CCNC/CCNC Module 4/Spreadsheets/Application/Subsection 4

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Creating a new spreadsheet

You are about to begin work and need to have a blank spreadsheet displayed on your computer screen. Do you recall how you got a new blank Writer document on your screen to start wordprocessing? Well, the same procedure applies here. What comes up when you execute this procedure is the template for creating a spreadsheet.

Now do it

  • Click on File on the menu Bar
  • Click on New on the drop down menu
  • Click on Spreadsheet. This will display a blank spreadsheet. It is the template you will work on to create your own spreadsheet. But more on that later.

(: Can we have a SAQ here?)

Opening and closing spreadsheets

Let us ensure that we are clear about a few terms before we proceed. First, the work area. That is the space comprising rows and columns that is on your computer screen at any given time. For it to be called the work area, it must be displayed on the screen. That work area will always be one of the worksheets of the spreadsheet that you are working on. The tabs in the bottom left corner of the work area will tell you which worksheet is being displayed.If the tab for Sheet 1 is highlighted, then it is the first worksheet that is being displayed. If you click on Sheet 3, then the third worksheet replaces the first on the screen. The spreadsheet consists of all these worksheets. A spreadsheet consists of text, numbers and formulas that are entered into the cells of its worksheets. Collectively, text, numbers and formulas are referred to as data. Spreadsheets that contain data are saved on files, juast as in the case of the Writer documents.

We will first open and close one spreadsheet, then several.

Now do it

Open a single spreadsheet

  • Click on File in the menu bar
  • Click on Open. This brings up the Open Dialogue window. The dialogue lists a series of directories and files.
  • Locate the directory in which the desired file is held.
  • Click on the directory to open it
  • Highlight the file.
  • Click Open.
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Tip: If you are not sure about the directory that contains your file and you have to search a bit, you will find the Up one Level icon useful. By the way, what is the difference between a directory and a file?


Close a single spreadsheet

Before we perform this task, we need to be clear about the difference between the 'close' and 'exit' commands. Close closes the spreadsheet, but leaves the program CALC and other spreadsheets open. Exit closes the spreadsheet you are working on, any other spreadsheet that is open, as well as CALC.

  • Click on File on the menu bar.
  • Click on Close. This command is in the top section of the drop down menu. Exit is in the bottom section.
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Tip: Two things to remember: Always save your data before closing or exiting. CALC will help you here if the version of the document that you have on the screen differs from the one already saved on the hard disk. CALC will ask you whether you want to save the new version. Secondly, always close CALC before you start shutting down the system

Open more than one spreadsheet

One way of doing this, is simply to repeat the process given above for how ever many spreadsheets tyou wish to open. But there is a quicker way.

  • Click on File then Open.
  • Locate the directory containing the files you wish to open.
  • Click on the first file.
  • Hold down the CTRL key and click on each of the additional files you wish to open.


  • Click Open. The last of the files loaded will appear in the window. This will be the active spreadsheet. The others are also loaded but are in the background.

You can make one of the other spreadsheets active as follows:

  • Click on Window to list the spreadsheets that are loaded
  • Click on the spreadsheet that you wish to make active.

(Comment.gif: All references to the Windows environment in the ICDL materials are to be removed and where necessary adjustments made to CCNC material)

Close more than one spreadsheet

If you wish to close some but not all the spreadsheets you have loaded, then you will use the Close command for each separately. If you want to close all as well as CALC, then you will use the Exit command.

(Comment.gif: The original ICDL text did not include instructions for closing more than one spreadsheet, but I included it for completeness. So this needs to be checked by a content expert.)