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OpenOffice Calc

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By Scott M. Morris

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Posted: 26 Jan 2005
 

In December, I wrote an article wherein I listed a lot of the software that is available on Linux to replace the software you are used to on Windows. One of those applications was OpenOffice.org. This is an office productivity suite that has many applications built into it. One of these applications is called Calc. Anyone who has used Microsoft's Excel program will find themselves at home using this software.

In most cases, this software will already be installed on your system. Generally, it will be accessible through an icon on your desktop called "Office":

If not, it's available from the K menu. Follow K => OFFICE => OFFICE SUITE:

When you open it, a window appears called "Templates and Documents - New Document." You can see how many great applications are available from this window. To open Calc, make sure NEW DOCUMENT is selected on the left side, and select SPREADSHEET on the right side. Then, click OPEN:

A blank spreadsheet window opens, and we're ready to go. Now, we can discuss a few of the great features of this excellent software.

One of the excellent features is formula support. If you need to add a column of numbers, you just type "=sum(" and select the cells that you want to add together. Then, you type ")" to finish the formula:

When you hit ENTER, the total appears in the box, and the formula disappears:

Another cool feature is the ability that you have to create borders and add color to the cells. To add a border, select the cells you wish to enclose in the border:

Then click the BORDERS button in the toolbar. A small window appears from which you can choose the type of border to apply:

Once you've selected your border, it will appear around the selected cells (you may have to click away from these cells to see the border):

To add a background color, select the cells you wish to color:

Then click the BACKGROUND COLOR button in the toolbar. A small window appears from which you can select the color you want:

Once you pick your color, the selected cells are changed to that color:

Using these few tools, you are now equipped to make a simple spreadsheet for a proposal, a report, or any one of several other types of spreadsheets. These are a very few of the vast number of features included in OpenOffice.org's Calc program. In the future, I will continue the exploration of Calc's functionality. Until then, explore and look around in it. There are a bunch of great features to be found.


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