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Note: Answers apply to all versions of unless stated otherwise.



How do I insert superscript or subscript text in my spreadsheet?

Using the Menu

  1. Select the individual character(s) to be made superscript/subscript:
    • Click on the cell with the text
    • At the input line above the spreadsheet, select the characters to be altered
  2. Select Format - Character from the menu
  3. Click on Font Position
  4. Click Superscript or Subscript. You can optionally change the character reduction ratio but usually the default value will work fine.

Using the Keyboard

  1. Select the individual character(s) to be made superscript/subscript:
    • Click on the cell with the text
    • At the input line above the spreadsheet, select the characters to be altered
  2. For Superscript, press CTRL+SHIFT+P
    For Subscript, press CTRL+SHIFT+B


  • Cell height may require an adjustment to accommodate the new character.
  • These commands also work for the word processor.

How can I use a dot (.) as decimal sign instead of a comma?

Some languages, like French, Italian, or German, use a comma as decimal separator. The appearance of numbers in Calc depends on the language settings. If you want to use the dot or decimal point as separator you need to switch the language for the corresponding cells to English:

  1. Select the corresponding cells (press CTRL+A to select all cells of a sheet)
  2. Select Format - Cells from the menu
  3. Select the Numbers tab and select one of the English variants from the Language list.


  • If you use a dot in a language that uses a comma as decimal separator, Calc will not recognize the input as number.
  • The decimal sign used will change with the language. If you switch back to a language that uses the comma as separator, the displayed decimal separator will change accordingly.

If a cell is center-justified, and the text is wider than the cell, it automatically left-justifies. Can I fix this?


This is a known bug in 1.1.x that is fixed in the current version.

How do I use styles and formatting?

See How to Format a Spreadsheet.

How can I create my own sort lists?

Sometimes it is useful to use sort lists to control the order of your data, especially if the data is better sorted in an order that is not alphabetical or numerical.

Sort lists can be used to fill data into cells by "guessing" following values based on the value of a first cell. The most widespread example is the days of the week or names of the months:


  1. Insert "Jan" into a cell.
  2. Select this cell, then drag the black square at the lower right corner across other cells in the same row or column.
  3. The other names of the months will automatically fill into the selected cells.

To create your own sort list:

  1. Select Tools - Options from the menu.
  2. Click Calc and Sort Lists in the left column
    In 1.1.x, the option is called Spreadsheet instead of Calc.
  3. Click New on the right side of the window.
  4. Type your list in Entries box separating each word by a comma or a line break. Do not use spaces.
  5. Click Add after your list is complete to save your new sort list.

How do I add additional strings or characters to cell contents?

Use the CONCATENATE function to add strings or characters to cell contents:

  1. Go to an empty cell
  2. Enter =CONCATENATE("prefix";A1;"suffix") as the cell contents
    "prefix" being any text you would like to add in front of the existing cell contents
    A1 being the original cell
    "suffix" being any text you would like to add after the existing cell contents


  • Original Cell "C5" with content "filename"
  • In a new cell, enter =CONCATENATE("my_";A1;".ods")
  • The new cell value will be "my_filename.ods"

How are notes within cells displayed?

To create a Note for a cell

  • Select Insert - Note from the menu

To show a note permanently

  1. Right-click in the cell with the note
  2. Select Show Note

Why are my notes not showing for cells?


  • Make sure that Help - Tips from the main menu is marked


  1. Select Tools - Options from the main menu
  2. Select - General
  3. Make sure that Help - Tips is marked

I have a custom number format that I use, but Calc forgets it.


For Calc to remember the preferred number formats, add them to a template:

  1. Create a new empty spreadsheet document or open an existing template by selecting File - Templates - Edit from the main menu
  2. Add the number formats as required
  3. Select File - Templates - Save from the main menu
  4. Insert a name for the template and select a template category (e.g., My Templates)
  5. Click OK to save the template

To have them available with every newly created spreadsheet you need to make this template your default template:

  1. Select File - Templates - Organize from the main menu
  2. Select the template from the list of templates (double click the template categories to show all containing template files)
  3. Right-click the template file name and select Set as default template
  4. Click Close

How can I use conditional formatting?

Formats in each cell can be based upon defined conditions. This function can be accessed through the drop-down menus:

  • Select Format - Conditional Formatting...

In the dialog box that appears, enter the conditions that determine the formats and the desired formats for each condition. If more help is needed to understand the settings, click the Help button in the dialog box, and a new help window opens with a description of all the fields shown in the dialog box. The help file also shows the path to a sample file that uses conditional formatting for reference.

See Also

How do I wrap text within a cell in my spreadsheet?

To wrap text within a cell, or merged set of cells:

  1. Select a cell or group of cells.
  2. Right-click the selected area and go to Format cells..., or select Format - Cells from the main menu
  3. Click on the Alignment tab.
  4. Check the Wrap text automatically (in 1.1.x: Automatic line break)
  5. Click OK.

Now the contents of the cell will be wrapped to fit the cell.

How do I disable the capitalized letter at the beginning of cells in Calc?

  1. Select Tools - AutoCorrect from the main menu
  2. Select the Options tab
  3. Clear any automatic option you want to disable (in this case Capitalize the first letter of every sentence)

How do I make a wide title cell extend across several columns in my spreadsheet?

  1. Select the cells in which the title is to appear.
    Do this by clicking in the first cell, then hold down the mouse button and drag the selection box across the last cell of your chosen area.
  2. Select Format - Merge Cells - Merge Cells ( 1.1.x: Format - Merge Cells - Define) or Format - Merge Cells - Merge and Center Cells

How do I rotate a column title so that it fits above my very narrow column?

There are a few options. Follow these instructions:

  1. Select the cells where you wish to rotate the text.
  2. Select Format - Cells... from the main menu
  3. Click on the Alignment tab
  4. In the Text Orientation section ( 1.1.x: Text Direction) drag the dot on the

circle to the bottom of the circle (or enter 270 in the Degrees box). This will rotate the text in the selected cell by 270 degrees.

  1. Click OK to see the effect. Experiment with placement of the dot to learn more.

Is there a way to add times that total greater than 24 hrs?

Yes. Select a format code with the hour symbols in square brackets, like [HH]:MM.

  1. Select the cell you want to apply the format to
  2. Select Format - Cells from the main menu
  3. Select the Numbers tab
  4. Set the Category to Time
  5. Select one of the formats with hours > 24, for example [HH]:MM:SS
    you can also select the Format Code line and enter the format yourself
  6. Click OK.

Now when you add the times from cells with this format together, you will get the true sum of hours and minutes. Otherwise, the sum will reset to zero each time 24 hours is reached.

Some of the rows or columns in my spreadsheet are hidden. How do I see all rows or columns?

  1. Select the area of the spreadsheet where rows or columns are hidden. To select the entire spreadsheet,

select Edit - Select All from the main menu or press CTRL+A

  1. To show all rows, select Format - Row - Show from the main menu

To show all columns, select Format - Column - Show from the main menu

How do I format cells in Calc so that the rows number automatically?

  1. Enter the formula =row() into cell where the row numbering will start
  2. Extend the cell by dragging the bottom right corner all the way down to the cell you want the numbering to end


  • If you insert new rows, you will have to copy the formula to the new cells.

How are thick lines or borders created around my cells?

  1. Select the cells where you wish to apply a border.
  2. Select Format - Cells... from the main menu
  3. Click on the Borders tab
  4. In the Line Arrangement section, under Default, click on the icon that

best shows the style of border you wish to use, or
Under User Defined, select custom border styles by clicking on the individual lines shown bordering four 'dummy' cells.

To change the width and color of a border:

  • In the Line section, under Style, click on the desired line for your border, and
  • Under Color, choose the desired color for your border.

How do I insert a page number in the form of 'Page 1 of N' on each page of a spreadsheet?

Page numbers can be inserted into the header or footer sections of a spreadsheet. These will be visible only in the Page Preview mode and on the print. The page numbers will not be visible on, nor are they related to, the calc sheets themselves. The page numbers reflect the defined print areas of the workbook.

To insert page numbers:

  1. Select Edit - Headers & Footers... from the main menu
  2. Depending on where you want the page number to appear, select either the Header or the Footer tab
  3. Click in the area where you want the page number to be displayed (Left, Center, or Right) to place the cursor inside the box.
  4. Type "Page ", then add one space character.
  5. The available data fields are represented by a row of icons below the input areas,

Click on the document icon with ONE number sign [ # ] to insert the page number placeholder.

  1. Type " of "
  2. Click on the document icon with TWO number signs [ ## ] to insert the page total placeholder
  3. Click OK


  • The data fields available in the header and footer settings are the only data fields and formats available in spreadsheets.

Opening and Importing Files, Microsoft Interoperability

Is it possible to open a Microsoft Excel file that is protected by a password in Calc?


With 1.1.x releases of, it is not possible to do this directly. Such a file can be opened from Calc only if you remove the password using the original application.


2.x versions of, will open the password protected file when the correct password was entered.

How do I insert external data into an existing Calc spreadsheet file?


You can insert tabular data from an external files into an existing Calc spreadsheet file as follows. A new sheet will be created for the inserted data.

  • Select Insert - Sheet From File and select the file with the data
  • If you have selected a text file with values separated by delimiters you will see an import dialog to set the corresponding options

See Also

How do I open a tab-delimited file in Spreadsheet? What if I have a different type of delimiter?

First, if your ASCII file is not already named with a .txt extension, rename it that way.

  1. Select File - Open from the main menu and browse to find and select the file.
  2. Select File type: Text CSV (.csv; .txt)

Note: This choice is near the bottom in the spreadsheet file types section of the list.

  1. Click Open.
  2. In the dialog that appears next, select the Separator options.

These are the characters or methods used in the file to separate the fields of data. The same methods must be specified in this box as those used in the file to import the data into a spreadsheet. After selecting the separator type, a preview of the data will be displayed in the Fields section. If the data visually lines up in columns, then the correct separator has been selected. If not, a different separator type may be used in the file. The goal is to match the correct character used as a separator in the file, so that the data will line up nicely in the visible cells.

  1. When the data lines up, click OK.


  • The characters used as a separators and delimiters will be visible, if you open the .txt

file in Writer and enable the hidden characters (View - Nonprinting Characters).

My formula from an Excel worksheet doesn't work!

This can be caused by many reasons, with the most common reason being that uses semi-colons (;) between arguments, instead of commas (,) like in Excel.

Why does Calc refuses to open my .txt file?

A text file with tabular values must be imported into Calc using .csv format. You cannot open it by double-clicking on the file name, unless it has the .csv extension, since a text file will automatically open in Writer.

If you want to open a .txt file with tabular data using Calc:

  • Rename the file so that it uses the .csv file extension.


  • Select File - Open from the menu and select Text CSV from the File type list.

This is quite a way down in the list so it is easy to miss. An easy way of navigating there is to press T several times when inside the list field until the filter name comes up.

See Also

A large Calc spreadsheet was converted from another application. Some of my rows are missing! What happened? spreadsheets supports a maximum of 65,536 rows (32,000 in releases 1.1.x). Spreadsheets converted from other applications that contain more than 65,536 rows will be truncated.


  • Split large spreadsheets from other applications into smaller worksheets, so that each has fewer

than 65,536 rows prior to converting them. A range containing fewer than 65,536 rows will convert correctly in 2.x

Selecting, Copying, and Pasting

I want to select two cells that are not adjacent, but holding down the CTRL key does not seem to work. How can I perform this action?


In 1.1.x, if you click in a cell, it is not selected, but focused. To select a cell, you need to

  1. Click on a cell to focus it
  2. Hold down the SHIFT key and then click on the cell again to select it

After having done so, you'll be able to select multiple non-adjacent cells, by holding down the CTRL key as you select new cells.


In all 2.x versions, you can use the CTRL key to mark cells that are not adjacent.

What is the fastest way to copy a calculation to all rows?

To quote from the Shortcut Keys for Spreadsheets page in Calc Help: Help > Contents > shortcut keys; in spreadsheets: To fill a selected cell range with the formula that you entered on the Input line, press Alt+Enter. Hold down Alt+Enter+Shift to apply the cell format of the input cell to the entire cell range.

Saving and Exporting Files

How do I output my spreadsheet data as an ASCII, delimited text file?

  1. Select: File - Save As... from the main menu
  2. In the Save as dialog that appears, select File type Text CSV (.csv; .txt) from the list of

spreadsheet file types.
Press T several times in the list to quickly jump to that entry.

  1. Click to enable the box next to Edit filter settings.
  2. Click Save.
  3. In the Export of text files dialog box that pops up, enter the field and text delimiters of your choice.

The Text delimiter is the character that will surround any text entries in your spreadsheet, to keep each phrase together as an entity, when the file is exported into ASCII format.


Why does Calc print out all the sheets in the file?

By default, Calc is configured to do just that. But the setting can be changed so that only the current sheet is printed too:

  1. Select File - Print from the main menu
  2. Click Options
  3. Check the box Print only selected sheets for Document

To make the change permanent for all occurrences of Calc:

  1. Select Tools - Options from the main menu
  2. Select Calc - Print and check the box Print only selected sheets for Document

In 1.1.x, the entry is called Spreadsheets instead of Calc.

How can I print some, but not all, of the cells on a sheet?

  1. Select the cell(s) you want to print
  2. Select Format - Print Ranges - Define from the main menu

This sets the print range for that sheet to the set of selected cells.


  • You can have different print ranges on each sheet.

How do I get Sheet1 to print as portrait and Sheet2 to print as landscape?

You can assign a different page style to each sheet. To print out different page orientations, you first create a new page style with the desired format options and then apply it to the corresponding sheet(s).

  1. Select Format - Styles and Formatting (in 1.1.x: Format - Stylist) or press F11
  2. Click the Page Styles icon (2nd from the left) in the Styles and Formatting window (in 1.1.x: Stylist)
  3. Right-click in the page style list and select New...
  4. In the Page Style window, give the new page style a descriptive name, such as Landscape Page
  5. Click on the Page tab and change the Orientation to Landscape
  6. Click OK to close the window
  7. Select the sheet that you want to print in landscape orientation
  8. Double-click the newly created page style (e.g. Landscape Page) to assign that style to the sheet.

How I do select a row (or rows) in my spreadsheet to repeat on every page when printed?

  1. Select Format - Print Ranges - Edit from the main menu
  2. Place the cursor in the input field on the Rows to repeat line
    • Enter the row number manually (e.g. $4 for row 4, $4:$6 for rows 4 to 6), or
    • Click on the icon to the right of the input field, then select a cell on the desired row from the spreadsheet.

Multiple rows can be specified dragging your mouse across a range of cells.

  1. Click OK.


  • The row(s) specified here will be repeated on each print.
  • You will not see a visual change in the spreadsheet, only in the printed copies.
  • Use File - Page Preview to preview pages before printing.
  • You an only select multiple rows id they are consecutive.

How do I print my spreadsheets?

<this should really rather be in a Howto>

In general, the best way to print large spreadsheets is to first preview the print output, then adjust the print settings to arrive at the desired effect. The following mini-procedures explain the main options for printing spreadsheets.

Previewing the print area:

  • With the spreadsheet open, go to File > Page Preview in the drop-down menus.
  • In the window that appears, use the navigation buttons on the tool bar to view the print. If the spreadsheet is too large for one page, some columns may appear on additional pages.
  • To close the preview window, click the Close Preview button to the right of the navigation buttons on the toolbar.
  • Make adjustments to the print settings, then preview again. Repeat until the print displays in the desired format.

Note: This command will allow you to see the current page number assignments for the data that you want to print. This is especially useful when only a portion of the spreadsheet is to be printed, or when several print ranges are associated with one Calc file. Formatting the page:

  • With the spreadsheet open, go to Format > Page... in the drop-down menus.
  • In the dialog that appears, select the Page tab.
  • Set the paper size.
  • Specify the Orientation of the page: click on the checkbox next to Portrait or Landscape.
  • Adjust the margins, if needed.
  • Set the table alignment to align the table to the page.
  • Click OK, or click other tabs in this box to acess more formatting options.

Adjusting the page breaks:

  • With the spreadsheet open, select View > Page Break Preview.
  • Place the cursor exactly on top of one of the (blue) page edge lines, then drag each edge to adjust the page boundaries as desired.
  • To toggle this view off, select View > Page Break Preview.

Note: If everything appears gray, this means that no print ranges are defined. If a print range is defined, the printing area will show up with a white background with a blue outline at the page boundary. A gray 'Page N', where 'N' is the page sequence number for the sheet, will appear in the middle of the print area. If no range is defined for printing, follow the instructions below.

Setting the area to be printed:

  • Go to the desired sheet.
  • Click and drag to select (highlight) the area of the sheet to be printed.
  • In the drop-down menus, go to Format > Print Ranges > Add.
  • Repeat the above steps for each sheet of the file to be printed.

Adjusting the printout to fit onto one page:

  • With the spreadsheet open, select Format > Page...
  • In the dialog that appears, select the Sheet tab.
  • In the lower right corner of the dialog, there is a Reduce/enlarge printout scale control. Enter a value that you think will make the data fit on the page.
  • Click OK.
  • Use Page Preview (instructions above) to see a preview of what will print. Readjust if necessary.

Adjusting the maximum number of pages on which the print should fit:

  • With the spreadsheet open, select Format > Page...
  • In the dialog that appears, select the Sheet tab.
  • At bottom of the dialog there is a scale control labeled, Fit printout on number of pages. Click the checkbox next to it; then enter the desired number of pages for the printout.
  • Click OK.
  • Use Page Preview (instructions above) to see a preview of what will print. Readjust if necessary.

Printing only a portion of the spreadsheet (a range of rows or columns):

  • In the spreadsheet where the data lives, click and drag the mouse over the cells to select (highlight) the rows or columns to be printed.
  • Select Format > Print Ranges.
  • In the print dialog that appears, click the checkbox next to Edit... at lower left.
  • Click OK.

Note: Printing a selected range of data is also controlled by print scaling. If the data selected does not fit on the desired number of pages, adjust the Scale using either of the scaling procedures above (scale by percentage or by number of pages allowed).

Editing the print range:

  • With the spreadsheet open, select Format > Print Ranges > Edit.
  • In the print dialog that appears, look at the Print range setting. It is probably set to user defined and shows a range of cells.
  • Adjust the cell definition in the range of cells, or select None to clear the print range.
  • Click OK.
  • If there are no settings, or they are cleared, use one of the other methods shown to set your print ranges.

Printing a spreadsheet in the middle of the paper:

  • With the spreadsheet open, select Format > Page...
  • In the dialog that appears, select the Page tab.
  • In the Table alignment section, select (or deselect as desired) the boxes next to Horizontal and Vertical. A visual of the table alignment settings will show in the small graphic on the same page as these parameters.

See Also


How do I extend the range of data shown in my chart after I add new data to my spreadsheet?

  • Select a new range and drag the selection onto the chart.
  • You can also select the chart, right-click, and then choose Modify Data Range.

How do I create a chart in a spreadsheet that is automatically updated when the data is changed?

When you create a chart based on data that is present in the same spreadsheet, the chart will automatically be updated whenever the data in the spreadsheet changes.

Error Handling and Troubleshooting

Why does deleting filtered rows remove other rows too?

When using Calc filters, selections that span a range of cells include filtered and hidden rows. Deleting a range of rows with a filter enabled will delete all rows in that range, whether they are visible or hidden, not just the visible rows.

To select multiple rows individually, select the first row, then use CTRL+Click to select each additional row.

What do each of the error codes (Err:NNN) in spreadsheets mean?

See here for a list of error codes


  • a '###' in a cell is not an error, but an indication that the column is too narrow to display the data properly.

See Also

Why do I see the formula text and not the result of the formula?

  • Make sure that all formulas will start with the equal sign (=)

If your formula starts with the = character, check that the options are set to not view the formula:

  1. Select Tools - Options from the main menu
  2. Select Calc - View (in 1.1.x: Spreadsheet - View)
  3. Make sure that the Formulas Option under Display is not checked

How to get proper Calc Help files for 2.0.1 for Windows?


Update to the latest release. The problem is fixed.

I see '###' in a cell that formerly held data. How can I see my data again?

When the content of a cell is too long to be displayed in a single cell, it will be clipped at the standard width and height of the cell itself. The rest of the content is simply hidden.

  • Go to the heading row and drag one of the column edges until it is wide enough

to display your data properly if the cell content is a number; or

  • Double-click on the cell if the cell content is text and a little red triangle

appears on the right side of the cell to signal that this is an overflowing one.


What's the maximum number of rows and cells for a spreadsheet file?


The 1.1.x versions were able to handle a maximum of 32,000 rows. Update to the current version to solve this issue.


The limitations of the 2.x Calc versions are

  • maximum number of rows: 65,536
  • maximum number of columns: 256
  • maximum number of cells per sheet: 16,777,216
  • maximum number of sheets: 256
  • maximum number of cells per file: 4,294,967,296


  • When referencing to external documents in formulas or when creating sceanrios,

hidden helper sheets are created that reduce the available number of sheets and consequently cells.

How can I start Calc instead of Writer?

Pass -calc as an argument on the command line when executing to start Calc:

ooffice -calc

How can I see the row and column captions as I scroll through a sheet that is larger than my display?

There are two ways to obtain this result:

Mode 1 (with a single row or column caption): Freeze the caption.

  1. Click on the cell just below and to the right of the row and column that will contain your caption.
  2. Select Window - Freeze from the main menu.

If you have either row captions or column labels, you can create a cross freezing by clicking on the uppermost left side cell that does not contain a caption. For example, in a sheet with single row and column captions, choose the B2 cell. The position of all cells above and to the left of the cell where the Freeze was activated will be frozen.

Mode 2 (with multiple row or column captions): Split the sheet.

  1. Click on the cell just below and to the right of the row and column that you want to contain your caption.
  2. Select Window - Split from the main menu.

The sheet window will be split. The result is different from Mode 1 because you can scroll all sections of the split window, showing the caption according to your needs.

There is another (almost hidden) way to split a sheet window:

At the top of the right scroll bar and at the right of the bottom one, you can see little black lines. When the mouse is over one of these zones, the mouse pointer changes into a dragging icon.

  1. When this icon shows, click and hold down the left mouse button to display a border line in the grid of cells.
  2. With the mouse, drag the line on the grid to the row or column that will contain your caption.
  3. Release the mouse button. The sheet will be split at this border.

How do I protect cells in my spreadsheet?

Cell protection is active for all cells by default. If only certain cells are to be protected, this setting must be turned off.

To exclude cells from the protection:

  1. Select the cells to be excluded from protection
    Hold down the Ctrl key while

clicking on non-adjacent cells to highlight the ones that are to be protected.
If you only want to protect a small number of cells, it may be easier to clear the protection for all cells and the re-activate protection for the appropriate cells. For this, select the entire spreadsheet: press CTRL+A or click on the little gray box above row 1 and to the left of column A.

  1. Select Format - Cells from the main menu
  2. Click on the Cell Protection tab
  3. Clear the check mark for the Protected option
  4. Click OK

Initially however, the protection is not activated. To activate the protection:

  • Select Tools - Protect Document - Sheet to protect the current sheet only
  • Select Tools - Protect Document - Document to protect all sheets in the current document

How can I use cells from different Calc files?

  1. Open the source file
  2. Select the cells and press CTRL+C to copy them to the clipboard
  3. Open the target file
  4. Select a target cell and select Edit - Paste Special from the main menu
  5. Check the Link box in the Options section

The inserted data are now linked to the original document. Whenever the data changes in the source document this will be reflected in the target document.

How I change the order of sheets in my spreadsheet?

You can move a sheet to a different position, click and hold the sheet tab at the bottom of the screen with the mouse and drag it to its new position.

You can also move sheets (even across different documents) using the menu:

  1. Right-click the sheet you want to move and select Move/Copy Sheet... from the pop-up menu, or

select Edit - Sheet - Move/Copy from the main menu

  1. Specify the new position of the sheet in the dialog.
    You can even move the sheet to a different document that is opened in Calc
  2. Click OK


  • If you check the Copy option in the dialog, the sheet will copied, not moved.

How can I rename a sheet?

  • Right-click the sheet you wish to rename and select Rename Sheet from the popop menu, or
  • Select Format - Sheet - Rename from the main menu


  • You can only use letters, numbers, spaces, and the underline character in the sheet name.

How is a variable date inserted into a spreadsheet cell?

  1. Select the cell that will hold the function.
  2. Enter =TODAY() for the current date or =NOW() for the current date and time.

The values will be dynamically updated when the file is reloaded.

Where can I find more documentation for Calc?

Internal resources:

External resources:

Internal mail lists where you can find information about Calc:

External mail lists and forums where you can find information about Calc:

Please write to let us know if there are other Calc related resources that should be shown in this list.

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