Parts of the main Calc window

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When Calc is started, the main window looks similar to the figure below.

Parts of the Calc window

Title bar and Menu bar

The Title bar, at the top, shows the name of the current spreadsheet. If the spreadsheet is new, then its name is Untitled X, with X being a number. When you save a new spreadsheet for the first time, you will be prompted to enter a name.

Under the Title bar is the Menu bar. When you choose one of the menus, a submenu appears with other options. The Menu bar can be modified, as discussed in Chapter 14: Customizing


Under the Menu bar by default are three toolbars: the Standard toolbar, the Formatting toolbar, and the Formula bar.

The icons on these toolbars provide a wide range of common commands and functions. The toolbars can be modified, as discussed in Chapter 14: Customizing

Placing the mouse pointer over any of the icons displays a small box, called a tooltip. It gives a brief explanation of the icon’s function. For a more detailed explanation, select Help > What's This? and hover the mouse pointer over the icon. Tips and extended tips can now be turned on or off from Tools > Options > > General.

In the Formatting toolbar, the two rectangular areas on the left are the Font Name and Font Size menus. If there is something in these boxes, they show the current setting for the selected area.

Font name and font size

Click the little button with an inverted triangle to the right of the box to open a menu. From the Font Name and Font Size menus, you can change the font and its size in selected cells.

Formula bar

On the left of the Formula bar is a small text box, called the Name box, with a letter and number combination in it, such as D7. This is the column letter and row number, called the cell reference, of the current cell.

Formula Bar

To the right of the Name box are the the Function Wizard, Sum, and Function buttons.

Clicking the Function Wizard button opens a dialog from which you can search through a list of available functions. This can be very useful, because it also shows how the functions are formatted.

The Sum button inserts a formula into the current cell that totals the numbers in the cells above, or to the left if there are no numbers above, the current cell.

The Function button inserts an equals sign into the selected cell and the Input Line, thereby setting the cell ready to accept a formula.

In a spreadsheet the term function includes much more than mathematical functions. See Chapter 7 in the Calc Guide.

When you enter new data into a cell, the Sum and Equals buttons change to Cancel and Accept buttons CalcAccRej.png.

The contents of the current cell (data, formula, or function) are displayed in the Input Line, the remainder of the Formula bar. You can edit the cell contents of the current cell here, or you can do that in the current cell. To edit inside the Input Line area, click the appropriate part of the Input Line area, then type your changes. To edit within the current cell, just double-click the cell.

Individual cells

The main section of the screen displays the individual cells in the form of a grid, with each cell being at the intersection of a particular column and row.

At the top of the columns and at the left-hand end of the rows are a series of gray boxes containing letters and numbers. These are the column and row headers. The columns start at A and go on to the right and the rows start at 1 and go on down.

These column and row headers form the cell references that appear in the Sheet Area box on the Formula Bar. These headers can also be turned off by selecting View > Column & Row Headers.

Sheet tabs

At the bottom of the grid of cells are the sheet tabs. These tabs enable access to each individual sheet, with the visible, or active, sheet having a white tab.

Clicking on another sheet tab displays that sheet and its tab turns white. You can also select multiple sheet tabs at once by holding down the Control key while you click the names.

Sheet tabs

Status bar

At the very bottom of the Calc window you will find the status bar where you can quickly obtain some information on the current spreadsheet.

Status bar information

From left to right the status bar displays:

  • The current sheet and the total number of sheets in the spreadsheet.
  • The page style in use for the current sheet. Double-click to open the dialog and modify the page style.
  • The zoom level. Double-click to modify the zoom level.
  • Selection mode. Click to toggle between default mode (STD), extended mode (EXT) and incremental mode (ADD).
  • Modified flag. When the document has been modified, a star is displayed in this area of the status bar.
  • Digital signature flag. If you have added a digital signature to the spreadsheet, a small padlock icon is displayed in this area. Double-click to digitally sign the spreadsheet.
  • Selected cells functions. By default, this area shows the sum of the values contained in the selected cells. You can, however, change the function used by right-clicking on the area. The available functions are:
    • Average (averages the values of the selection)
    • CountA (counts the cells in the selection which are not empty)
    • Count (counts the cells in the selection with a numeric value)
    • Maximum (displays the maximum value in the selection)
    • Minimum (displays the minimum value in the selection)
    • Sum (the sum of the values in the selection)
    • None
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