Open Office Calc Basic Spreadsheet Tutorial

01
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Open Office Calc Step by Step Tutorial

Basic Open Office Calc Spreadsheet Tutorial
Basic Open Office Calc Spreadsheet Tutorial. © Ted French

Open Office Calc Spreadsheet Tutorial - Overview

Open Office Calc, is an electronic spreadsheet program offered free of charge by openoffice.org. The program is easy to use and contains most, if not all of the commonly used features found in spreadsheets such as Microsoft Excel.

This tutorial covers the steps to creating a basic spreadsheet in Open Office Calc.

Completing the steps in the topics below will produce a spreadsheet similar to the image above.

Tutorial Topics

  • Adding data to a spreadsheet

  • Widening Columns

  • Adding a Date Function and a Range Name

  • Adding formulas

  • Changing data alignment in cells

  • Number formatting - percent and currency

  • Changing cell background color

  • Changing font color
02
of 09

Entering Data into Open Office Calc

Basic Open Office Calc Spreadsheet Tutorial
Basic Open Office Calc Spreadsheet Tutorial. © Ted French

Entering Data into Open Office Calc

Note: For help on these steps, refer to the image above.

Entering data into a spreadsheet is always a three step process. These steps are:

  1. Click on the cell where you want the data to go.

  2. Type your data into the cell.

  3. Press the ENTER key on the keyboard or click on another cell with the mouse.

For this tutorial

To follow this tutorial, enter the data listed below into a blank spreadsheet using the following steps:

  1. Open a blank Calc spreadsheet file.

  2. Select the cell indicated by the cell reference provided.

  3. Type the corresponding data into the selected cell.

  4. Press the Enter key on the keyboard or click on the next cell in the list with the mouse.
 Cell Data 

A2 - Deduction Calculations for Employees A8 - Last Name A9 - Smith B. A10 - Wilson C. A11 - Thompson J. A12 - James D.

B4 - Date: B6 - Deduction Rate: B8 - Gross Salary B9 - 45789 B10 - 41245 B11 - 39876 B12 - 43211

C6 - .06 C8 - Deduction D8 - Net Salary

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03
of 09

Widening Columns

Basic Open Office Calc Spreadsheet Tutorial
Basic Open Office Calc Spreadsheet Tutorial. © Ted French

Widening Columns in Open Office Calc

Note: For help on these steps, refer to the image above.

After entering the data you will probably find that several words, such as Deduction, are too wide for a cell. To correct this so that the entire word is visible:

  1. Place the mouse pointer on the line between columns C and D in the column header.

  2. The pointer will change to a double - headed arrow.

  3. Click with the left mouse button and drag the double - headed arrow to the right to widen column C.

  4. Widen other columns to show data as needed.

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04
of 09

Adding the Date and a Range Name

Basic Open Office Calc Spreadsheet Tutorial
Basic Open Office Calc Spreadsheet Tutorial. © Ted French

Adding the Date in Open Office Calc

Note: For help on these steps, refer to the image above.

It is normal to add the date to a spreadsheet. Built into Open Office Calc are a number of DATE functions that can be used to do this. In this tutorial we will use the TODAY function.

  1. Click on cell C4.

  2. Type = TODAY ( )

  3. Press the ENTER key on the keyboard.

  4. The current date should appear in cell C4

Adding a Range Name in Open Office Calc

  1. Select cell C6 in the spreadsheet.

  2. Click on the Name Box.

  3. Type "rate" (no quotes) in the Name Box.

  4. Cell C6 now has the name of "rate". We will use the name to simplify creating formulas in the next step.

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05
of 09

Adding Formulas

Basic Open Office Calc Spreadsheet Tutorial
Basic Open Office Calc Spreadsheet Tutorial. © Ted French

Calculating employee deductions

Note: For help on these steps, refer to the image above.

  1. Click on cell C9.

  2. Type in the formula = B9 * rate and press the Enter key on the keyboard.

Calculating net salary

  1. Click on cell D9.

  2. Type in the formula = B9 - C9 and press the Enter key on the keyboard.

Copying the formulas in cells C9 and D9 to other cells:

  1. Click on cell C9 again.

  2. Move the mouse pointer over the fill handle (a small black dot) in the bottom right corner of the active cell.

  3. When the pointer changes to a black "plus sign", click and hold down the left mouse button and drag the fill handle down to cell C12. The formula in C9 will be copied to cells C10 - C12.

  4. Click on cell D9.

  5. Repeat steps 2 and 3 and drag the fill handle down to cell D12. The formula in D9 will be copied to cells D10 - D12.

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06
of 09

Changing Data Alignment

Basic Open Office Calc Spreadsheet Tutorial
Basic Open Office Calc Spreadsheet Tutorial. © Ted French

Open Office Calc Formatting - Changing Data Alignment

Note: For help on these steps, refer to the image above. As well, if you place your mouse over an icon on a toolbar, the icon's name will be displayed.

  1. Drag select cells A2 - D2.

  2. Click on the Merge Cells icon on the Formatting toolbar to merge the selected cells.

  3. Click on the Align Center Horizontally icon on the Formatting toolbar to center the title across the selected area.

  4. Drag select cells B4 - B6.

  5. Click on the Align right option icon on the Formatting toolbar to right align the data in these cells.

  6. Drag select cells A9 - A12.

  7. Click on the Align right icon on the Formatting toolbar to right align the data in these cells.

  8. Drag select cells A8 - D8.

  9. Click on the Align Center Horizontally icon on the Formatting toolbar to center the data in these cells.

  10. Drag select cells C4 - C6.

  11. Click on the Align Center Horizontally icon on the Formatting toolbar to center the data in these cells.

  12. Drag select cells B9 - D12.

  13. Click on the Align Center Horizontally icon on the Formatting toolbar to center the data in these cells.

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07
of 09

Adding Number Formatting

Basic Open Office Calc Spreadsheet Tutorial
Basic Open Office Calc Spreadsheet Tutorial. © Ted French

Open Office Calc Formatting - number formatting

Note: For help on these steps, refer to the image above. As well, if you place your mouse over an icon on a toolbar, the icon's name will be displayed.

Number formatting refers to the addition of currency symbols, decimal markers, percent signs, and other symbols that help to identify the type of data present in a cell and to make it easier to read.

In this step we add percent signs and currency symbols to our data.

Adding the percent sign

  1. Select cell C6.

  2. Click on the Number Format: Percent icon on the Formatting toolbar to add the percent symbol to the selected cell.

  3. Click on the Number Format: Delete Decimal Place icon on the Formatting toolbar twice to remove the two decimal places.

  4. The data in cell C6 should now read as 6 %.

Adding the currency symbol

  1. Drag select cells B9 - D12.

  2. Click on the Number Format: Currency icon on the Formatting toolbar to add the dollar sign to the selected cells.

  3. The data in cells B9 - D12 should now show the dollar symbol ( $ ) and two decimal places.

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08
of 09

Changing cell background color

Basic Open Office Calc Spreadsheet Tutorial
Basic Open Office Calc Spreadsheet Tutorial. © Ted French

Open Office Calc Formatting - Changing cell background color

Note: For help on these steps, refer to the image above. As well, if you place your mouse over an icon on a toolbar, the icon's name will be displayed.

  1. Drag select cells A2 - D2 on the spreadsheet.

  2. Click on the Background Color icon on the Formatting toolbar (looks like a paint can) to open the background color drop down list.

  3. Choose Sea Blue from the list to change the background color of cells A2 - D2 to blue.

  4. Drag select cells A8 - D8 on the spreadsheet.

  5. Repeat steps 2 and 3.

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09
of 09

Changing Font Color

Basic Open Office Calc Spreadsheet Tutorial
Basic Open Office Calc Spreadsheet Tutorial. © Ted French

Open Office Calc Formatting - Changing font color

Note: For help on these steps, refer to the image above. As well, if you place your mouse over an icon on a toolbar, the icon's name will be displayed.

  1. Drag select cells A2 - D2 on the spreadsheet.

  2. Click on the Font Color icon on the Formatting toolbar (it is a large letter " A ") to open the font color drop down list.

  3. Choose White from the list to change the color of the text in cells A2 - D2 to white.

  4. Drag select cells A8 - D8 on the spreadsheet.

  5. Repeat steps 2 and 3 above.

  6. Drag select cells B4 - C6 on the spreadsheet.

  7. Click on the Font Color icon on the Formatting toolbar to open the font color drop down list.

  8. Choose Sea Blue from the list to change the color of the text in cells B4 - C6 to blue.

  9. Drag select cells A9 - D12 on the spreadsheet.

  10. Repeat steps 7 and 8 above.

  11. At this point, if you have followed all the steps of this tutorial correctly, your spreadsheet should resemble the spreadsheet pictured in Step 1 of this tutorial.

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