Software & Apps MS Office Open Office Calc Basic Spreadsheet Tutorial Open Office Calc Tutorial - Step by Step Share Pin Email Print Pexels / Pixabay MS Office Excel Word Powerpoint Outlook By Ted French Writer Former Lifewire writer Ted French is a Microsoft Certified Professional who teaches and writes about spreadsheets and spreadsheet programs. our editorial process Ted French Updated October 05, 2019 46 46 people found this article helpful 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. Instructions in this article applies to OpenOffice Calc v. 4.1.6. Tutorial Topics Some topics that will be covered: Adding data to a spreadsheetWidening ColumnsAdding a Date Function and a Range NameAdding formulasChanging data alignment in cellsNumber formatting - percent and currencyChanging cell background colorChanging the font color Entering Data into Open Office Calc Entering data into a spreadsheet is always a three-step process. These steps are: Select on the cell where you want the data to go. Type your data into the cell. 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 exactly as shown above into a blank spreadsheet using the following steps: Open a blank Calc spreadsheet file. Select the cell indicated by the cell reference provided. Type the corresponding data into the selected cell. Press the Enter key on the keyboard or select the next cell in the list with the mouse. Widening Columns 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 in the column: Place the mouse pointer on the line between columns C and D in the column header. (The pointer will change to a double-headed arrow.) Select with the left mouse button and drag the double-headed arrow to the right to widen column C. Widen other columns to show data as needed. Adding the Date and a Range Name 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. Select cell C4. Enter = TODAY ( ) Press the ENTER key on the keyboard. The current date should appear in cell C4 Adding a Range Name in Open Office Calc To add a range name in Open Office Calc, do the following: Select cell C6 in the spreadsheet. Click on the Name Box. Enter rate in the Name Box. Cell C6 now has the name of rate. We will use the name to simplify creating formulas in the next step. Adding Formulas Select cell C9. Type in the formula = B9 * rate. Press Enter Calculating net salary Select cell D9. Enter the formula = B9 - C9. Press Enter. Additional formula information: Open Office Calc Formulas Tutorial Copying the Formulas in Cells C9 and D9 to Other Cells Select cell C9 again. Move the mouse pointer over the fill handle (a small black dot) in the bottom right corner of the active cell. When the pointer changes to a black plus sign, select 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 through C12. Select cell D9. 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. Changing Data Alignment Drag select cells A2 - D2. Select Merge Cells on the Formatting toolbar to merge the selected cells. Select Align Center Horizontally on the Formatting toolbar to center the title across the selected area. Drag select cells B4 - B6. Select Align right on the Formatting toolbar to right align the data in these cells. Drag select cells A9 - A12. Select Align right on the Formatting toolbar to right align the data in these cells. Drag select cells A8 - D8. Select Align Center Horizontally on the Formatting toolbar to center the data in these cells. Drag select cells C4 - C6. Select Align Center Horizontally on the Formatting toolbar to center the data in these cells. Drag select cells B9 - D12. Select Align Center Horizontally on the Formatting toolbar to center the data in these cells. Adding Number Formatting 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 Select cell C6. Select Number Format: Percent on the Formatting toolbar to add the percent symbol to the selected cell. Select Number Format: Delete Decimal Place on the Formatting toolbar twice to remove the two decimal places. The data in cell C6 should now read as 6%. Adding the Currency Symbol Drag select cells B9 - D12. Select Number Format: Currency on the Formatting toolbar to add the dollar sign to the selected cells. The data in cells B9 - D12 should now show the dollar symbol ( $ ) and two decimal places. Changing cell background color Select the merged cells A2 - D2 on the spreadsheet. Select Background Color on the Formatting toolbar (looks like a paint can) to open the background color drop-down list. Choose Sea Blue from the list to change the background color of merged cells A2 - D2 to blue. Drag select cells A8 - D8 on the spreadsheet. Repeat steps 2 and 3. Changing Font Color Select merged cells A2 - D2 on the spreadsheet. Select Font Color on the Formatting toolbar (it is a large letter A) to open the font color drop-down list. Select White from the list to change the color of the text in merged cells A2 - D2 to white. Drag select cells A8 - D8 on the spreadsheet. Repeat steps 2 and 3 above. Drag select cells B4 - C6 on the spreadsheet. Select Font Color on the Formatting toolbar to open the font color drop-down list. Choose Sea Blue from the list to change the color of the text in cells B4 - C6 to blue. Drag select cells A9 - D12 on the spreadsheet. Repeat steps 7 and 8 above. At this point, if you have followed all the steps of this tutorial correctly, your spreadsheet should resemble the spreadsheet pictured below.