Join David Rivers for an in-depth discussion in this video Starting Calc and exploring the interface, part of OpenOffice.org 2 Calc Getting Started.
This first chapter is going to be all about the basics in OpenOffice Calc. We'll do things in this chapter like launch the application using different methods. We will tour the user interface. We'll look at creating new spreadsheets, opening existing spreadsheets, saving techniques, all that kind of stuff coming up in this chapter. But right now, we are going to start by launching the application and get comfortable in our surroundings by touring the user interface. Here you can see, I'm in Windows Vista. I've got a shortcut on my desktop to OpenOffice Calc, there it is right there. Double-clicking will launch the application. If you don't have Windows Vista, maybe you're in Windows XP on a PC, maybe you're on a Mac; you may not have shortcuts. You can always go to the Start button down here in Windows Vista; there is a Start button in Windows XP as well. If you're on the Mac, you can use Spotlight to locate OpenOffice Calc.
I am going to click my Start button down here. And the first thing I'm going to do is just start typing OpenOffice and as soon as I type Open, look what happens here at the very top. This is kind of like on the Mac using Spotlight, I've got all the OpenOffice programs up here. Now, this includes the QuickStarter up here, which we will talk about in an upcoming lesson when we create new spreadsheets, but down below you can see, I've got Base, there is Calc right there. I've also got Draw, Impress, Math and Writer. We are going to be launching Calc, so I am going to click on it right here and that launches the application, that's the equivalent of double-clicking, that shortcut to Calc on my desktop.
This is the default view, this is what we see when we launch the application; we get a brand new spreadsheet in front of us. Launching an OpenOffice application from your Mac computer is done in a slightly different manner. I've installed the latest version of OpenOffice for the Mac and you can see here on my desktop that I've an alias to OpenOffice.org. And this is not created for you automatically during the installation process. You will need to do this yourself, if you want one. This means, we will access OpenOffice from our applications, the first time around.
Let's click Go, then Applications and notice that the OpenOffice.org app is down here on my list in alphabetical order. And there is no icon for each of the separate applications in the suite, so we need to launch this first. So, I can do it from here or I can close this up and double-click my alias. So, that launches up and now from the OpenOffice window, I can choose to create types of files, which will launch the appropriate app; for example, I choose Spreadsheet over here if I wanted to launch Calc.
So let's do that, I'm going to click on Spreadsheet and now, the Quick Launch screen closes and I'm ready to start using the app, slightly different from a PC. You can see at the very top and that's where we are going to start on our tour of the user interface. This spreadsheet is untitled and it's the first one. So, Untitled1 appears up here next to the name of the program or software application I'm using, OpenOffice.org Calc. So, on the Title bar we are going to see information such as the name of the file we are working with. So, when we do start to create our own spreadsheets and save them, and name them; we will see those names up here, always keeps us straight with what we are working on. Over here, on the far right hand side, we've got our Minimize, we've got our Restore and our Close button to close the application altogether.
On the Mac, you will have those options way over here on the left side of your Title bar. Right below that, like most software applications, you will see we've got our Menu bar with File, Edit, View, Insert; all the way over to Help. If you've ever used other spreadsheet applications, maybe Microsoft Excel, Quattro Pro; for example, on the Mac there is one called Numbers. A lot of this is going to look familiar; you're not going to feel like you're in a brand new environment here, it designed to look like most other applications.
So, if I click on the File menu for example, I see File commands like here is where I go to create a New file, Open an existing file, access Recent Documents I've worked with. There are Wizards here in Calc to create things. We've got the Close button, saving and Save As, Exporting, Properties. All kinds of File commands; look at all the Print options down below. Exit, down at the very bottom will exit the entire application, not just the spreadsheet you are working on.
So, that's a little bit different from Close, which we see up here on our Menu and you may notice that a lot of these have keyboard shortcuts. Some people prefer to use the keyboard, if you're busy typing away on the keyboard and you want to save, you might want to use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+S or use Ctrl+Shift and letter S, together to open up the Save As dialog box. Ctrl+P to print and these are keyboard shortcuts you may already be used to in other applications. It's beautiful how it's very similar to all of those other applications. So, what you've learned in those other apps like Excel and Quattro for example; they also apply here. Under the Edit menu, we've got Editing commands Cut, Copy, Pasting. We've got the View menu and you will checkmarks next to certain options, telling me that those are the options currently selected such as, I'm in Normal view as opposed to Page Break view. Down below the Formula bar is currently being viewed, as this is the Status bar, we will talk about those in a moment. Column and Row headers are turned on and you will see sometimes, that options on a menu may have a little arrow to the right indicating there is a submenu.
So over here, you will see checkmarks next to Formatting, our Formatting toolbar is currently turned on, as is the Standard toolbar and our Formula Bar. We will talk about those in a second as well. Now, we've got our Insert menu for inserting different types of objects, Rows, Columns, Pictures, Movies, Charts, you name it. Under Format, we go here to format Cells, Rows, Columns, entire sheets. All kinds of cool things down below for formatting objects as well. There are some tools for checking spelling, Language, AutoCorrect options. You can see down below Macros and cool things like that as well, all on the Tools menu. Under data, we can Define and Select Ranges, use Filters, check Validity; all kinds of neat things under Data. Window, this is handy if you're going to be working with multiple spreadsheets at a time, you can Split your screen, you can Freeze columns and rows, you can move between opened spreadsheets from the Window menu here as well. We will be doing this later on as we start to get creative.
And last but not least, here is our Help menu where you can get OpenOffice.org Help, that's help on all of the application in this suite. We've also got What's This? Which is very handy, if you see something on your screen, you're not sure what it is? Click on What's This? And then just simply hover over it. Let's try that now; I'm going to click on What's This? And you can see there is a little question mark attached to mouse pointer and as I start hovering over these buttons, I get detailed descriptions, not just a little quick check bit normally shows up. If you're wondering what this bar is, use this bar to enter a formula. This is my Formula bar, okay! To turn it off, you just click anywhere. Well, I'm going to click here in a cell in my spreadsheet, go back up here to the very top left corner and click, and now watch these option is turned off.
So, just below our Menu bar we do have our Standard toolbar. So, there are number of commands we saw in the menus, here are some shortcuts to those commands. The more commonly used commands and of course you can totally customize your Standard toolbar. There are items here you never use, you can remove them. If there are items you wish were there, you can put them there. And right at the very beginning, is where we go to creating new spreadsheet. Here is Open; this both fell under the File menu. We've got Save and Document as email. So, we can send what we were working on directly using our email application. These are all File commands; you will see a little separator. Then we get into some other ones, as we hover over these, we see the Tool tips, Edit File, Export Directly as PDF. There is our Print icon, there is our Page Preview; so if you want to what it is going to look like before you print, go ahead and use the Page Preview. There is our Spellchecker, Autocorrect is turned on, AutoSpellcheck as it shows up here.
There is Cut, and Copy, and Paste. We've got our Formatting Paintbrush, Undo and Redo; all kinds of options here on our standard toolbar. And just below that is a context sensitive toolbar that changes our Formatting toolbar. Now, currently I'm going to see options for changing the Font, the Font Size, appearance, alignment and you can see I've got some formats here for numbers like Currency and Percentages and so our Decimal places. These are all part of the Formatting toolbar. And if wish to work on a Chart let's say, the Formatting toolbar would change to display options for formatting a chart.
So, I really like having this one turned on; quick and easy access to things again, we would find under the menus here, usually under the Format menu. Then we've got that Formula bar, so if you're going to be creating lots of formulas, you can create them here. And this is called the input line right here, we click inside. Once we've got our formula, we can accept it or cancel it and it will be inserted into the previous selected cell. So, we'll talk about formulas a little bit later on in this title as well. And down below is our actual grid, here is where we create, you will notice that we've got a series of columns A, B, C, D, E and so on. And then we've got a number of rows starting at row1 and working its way down.
Now, there are tons of columns and rows; so, you will run out of space and you can see as I scroll down, I can see the first 68, 69 rows using my screen resolution. And I've got a scroll bar down here for scrolling left to right. And I can go across, you can see I'm going to go all the way to W, X, Y; there is more, if you've got a different screen resolution, you might be seeing more as well and we can continue pass those limits, if we need to. The other option is to create multiple sheets and you'll see down below we've got tabs, currently on Sheet 1, there is Sheet 2, 3, we can have more sheets if we need them, rename these sheets. A good example might be where you've got several departments, putting in figures, maybe it's for revenue tracking.
So, on sheet 1 you will have your grand totals and then each of these tabs might represent each of the departments and individuals go into those tabs to enter their values which would show up in the grand total here on sheet one. So, we will get into working with multiple sheets later on as well. Now, if you do have multiple sheets and more than you can see down here at the bottom, you've got these all Navigation buttons for moving back and forth through the sheets, the first one, the last one and you can see right now. We are on sheet one of three, according to our Status bar down at the very bottom of our screen. Default style being used, the current view or zoom level is set to a 100%; our Insert key is turned on right now.
So, if you want to type over something, you can come down here or go to your keyboard and click on the Insert key to turn type over on, standard options down here, because I've clicked in my Formula bar, you can see sum=0 showing up there, but we'll get important information about what's on our screen down here on the Status bar. So, as we work through the lessons in the upcoming chapters, we'll take a peek down here quite often at our Status bar to see what's going on. So that's a quick tour of your User Interface. Now, we're ready to start moving on, start creating some files, opening up existing files, saving our changes and so on; that are all coming up in the upcoming lessons in this chapter.
- Exploring the Calc user interface Auto-filling cells, using quick functions, and saving time in other ways Formatting cell contents according to set conditions Using the Chart Wizard Password-protecting a spreadsheet