CCNC/CCNC Module 4/Getting to know the application/Locating the components of the CALC Screen

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Opening and closing CALC | Locating the components of the CALC Screen | Creating, opening and closing spreadsheets | Saving spreadsheets | Handling worksheets | Show Me Xine.png | Summary & FAQs

Locating the components of the CALC screen

You need to be very familiar with the tool you are working with. We will begin with the part of the tool that is visible on your computer screen. We refer to it as the CALC screen. Running across the top are a set of four toolbars each of which displays a series of icons or buttons you will click on when you want to perform certain tasks. To put it another way, you click on these buttons when you want to execute specific commands. The four toolbars are:

The Menu Toolbar:

The menu toolbar displays the names for categories of basic commands many of which also are found in the other OpenOffice tools. For example, the File menu consists of a set of commands related to file operations such as opening an existing file, creating a new file, closing files, and so on.

Main menu toolbar

The Function Toolbar:

The second bar is the function toolbar. It contains icons (pictures) to provide quick access to commands found in the drop down boxes on the main menu, e.g., New, Open, Print, Copy, Paste, etc.

Function toolbar

The Formatting Toolbar:

The third bar is the formatting toolbar. It contains icons and drop down menus for commands used to format cells, e.g., to select a font, font color, alignment, number format, border option and background color.

Formatting toolbar

The Formula Toolbar

The fourth bar is the formula toolbar.It contains the Name Box drop down menu (which contains the address of the cell that is currently selected or the range of cells, e.g., C1:D5, if a block of cells is selected) and then following three icons, a long box called the Input Line (which serves as the entry point for all data to be entered in the highlighted cell).

Formula toolbar

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  • When you place your mouse cursor over an icon on a toolbar, the name of the function appears on your screen.
  • Selecting the >> drop down menu on the far right of the function and formatting toolbars opens a menu of options for customizing the toolbars.

Toolbar and Work Area


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The toolbar runs down the left side of the work area and provides a quick route of accessing common spreadsheet functions. The work area consists of a grid formed by the intersection of rows and columns.

Columns, Rows and Cells The main feature of a spreadsheet is that it is organised into columns and rows. The lines that run vertically and horizontally The columns run vertically from top to bottom of the work area and are named by the letters of the alphabet. These may be seen at the top of each column. The rows run horizontally from left to right and are numbered 1, 2, 3, 4, etc.

The cell is located at the point where the row and the column intersect or cross each other. For example cell C11 is the cell lying at the intersection of Column C and Row 11. C11 is also referred to as the address of the cell.



The tabs are located at the bottom left corner of the work area. By default, there are 3 of them, named Sheet 1, Sheet 2, Sheet 3. These tabs identify the worksheets that are contained in a single spreadsheet. When we click on a tab, its worksheet is displayed. The work area that we have been looking at thus far is essentially the work area of a single worksheet when displayed on the CALC screen. We will look more closely at spreadsheets and worksheets in a later subsection.