NUMBERS: How do I?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by wayland1985, Apr 12, 2010.

  1. wayland1985 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    #1
    I'm having trouble with numbers. I'm trying to set up a table for our pharmacy's inventory. I want to develop monitoring parameters for certain drugs, but numbers isn't letting me merge cells together the way I'd like to

    For example, say I have a drug, Lisinopril. I have Lisinopril in 1 column with 3 monitoring parameters in another column in 3 rows. How do I get those to all be assosciated with Lisinopril?
     
  2. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #2
    I would think the drug and any parameters related to the drug would all be on the same row. Why are these parameters scattered on different rows? Do these other rows all contain Lisinopril in the same spot?

    I should point out that Numbers is a distant second to excel in many ways. It is easier to use but there are quite a few features that people are used to in Excel that are not supported in Numbers.
     
  3. wayland1985 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    #3
    Well, I wanted to more or less List the individual monitoring parameters.

    I guess I'll have to grab that office disk and see if it lets me do what I need to!

    Thanks for the help!
     
  4. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    #4
    I don't suggest you run and install Office to do this. At least not yet. There are things Office does that Numbers doesn't do, but aggregating data across multiple rows doesn't sound like one of them. Can you post a few rows of your spreadsheet so I can better understand what you are talking about? You might be better off with a database app and from what I remember, Office for Mac does not include Access.
     
  5. wayland1985 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jan 16, 2008
    #5
    It's tough to describe, i know. I took a snapshot, but I don't have any photo hosting site (no photobucket).

    How else can I get the screenshot to you?
     
  6. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #6
    After you have a picture (snapshot) of your desktop or spreadsheet, if the file is not a jpg, convert with PREVIEW to a jpg.

    Then upload to MacRumors as an attachment.
     
  7. wayland1985 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jan 16, 2008
    #7
    Let's see if this works...

    It's short now, but I'll add so you can see what I'm doing...
     

    Attached Files:

  8. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

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    #8
    Ok, here's my rewrite of your spreadsheet that should work fine in excel, numbers, google docs, whatever...

    In the attached example, notice that each drug gets its own row. This means you waste a lot of space per row allowing room for 5 types of monitoring, 5 corresponding dosages and 5 corresponding flags, but if you want to pull up all the antipsychotics, they all come up with their related info merely by searching for antipsychotic. Of course there are a lot of repeated items. If you have 100 antipsychotics, then the word antipsychotic gets repeated 100 times. If you have 300 drugs with a cbc dosing of 10mg PO Daily, you end up with that same text in 300 places. But the advantage is you can use search in just about any spreadsheet application to find what you want. Spreadsheets (and databases) are very good about bringing entire rows of data up quickly. They are very bad at figuring out the meaning of data based on relative position in a long set of rows. I hope you haven't typed in too much data using the format in your example because you will be hard pressed to search, sort or index it without mangling the data and having all the dosages show up at the top of the file with drugs that start with z at the bottom of the file and no way to go back and figure out which dosage went with zylocam and which went with aricept. Bottom line: keep each drug and ALL its related data on one row in your spreadsheet.

    I will try this on my iPad when I get a chance, probably late this evening. One of the disadvantages of not having 3G...
     

    Attached Files:

  9. wayland1985 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    #9
    I appreciate it, but I have to pretty much stick to the format I have been using. I find it odd that you can't block off or isolate several rows together, such that they sort as one... :confused:
     
  10. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #10
    You can. But it takes a bit of work.

    You can do creative sorting. It can get complicated depending on how complex you want to be.

    To do this, you create a column. When you sort you use this column. When you print, you hide it. In your case I would put it as the first column.

    Let's say that you have 99,999 or less items and 5 lines per item, then you put in text like this:

    Item_00001_A
    Item_00001_B
    Item_00001_C
    Item_00001_D
    Item_00001_E
    Item_00002_A
    Item_00002_B
    Item_00002_C
    Item_00002_D
    Item_00002_E
    Item_00003_A
    Item_00003_B
    Item_00003_C
    Item_00003_D
    Item_00003_E

    and so on...

    Item_99999_A
    Item_99999_B
    Item_99999_C
    Item_99999_D
    Item_99999_E

    Hope that helps! :)
     
  11. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

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    Location:
    Detroit
    #11
    To do what sushi describes might actually make your life lot harder. Say you want to pull up all the drugs whose is dosage 10mg. You get a long list of rows that merely contain 10mg. Now you have to remember the ITEM00245_C, and ITEM99022_C rows and go pull up the full information for items 245 and 99022. So you wind up doing two searches to find one bit of data. This is the sort of thing a computer program is well suited for.

    The thing you absolutely must try to be flexible about is how your data is STORED in the computer. Computers are very limited and spreadsheets and databases are designed to handle data as ROWS not SETS OF ROWS. You can always design a method of presenting the information in a way where it "appears" to be split up on the screen. In a database, the method for presenting the data as if one item had many rows is called a form. You said you are STARTING to DESIGN a spreadsheet for organizing your pharmacy data but you might be making a costly mistake by assuming you can spread data about items across multiple rows and still be able to search and sort it.

    I've lost track of the number of times I had to write programs to "find a row of data" and "also bring back the next nnn rows". This absolutely can be done, but it requires some sort of macro or computer program to be written. You might consider taking a look at Filemaker Pro. I would suggest Bento, but I think it's not going to give you the full capabilities you need. If you continue using a mere spreadsheet for this sort of thing I fear you will wind up using your entire inventory of headache medication. :eek:
     
  12. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #12
    True. VLOOKUP and other functions could be used to simplify things.

    It really all depends on how much searching and sorting the OP wants to accomplish.

    Agree.

    OP, it might be a better to go with a database solution instead of a spreadsheet solution.

    Snort! That may be true.
     

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