Guide: LibreOffice Calc Part 2: Adding Data and Basic Navigation

In this second part of the Calc guide, we delve a little into adding simple data. We also cover basic navigation of the interface.

Previously, we discussed basic configuration. With that done, we are now ready to move on to making our spreadsheets. This guide offers the most basic of adding data. It also touches a little bit on navigation.

Navigation of Calc

Calc is largely based on spreadsheets. So, there are a few basic concepts we have to understand.

A spreadsheet can be divided into rows and columns. Rows are shown horizontally. They also happen to be numbers as you can see on the left hand side of the screen. Meanwhile, columns are shown vertically. They are labelled by letter as you can see on the top of the spreadsheet. If you click on any number or any letter, you can highlight the whole row or column.

Meanwhile, the individual boxes you see on the spreadsheet are called cells. You can highlight any cell by clicking on it. When you click on a cell, the cell label is shown on the top left corner just above the spreadsheet. By default, you’ll have cell “A1” selected. More broadly, you have the cell of column A, row 1 selected. A box, of course, will appear around the cell you selected.

You can either move your selection around by clicking on individual cells or by using the arrow buttons.

Now, an often missed element in Calc is the fact that you can alter how your arrow keys behave. While we can’t actually show you this, you can very easily try this yourself. If you tap any of the arrow buttons on your keyboard, you’ll change your cell selection. However, if you want to scroll with your arrow buttons, hit the Scroll Lock on your keyboard. With Scroll Lock activated, you’ll actually scroll with your arrow buttons instead. To go back to using your arrow buttons to select cells, simply hit the Scroll Lock button on your keyboard again to deactivate this. I’ve personally encountered a number of people who swear their spreadsheets were “broken” because they couldn’t select different cells with their arrow keys when it was really a scroll lock issue.

Now, another sometimes overlooked aspect of spreadsheets is the fact that spreadsheets can have multiple pages. To select between sheets, you can click on the appropriate tab along the bottom. by default, there is only one sheet, so you can always click on the plus sign (as highlighted in the screenshot) to add other sheets. This can be incredibly useful for presentation purposes.

Now, “Sheet1” and “Sheet2” may not be practical when you have a complex spreadsheet. So, re-naming it to something more logical to what you have is advisable.

To re-name separate sheets, just right click on the sheet you want to rename and click “Rename Sheet”

In the pop-up window, just type in the title of your sheet. Name if whatever you like. When you are done, just click “OK”.

Adding In Content

Adding in content is really easy in Calc. First, you can simply select the cell you want to edit.

From there, you can either just type in the content you want in the cell itself or use the field above the spreadsheet to edit the information. When it comes to just manually typing in content, either method will work just fine. However, if you start to use formulas as we’ll cover later on, you’ll definitely start seeing the use of having the navigation bar above much more.

Just type in your information like any other table.

Congratulations! You’ve made your first spreadsheet in Calc!

Guide Navigation
< Initial Configuration | Calc Index Page | Adding Visual Appeal >

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