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Porting from MS Excel Spreadsheets to MS Multiplan on the TI99


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Hi Everyone,


Thought you'd get a kick out of this. Very simple actually.

  1. Download and install a copy of OpenOffice/LibreOffice on your PC and open whatever excel file you need to port.
  2. Then "Save As" in the SYLK format. This stands for Symbolic Link File Format.
  3. Open up ti99dir and copy that file to a disk image. You want to do this as Int/Fix, 128, and Binary File (no conversion).
  4. Make a diskette or an .HFE image (if you are using a Lotharek).
  5. Fire up MS Multiplan on the TI-99 and press T (for transfer), and O (for options). Set the file type as SYLK. You can also specify the location of your data drive in the form "DSKx." (but not as part of the filename, it has to be set under options in the field just below the file type selector)
  6. Press T, then L (for load) and enter the filename. Prepare to wait. After about a minute you'll see it processing SYLK lines as the data is fed into Multiplan.
  7. Done - go to T (Transfer), then O (Options) -set file type as Normal and then T, F, Save to save your Multiplan file.
  8. Go nuts - slowly... :)

Obviously, your spreadsheets need to be dirt simple - I didn't test this with formulas but it should be able to handle basic A1 to R1C1 formula conversions.


Cheers, Arthur...


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Now that I can burn cartridges I wish I had the talent to hack Gazoo's XB2.7S stuff in the Atmega1284. I'd remove Disk Manager 2 or TI Diagnostics or both if I could get TI Multiplan in there. I don't use either of those two programs, besides DM2K does everything I need and that resides in the 49F040 portion of the cartridge. So if Multiplan could get in there, only some minor hacking of the menu, which also resides in the 1284 would be necessary.

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  • 3 years later...

One of the ‘most’ powerful production pieces but very UNDER USED pieces of software every written for the TI99/4A was Microsoft Multiplan! It could be used for creating spreadsheets for finances, mailing lists, inventory records {such as databases}, school grading records, and etc.

There have been other spreadsheet programs for the TI99/4A:




Vector CALC

However not one of them could match the degree of sophistication that Microsoft Multiplan displayed. Learning to use Microsoft Multiplan was also great preparation for learning how to used the later “standard” Excel!

To learn how to create spreadsheets, I once converted most of the Scott Forsman cartridges to spreadsheets for the TI99/4A for Microsoft Multiplan program.

I then took on the task of converting the very thorough Home Budget Management cartridge to a spreadsheet for the TI99/4A with the Microsoft Multiplan program; there was just one “tiny” problem! The largest file that could be created was only around 12K and that was just enough to get three (3) months of data on the spreadsheet, so to view a full year’s budget I had to break the year into four (4) quarters. When the Myarc Geneve 9640 was introduced with its 64K of memory for those type of files when running in the TI99/4A mode, I made a full one (1) year spreadsheet for the 9640 and it can be found on the WHT Site under 9640 files.

When I switch totally to IBM PC files for my serious business purposes, I learn to create Excel spreadsheets and then made a clone of the Home Budget Management cartridge in Excel format and had it published on the https://www.vertex42.com website. That cartridge was first published in 1978 and the budget categories and tax categories lasted until 2018 when the new tax laws took place. Too bad all three (TI99/4A Cartridge, TI99/4A & Geneve 9640 spreadsheets, and the Excel spreadsheet) are now OBSOLETE pieces of software.

One of the great things about the many different commercial spreadsheet programs is that they have a file sharing format of SYLK where a spreadsheet written on one principles could be shared with another program including Microsoft Multiplan. So even today in 2018 the TI99/4A can share simple spreadsheets written on other computer types.

Here are a group of Microsoft Multiplan Templates for the TI99/4A:


Edited by ewbray
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