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Using iPad to take attendance (mark a roll)

Discussion in 'iPad General Discussions' started by chowdown, Jan 9, 2011.

  1. chowdown
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    chowdown iPad Fan

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    I need a spreadsheet for roll-marking and other purposes. I recently bought Office2. Its spreadsheet program seems to be perfect for roll-taking, except for one small yet crucial flaw: it's impossible (as far as I can tell) to freeze panes. That will make it very difficult to take attendance after the first ten or so lessons. What makes it more annoying is that Office2 advertises that its spreadsheet can freeze panes!!

    All this spreadsheet needs to be able to do is simple sorting, pane-freezing and import/export to Excel (Office 2007 would be nice, but not essential).

    So can Pages or Documents To Go or QuickOffice or any other spreadsheet do what I want?

    Or perhaps the advertising for Office2 is not a lie, I'm a doofus, and Office2's spreadsheet really can freeze panes?
  2. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    I don't see the ability to freeze panes in Numbers, and I don't have any of the others to try.

    I did take a quick search through the app store. Searching for 'attendance' got a few hits, and some of them seem to be able to export to the csv file format that is easily importable to Excel. It might be worth your while to look them over.
  3. nateccnn
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    nateccnn iPad Fan

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    Documents 2 Go has ability to freeze frames. Bottom tool bar, second to last icon allows freeze or unfreeze frames, anchored on the current cell selection.

    Nate
  4. Diane B
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    Diane B iPad Junkie

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    Contact the developers at Office HD. I found they are quite helpful and try to solve your issues.
  5. chowdown
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    chowdown iPad Fan

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    Is that just what they say or have you seen it in action? Also, can DTG do a simple sort? If I want to use the spreadsheet as a mark book, would I be able to then rearrange the students in order of their scores in a test? AFAIK, no currently available iPad spreadsheet can do that apart from Office2.

    I would love to be proved wrong!

    All I want from a spreadsheet is pane-freezing, simple sorting and import/export from/to Excel.

    As for a dedicated attendance app, I've bought one and had a look at reviews of others. So far I haven't been too impressed, but I'll buy any app that gives me a whole-class whole-term view and can fulfill the requirements I mentioned in the opening post.

    Happy to take suggestions.

    PS, If I ascertain that it's not my own stupidity, I will definitely be contacting the producers of Office2 about their false advertising re pane-freezing.
  6. nateccnn
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    nateccnn iPad Fan

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    I opened a very large spreadsheet on my iPad and used the functions. They work. It freezes and unfreezes based on the anchor point being the currently selected cell. A to Z sort is in the last icon on the bottom menu...looks like a Tools icon.

    I know nothng about office2 so I can't help you with it.

    Nate
  7. chowdown
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    chowdown iPad Fan

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    Nate, can DTG do a simple sort, eg, rearrange a list of students depending on marks that are displayed in a particular column? Can it import/export from/to Excel? I'll buy it if it can.
  8. nateccnn
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    Why don't you just download the free version and try it out. I already answered your question but you don't seem to want to trust me.

    Nate
  9. deckyon
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    deckyon iPad Junkie

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    Sort/Freeze: You were answered twice.

    As to Import/Export, there is a desktop app for syncing as well as D2G Premium allows for hitting the Cloud and I use it all the time with Dropbox to keep 4 devices synced.
  10. chowdown
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    chowdown iPad Fan

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    Sorry Nate, it's not that I don't trust you. It's just that my short exposure to the world of apps has led me to believe that just because there is an icon for a particular function in an app doesn't mean that function necessarily exists!
  11. chowdown
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    Unless I'm missing something, this doesn't tell me if files I create in DTG can be opened in Excel or vice versa. That's what I mean by import/export.
  12. Mickey330
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    Mickey330 Administrator Staff Member

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    I just did a test with my Documents to Go. You can
    1) Freeze panes
    2) Sort on any/all columns
    3) Create a new Excel file (it'll save as an .xls file)

    I've got my app hooked up to my Dropbox account (and to my desktop). Using both ways, I was easily able to access my file. If you don't want to use Dropbox, or sync it to your desktop, there's always e-mail...

    Docs2go WILL let you work on Excel files and import/export files to/from your iPad.

    Marilyn
  13. chowdown
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    chowdown iPad Fan

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    Thanks for the info Marilyn. The latest embarrasing news from here is that the spreadsheet in Office2 does allow you to freeze panes. I figured it out last night.

    Does the spreadsheet in Documents To Go allow you to perform fills, ie, drag right or down to fill a row or column with sequential data? That's a useful function that I'm finding myself missing in Office2 at the moment.
  14. Mickey330
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    As far as I can tell, no, D2G doesn't have the drag-to-fill function. It can copy quite well, but not that. Bummer - 'cause I like it too.

    However, as far as I've been able to research, QuickOffice doesn't have this function either. Guess maybe it's a bit too complex for these mini/quasi Microsoft apps? Maybe one day, one will ...

    Marilyn
  15. chowdown
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    Yeah, I'm willing to bet that Numbers can't do it either.
  16. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    Not completely sure if this is what you meant, but you can enter a number in one field, double tap, choose Fill from the pop up menu, and then drag it to create multiple fields. Each entry increments the number by one.

    If you choose a text field it just duplicates the entry.
  17. chowdown
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    That's interesting twerppoet.

    1) Can you fill with a number without automatically incrementing?

    2) Can you fill with numbers that increment by multiples other than 1, eg, 3, 6, 9 etc?

    3) Can you fill with incrementing dates?
  18. twerppoet
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    Yes to all three, though it took me a while to figure out and a slight interface quirk almost made me give up before I figured it out.

    It will increment dates just fine.

    To change the increment, enter the first two numbers of the desired increment in adjacent fields. Then with both fields selected do a fill.

    To get the pop-up menu that lets you fill, you first select the field or fields you want. Then you tap and hold until the menu shows up. The quirk, if you don't hold for at least a second after the menu shows it goes to entry mode. Or sliding your finger off the field before releasing seems to work too.

    Also, when you select a date field and accidentally go into entry mode, it resets the field to blank and you have to reinter the date. Very annoying, until you learn to just hold the tap a little longer.
  19. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    A little more playing around in Numbers shows that it can freeze both row and column headers. While not as versatile as freezing entire panes, it should be very useful.

    Just select the header row or column you want by tapping opposite of it on the gray bar. Tap on the info icon, circle with an i in it, and choose the Headers tab. Here you can set the number of header rows and/or columns as well as freeze them. I'm not sure if selecting the header first is necessary, but because you can have multiple spread sheets on the same Number's page you need to at least make sure the sheet you want is selected.

    And you can set a Footer Row here as well, though I'm not exactly sure what that will do. Haven't experimented with it yet.

    Edit: Removed link to iWorks tutorials. They were for the full OS X versions. I'll look to see if I can find the iPad equivalent.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2011
  20. twerppoet
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    Noticed there is actually an attendance templet in iPad Numbers. It brings up another advantage. While freezing headers is nice, wouldn't be even nicer to be able to just go do a quick form, add the date, and then scroll though a check list?

    Yep, you can do this. Numbers is the only spreadsheet I know on the iPad that gives you a form entry option.

    Unfortunately the export to excel format converts the checkboxes to True False or at least that's what I see when I re-import it to Numbers on the iMac. I don't have Excel to play with. I'm downloading OpenOffice as I type this, to check how it works there.

    Ok, I've put some pictures and the exported spreadsheet on iDisk. Here is the public link.

    https://public.me.com/mikelpotts

    BTW, the export looks terrible in OpenOffice.

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