably because I’m used to using Excel, but I find the cell editing in Google Spreadsheets completely counter-intuitive. If you’ve got a long URL to edit it seems you have to scroll all over the place to get to the end.

Finally, I still can’t figure out how often the spreadsheets with feeds in them update. Some very clever people on Google Groups have been running experiments, and the consensus seemed to be every hour. But I have a couple of published spreadsheets with feeds in them, and I can’t see that they’ve updated at all.

Don’t get me wrong, I think the import option on the spreadsheets is an excellent tool. I just wish I weren’t bashing my head into the wall quite so much.

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