38 Set Calc Options

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Not everybody works the same way, so not every Calc user wants to use Calc the same way. By setting some of Calc's many options, you will make Calc conform to the way you like to do things. For example, you may want Calc to hide the grid lines that normally distinguish between rows and columns to reduce onscreen clutter. If so, Calc has an option to display or hide the grid lines.

Before You Begin

37 About Sheets and Spreadsheets

See Also

40 Open an Existing Spreadsheet

45 Edit Cell Data

As a matter of fact, Calc has an option for just about anything! Table 6.1 describes Calc's options. You'll learn a lot about what Calc can do just by looking through the options available to you.

Table 6.1. Calc Spreadsheet Options

Calc Option Category



Describes general Calc settings, such as the default unit of measurements and data-entry settings (see 41 Enter Simple Data into a Spreadsheet ).


Describes how Calc appears on the screen and which Calc special elements (such as grid lines) appear by default.


Describes how Calc displays dates and interprets search criteria when you search for data inside your spreadsheet (see 47 Find and Replace Data ).

Sort Lists

Describes the sorting order for Calc's various lists of data, such as days of the week.


Describes how Calc interprets revisions that you or someone else makes to spreadsheets.


Describes the grid Calc uses so you can accurately place objects in your document exactly where you want them.


Describes how Calc handles the printing of empty sheet pages (you can either print blank sheets or omit their printing). You can also control whether Calc can print only selected sheets or the entire spreadsheet.



All options are available for all OpenOffice.org programs at all times. For example, you can control the display of a grid in Calc from Impress, and you can request that Draw print all drawings in black and white from within Calc.



The placement grid described by the Grid option is not the row and column grid that you see in a sheet's background. The placement grid helps you accurately put objects such as graphics in a sheet exactly where you want them.



Often, you'll work in one OpenOffice.org program and realize that you need to change an overall option. For example, if you want to print several kinds of OpenOffice.org documents to a file (instead of to your printer) to send to others via email, you can change the OpenOffice.org option labeled Print , from within Calc, to apply that setting to all OpenOffice.org programs.

  1. Request Options

    Select Options from Calc's Tools menu. The Options dialog box appears. From the Options dialog box, you can change any of Calc's options as well as the options for the other OpenOffice.org programs.

  2. Change Overall Options

    Select any option in the OpenOffice.org category to modify OpenOffice.org-wide settings, such as pathnames. For example, if you don't like the pathname you see when you open or save a file, click the Paths option and change it to a different default file path .

    If you're new to OpenOffice.org, consider leaving all the OpenOffice.org options "as is" until you familiarize yourself with how the OpenOffice.org programs work.

  3. Open the Spreadsheet Category and Set General Options

    Click the plus sign next to the Spreadsheet option to display the seven Calc-specific options listed in Table 6.1, at the beginning of this task.

    graphics/06inf02.jpg Click the General options category; the dialog box changes to show options you can select to make changes to the general Calc options. The Metrics section enables you to specify how you want to handle measurements and tab stops, such as in inches or metrically. The Updating section enables you to specify when Calc is to update links you put in a sheet, such as to a Web page. The Input settings section enables you to specify how you want to enter data into spreadsheets, such as whether to move to the next cell when you press Enter or stay in the current cell.

  4. Change View Options

    Click the View category under the Spreadsheet category; the dialog box changes to show options that handle Calc's onscreen display. For example, you can hide and change the color of Calc's grind lines in the background of sheets from within the Visual aids section. The Display section determines how special values such as zeroes, formulas, and anchors are to be shown. The Objects section determines how Calc shows objects such as charts and graphics. The Window section specifies the display of various Calc screen elements, such as the scrollbars and sheet tabs, that contain the name of the sheets in the current spreadsheet.

  5. Change Print Options

    Click to select the Print category under the Spreadsheet category. Only two options appear: Suppress output of empty pages and Print only selected sheets . With a judicious use of these options, you can save a lot of paper in some documents if you don't print every blank page or all sheets in the spreadsheet.

  6. Change Other Options

    Continue viewing and changing the remaining options in the Spreadsheet category by first selecting the category and then looking at the individual options.

    When you're done specifying Calc options, click the OK button to close the Options dialog box.

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Sams Teach Yourself OpenOffice.org All In One
Sams Teach Yourself OpenOffice.org All In One
ISBN: 0672326183
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 205
Authors: Greg Perry

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