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Spreadsheet calculations with OpenOffice Calc

OpenOffice Calc is a spreadsheet calculation program (e.g. comparable with  MS Excel).

Remark: In general, clicking means clicking with your *left* mouse button.

Starting OpenOffice Calc

k_in_gear Click at the Knoppix-KDE-Desktop at the bottom left on the symbol with character "K".

k_office Click in the menu that opened at the entry "Office".

k_openofficeorg Click in the sub menu that opened at the entry "OpenOffice.org".

k_openofficeorg_calc Click in the sub menu that opened at the entry "OpenOffice.org Calc".

Now you see the "OpenOffice  "window:


(1) In some cases in overlay with the "OpenOffice" window the "Cell Styles" window opens too. You can close this by clicking at the top right at the "X" icon.

(2) Click in the "OpenOffice" window at the top right at the "arrow" icon, to maximize the window.

(A) In the window you see a workbook with an opened empty table "Sheet1", that is divided into rows and columns. The rows are numbered from "1" to pretty infinite, the columns start with "A" and go through the whole alphabet. At leas twice. They split the field in a raster pattern in so called "cells".

(B) Each cell has its own unique address, consisting of row and column indication. For instance, the cell at the cross point of  row 13 and column E is the cell E13.
Each cell may have a content, such as a number, a text string, a date or a formula. In our case here the content of E13 is 7.

(C) *One* cell is always the active one, it is outlined in bold. (In our example this is B5). When  you click with your mouse at a cell, then this cell becomes the active cell. The address of this cell is shown in the top next to the entry line. Only when a cell is active you can change its contents.

Working with OpenOffice Calc - Entering and formatting of formulas

(3) (4) The content of the active cell (bold outlined; in our case B5) is shown in the entry line at the top of the window. At this line you can enter with your keyboard data or formulas and so change the current content of the active cell. The data  entry is finished by pressing <ENTER>. By clicking on any other cell, this cell becomes the active (bold outlined) cell, in which you can change the contents, etc.
If cell B2 contains the number 5, B3 the number 7, B4 the number 9 and in B5 the Formula "=SUM(B2:B4)", then cell  B5 will show the value 21, the sum of the values in B2 till B4. (Note that the formula in B5 is only visible if B5 is made the active cell, other ways it shows the result of the formula. If you change  any of the values in the cells B2 till B4, then the result in B5 will also automatically change at once, in accordance with the formula.
A list of all possible Standard-Formulas (Functions) can be seen if you click at the menu on top at the entry "Insert" and then on "Function...".

(5) Using the menu "Tools" you can format the data in the active cell (Font, size, bold, italic, underscore, etc.).  Alternatively this can be done by clicking with the right mouse button on a cell in the table and in the opening menu click on "Format Cells..."

(6) When you click in the menu list on "Help" and then on "Contents", then you can get information on all possibilities of OpenOffice Calc.

Working with OpenOffice Calc - making a diagram


(1) When you have made a table and want to put the data into a diagram, then select all relevant cells, by left clicking on the first cell top left, keeping the mouse button pressed and go to the last cell bottom right that you want to have in your selection.  The selected cells will have the inverse color; i.e. white characters on a black background.

(2) Then click in the menu on top on "Insert" and then on "Chart..."; you will be asked one after each other in four different "AutoFormat Chart" windows how you want to give form to your diagram.

openoffice_calc_diagram_2 In the first window, you have to select whether the first row (fiscal year/turnover/profit) or the first column (1996 ... 2002) of the table serves as legend of the diagram.

Click on <Next>, to get into the next window

openoffice_calc_diagram_3 Select a  diagram type and whether the rows or the columns form the main ordering in the diagram. (In our example we indicated that the data values -turnover and profit- are found in the separate columns
Click on <Next> to get into the next window.

openoffice_calc_diagram_4 Select a diagram variant.
Click on <Next> to get into the next window.

openoffice_calc_diagram_5 Insert the title of the diagram and the text along the axes.
Click on <Create>.

openoffice_calc_diagram_6 The diagram is inserted as picture on top of the table.. :-)
When you change something in your table, then this change is immediately taken over in the diagram.

Ending OpenOffice Calc - saving a workbook

window_button_x_top_right The OpenOffice Calc program is close by clicking on the "X" symbol in the window on top right..

openoffice_save_changes When you have made changes  in your workbook, then a window will open in which you are asked if you want to save the changes in your work. You agree with this if you click on <Save>.

When you do not want to loose your in /home/knoppix saved OpenOffice Calc workbook (Files with extension .sxc, in our example the file /home/knoppix/Turnover.sxc) when you shutdown Knoppix, then use  mtools to save your files on floppy before you end Knoppix!

Opening an existing workbook

Copy an existing workbook that you have on floppy with mtools to the directory /home/knoppix.

oo_open_symbol After the Start of OpenOffice Calc click on the "Open-File" icon, at the top left in the toolbar.

You see the "Open" window:


(1) Double click with your left mouse button on the file that you want to open. The "Open" window closes and the content of the file will show in the "OpenOffice Calc" window.

(2) If you cannot see the name of the file you thought you would see, then select at the entry "File type:" "All files (*.*)" , which then shows all files with all possible file extensions.

Tips for further reading

Tutorials For OpenOffice

Official OpenOffice Web Page

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This Document describes the Knoppix Version 3.4 CeBit 2004 Edition.
Copyright (c) 2004-04-19 Karl Schock. (Thanks to all that have contributed to this document - special thanks to Pieter Jonker for translation into english.)
You have permission to copy, distribute or change this document under the conditions of the GNU Free Documentation License.
THE USE OF THIS DOCUMENT IS AT YOUR OWN RISK. The author cannot be held responsible in any way for direct or indirect damage that may come forward from using this document.