11/6/12
4:27 pm

Forum Question: How Can I Add an Unalterable Timestamp Value To a Cell In Numbers ’09 ?

NOW function changes as the system clock moves forward in time. We need absolute values that will not change as would typiCally a “last modified” date stamp on a word processing document.
Our objective is to create tables in a numbers ’09 sheet that could then be used to record the duration of time spent on specific tasks. We need to keep a close tab on how many minutes of homework, revision and study is dedicated per day on each subject. Our son would use the numbers table corresponding to the subject of a homework assignment and enter an absolute, unalterable, onetime timestamp in a cell by using a keyboard shortcut set up for the document.
This action would a. select the first cell in the next row in a START column and enter the system clock date and time. b. Next it would select the corresponding END cell and wait for the user’s signal that would be prompted by another keyboard shortcut. When this comes it would enter the new system clock date and time. c. Lastly, it would move to the DURATION cell and calculate a duration (ex. 25 minutes) and enter that result as a function of the relation ship between the two first cells.
In so doing, our son would have an exact record of time spent on each subject per day and a week value as a total sum.
Thank you for your time and attention.
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Emmanuel Scerri

Comments: 2 Responses to “How Can I Add an Unalterable Timestamp Value To a Cell In Numbers ’09 ?”

    11/6/12 @ 5:25 pm

    Sounds like you want some sort of script that would fill in blanks by itself.
    I suppose you could do it with Automator, but I have never tried this specific thing.
    To get the current time in a static cell value, you could paste in the formula =NOW() which would give you the dynamic ever-changing time. Then copy it. And then paste it over itself — but not with Edit, Paste, but Edit, Paste Values.
    So, armed with that idea, you could create a service in Automator that does each step of what you want. Then define it as a service for Numbers only, and save it there. Assign a keyboard shortcut to make it even easier to use.
    Not sure of your programming experience, so I can’t say how easy this would be for you to implement.
    On the other hand you could just have him enter in the time manually. Doesn’t seem that hard to type “4:00 Tab 4:30 Return”.

    Jerry G
    11/6/12 @ 7:18 pm

    Emmanuel,

    You might find a dedicated app more convenient. A quick look in the Mac App Store shows iConsult and Desktop Task Timer as possible candidates.

    Jerry

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