STO Links
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Star Trek Online Links
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by @daBelgrave and @Mighty_BOB_cnc
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You can always find this at:
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http://bit.ly/STOLinks
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Introduction
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When one of us makes a spreadsheet, one of the things we like to do is include a list of links to any other useful related spreadsheets or resources we might have. As time goes on, this list tends to grow, and eventually expands to include links to resources by others. However, these ever expanding lists of links can be difficult to update across a variety of spreadsheets for multiple people, so we have a solution. Now, instead of always updating your own lists, we have a centralized link repository, and a sheet template that can be used to import links.
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If you have a link you believe should be added, please contact @daBelgrave or @Mighty_BOB_cnc.
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The following criteria help determine the potential inclusion of a specific resource link to prevent link spam:
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1.The resource should be useful to most players, in the most useable form available.
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2.Useful guides, maps, calculators, infographics, and tools are better than complex theorycrafting.
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3.The resource should benefit the player and the player's understanding of the game.
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4.The resource should be reasonably relevant to the current state of the game.
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5.The resource contains information that goes beyond the easily accessible basics.
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How to Use - Quick Version
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1.Copy the "Links Page Template" to your own Google spreadsheet.
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2.If the copy works fine, the sheet should work properly in your spreadsheet. You can now rename it.
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3.If the copy does not work (usually if your spreadsheet is still in the old Google Spreadsheet version), you might need to manually recreate the sheet, and copy-paste the formulas. Do not forget to copy the text in the hidden "D" column.
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4.Congratulations. You should now have an improved Links page on your own spreadsheet. Feel free to make your own personal adjustments to fit your needs.
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How it Works
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Categories and the Drop-Down Menu
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The Links Page works by allowing a user to select a category. The page then imports a range of links from this spreadsheet based on that selection.
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The current categories are:
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Category TitleImport Range Name
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Community/Communication ResourcesCommunity
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General ResourcesGeneral
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Duty Officer ResourcesDutyOfficer
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R&D and Upgrade ResourcesRnDAndUpgrades
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Ship ResourcesShips
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Foundry ResourcesFoundry
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Special Task Force ResourcesSTFs
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Game Mechanics ResourcesGameMechanics
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Economy ResourcesEconomy
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These categories automatically import into the Links Page with the following formula:
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=ImportRange( "1REbeSL_UABVlWAvApP-CN-yseFW4Ghw2zQ_F5ZiReVs" , "CategoryList" )
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The Import Range Names are kept in a hidden column on the Links Page, and are used for the validation that creates the drop-down selection box. To add validation, the following steps are used:
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1.Select the cell where the validation will apply. In our case, it is the cell to become the drop-down menu.
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2.Use the menu at the top of the page to select Data -> Validation. This opens up the validation options.
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3.Make sure Criteria is set to "List from a range."
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4.In the box beside the Criteria, select the data range, specifically the column where the categories are kept. On the Links Sheet, this is D:D, and is usually kept hidden.
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5.The next option down is "On invalid data." Make sure this is set to "Reject input."
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6.Finally, make sure the Appearance option is checked. This finishes your drop-down menu.
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Example Drop-Down Menu:Community
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Once the drop-down menu is working, the Links Page uses the menu's contents as the Import Range Name for the group of links you wish to import. This is done with the following formula:
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=ImportRange( "1REbeSL_UABVlWAvApP-CN-yseFW4Ghw2zQ_F5ZiReVs" , <cell of drop-down menu> )
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You can read more about the =ImportRange() formula at:
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https://support.google.com/docs/answer/3093340
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Anatomy of a Link
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Each link consists of three rows and three columns. This allows us to put in all the basic information, with options for additional customization if desired.
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Row 1:Title: (mandatory) This fills the first two cells of the first row. All links will have a title.
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Creator: (optional) This fills the final cell in the first row. This would be the person who created the resource at the link.
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Row 2:Description: (optional) This fills all three rows in the second row. Descriptions are recommended, but not mandatory. If a link does not have a description, the Link will go here instead.
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Row 3:Version Number: (optional) This fills the first cell in the third row. Not everyone places a version number on their resources, but some people do. This is to accomodate those numbers where available. Unless the link is in Row 2, this looks best if filled with "N/A" if no version is available.
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Link: (mandatory) This fills the final two cells of the third row. If there is no description, the link will go into the cell usually reserved for the description.
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Title (2 merged cells)Creator (optional)
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Description (3 merged cells)
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Version # (optional)Link (2 merged cells)
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What Else Can I Do?
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1.(easy) You could provide a single link to this spreadsheet instead of importing the links.
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2.(easy) You could import only certain ranges of your choice.
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3.(moderate) You could present these links in columns beside your own links, so you have two batches of links side-by-side on the same sheet.
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4.(hard) You could incorporate this link import technique into your own batch of links, with the drop-down menu able to import both these links and your own.
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What This Does Not Do
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Notes
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