Excel

How many of you export your data into a csv file so you can manipulate it in Excel?

To manipulate? Never. Any revision is done in plaintext file. I mean, that’s the whole point, ain’t it?

Excel(Libreoffice Calc in my case) is used exclusively for visualization. It’s a nice way to fiddle with various charts and graphs.

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Can’t but agree with @KoreanCPA, Excel and similar spreadsheet programs are too error prone to manipulate data.

I sketch graphs in LIbreoffice calc and then replicate them in gnuplot + a scripting language. This way they are quick and easy to reuse again.

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I’ve dragged report CSV into a spreadsheet (Pages) to make charts from it. And probably once or twice to produce tabular reports with custom formatting. It’s not something I do often. Spreadsheets can’t be beaten for certain tasks, so I’d like it to be easy to move PTA data to and from them.

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And for those who are wondering what kinds of manipulation you can do in Excel or other spreadsheets, here is an introductory video that I made: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hb-hK8Lc67s&t=2s.

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Nice example of simple charting! You can also drag and drop CSV files into a spreadsheet.

Yes. Over many years - perhaps even decades - I’ve used excel to model and manipulate data. I certainly see the benefits of hledger and plain text accounting, but being so new to PTA I was curious how many people combine both tools and if anyone would be will to share how they do that.

Exporting transactions
Exporting from hledger - hledger has some tips for moving transactions (as opposed to, say, balance report output) from hledger to a spreadsheet. In short, with hledger there are two ways to export transactions CSV: print, which preserves the most data but generates multiple records per transaction:

$ hledger print [QUERY] -o foo.csv

or aregister, which generates one record per transaction, which is usually what you want in a spreadsheet:

$ hledger areg ACCT -o foo.csv

Exporting report data for charting
When exporting report output for charting, you’ll usually want to filter to a single currency (cur:) or convert to a single currency (-B, -X CUR, --infer-market-prices). Also the balance reports’ --layout=bare or --layout=tidy option can help make the data more consumable. Eg, to export monthly expenses summarised to depth 2, with commodity symbols separated from numbers:

hledger bal type:x -2 -M cur:\\$ --layout=bare -o monthly-expenses.csv

Ultorg
hledger and Ultorg - hledger describes working with Ultorg, a kind of “superspreadsheet”.

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