Working with Spreadsheets in OpenOffice.org Calc
|Work in progress, expect frequent changes. Help and feedback is welcome. See discussion page.|
In this tutorial you will learn how to develop, work with and manipulate spreadsheets using the computer application OpenOffice.org Calc, one of five applications available in OpenOffice.org 3. Calc is similar to Microsoft Excel and you can save your Calc spreadsheets in Excel for sending to Microsoft users, if needed.
But, what is a spreadsheet, you ask? A spreadsheet is a table of rows and columns, creating a grid of cells. Each cell can contain a piece of information, for example:
- a number
- a formula
In most situations, spreadsheets are used for manipulating numeric data. The spreadsheet computer application is designed to enable you to model and observe the relationships among the data contained in the rows and columns. Spreadsheets can be useful in a variety of contexts, e.g., as a calculator, to analyse business data, to track personal finances, or to create charts for visual interpretation of data.
If this is your first time using a spreadsheet, you may find it useful to skim through an entire block of content first, paying special attention to the headings and introductions, then go through a second time for more in-depth study and practice.
If you have some experience using a spreadsheet, you may want to skim over the full content first to identify topics in which you need in-depth study and practice. You will want to review topics with which you are already familiar to learn specific functionality that may be new to you.
To gain the full benefit of the tutorial, we recommend that you do the activities as they appear. They are essential study materials, offering practice in particular skills that will build your proficiency in using spreadsheets.
To deepen your understanding of the operations you are learning as you progress through the tutorial, keep linking the new content that you are studying with content that you have already covered and with your own general knowledge.
If you have difficulty understanding any area, try working at it slowly. If you still do not understand, seek help.
In creating this presentation we have used the following conventions:
- Commands to be performed are written in bold; a series of commands are linked with the symbol, >.
- A "Follow Along" activity is designed for you to perform the instructions in the Calc application open on your desktop as you work through the content.
- When we use the terms "select" or "click" followed by a command, you should click on the left side of the mouse. We will specify "right-click" when it is needed.
- Getting to know the application
- Working with and in cells
- Working with formulas and functions
- Formatting cells
- Creating charts and graphs
- Preparing the spreadsheet for distribution
Aspects of the content materials were adapted from the following:
Home and Learn. Free Computer Tutorials - Microsoft Excel Tutorials  accessed 2007-12-09.
OpenICDL. ICDL Module 4, Spreadsheets using OpenOffice.org Calc 
OpenLearn Learning Space. Working with charts, graphs and tables  accessed 2007-12-15.
OpenOffice.org Documentation Project. Getting Stared with OpenOffice.org 3  accessed 2009-05-22.
OpenOfficeSchool.org. Lessons for Calc 
Tutorials for OpenOffice. Calc (Spreadsheet) Tutorials  accessed 2009-04-02.
About this Module
- Based on Calc application in OpenOffice.org 3, running on Ubuntu 9.
- Created under a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike license