OpenOffice Calc Tutorial 1: The Calc Environment

This is the first post in the OpenOffice Calc Tutorial Series. In this post, we familiarize ourselves with the Calc interface.

The Calc environment is very similar to that of Microsoft Excel’s. It is made up of columns and rows. Each column is name by a letter (see column header) and each row is named with a number (see row header). Column  D and row 5 are highlighted below.

A cell is an intersection of a column and a row and is named using a cell address. D5 is the cell address of the cell in column D and row 5. The cell where data will appear when you typed is the active cell denoted by a rectangular box called the cell pointer. The name box contains the address of the active cell.

The formula bar is used for entering and editing data and formulas. The menu bar and toolbar are also present just like in most application environment. The sheet tabs contains the different sheets or pages.

Before we begin our tutorial in the next post, try to familiarize yourself with the environment of Calc and its part.  We will use terms mentioned above often, so it is important that you are familiar with them.

Open Office: A free and excellent alternative to Microsoft Office

I know that a lot of us know about OpenOffice, but there are also many people who haven’t heard about it especially here in our country, and some got used to paying for new versions.  In fact, our institute spends thousands of pesos for commercial software despite alternatives. We have about 80 computers (mostly PCs and a few Macs) and only 3 of them run in Ubuntu (or Linux?) and OpenOffice.

To those who don’t want to spend several hundred dollars for Microsoft Office, OpenOffice is an excellent alternative. Just like Microsoft Office, OpenOffice is a suite that includes a word processor (Word equivalent), a spreadsheet (Excel equivalent), a presentation software (PowerPoint equivalent), database (Access equivalent), a graphics software, and more.  OpenOffice also opens documents created in Microsoft Office, so there’s no problem in switching.

OpenOffice is free, and can be downloaded here. You can learn more about the capabilities of OpenOffice here