Section 42. Enter Simple Data into a Spreadsheet

42. Enter Simple Data into a Spreadsheet


40 Create a New Spreadsheet

41 Open an Existing Spreadsheet


46 Edit Cell Data

47 Print a Spreadsheet

Often, entering worksheet data requires nothing more than clicking the correct cell to select it and then typing the data. The various kinds of data behave differently when entered, however, so you should understand how Calc accepts assorted data.

Calc works with the following kinds of data:

  • Labels Text values such as names and addresses, as well as date and time values.

  • Numbers Numeric values such as 34, 291, 545.67874, and 0.

  • Dates and times Calc accepts date and time values that you type in virtually any format.

  • Formulas Expressions that compute numeric results. (Some formulas work with text values as well.)

This task walks you through a short editing session just to give you a feel for entering data into a Calc sheet. Keep in mind that Calc's interface is different from most other programs you may have worked with, unless you've worked with electronic spreadsheet programs before. Having said that, some of the editing skills you acquire in one program apply to the other programs as well. For example, both Calc and Writer offer the capability to display or hide the Standard toolbar. The Standard toolbar changes slightly depending on which program you use, but most of its functions are similar across the programs.

Move the Active Cell

Click cell D5 to make D5 the active cell. The cell's dark outline indicates that the cell is selected. Also, the cell name appears in the Sheet Area .

Type Text in the Cell

Type ABC Co . into cell D5 . To enter the text, simply type the text, and it appears both in the cell as well as in the Input line toward the top of the screen. When you press Enter , the active cell moves down one row. Instead of Enter , you can press the right arrow button or Tab , and the cell to the right of the cell becomes active next .

42. Enter Simple Data into a Spreadsheet

By default, text always appears left-justified in a cell, although you can click one of the justification buttons to center or right-justify text in a cell. To correct a mistake, press Backspace and type the corrected text.


You can change the action of the Enter key from the Options, Calc, General dialog box page.

If you press the Esc button at any point during text entry but before you move to another cell, Calc erases the text you typed in the cell and restores the original cell. In addition, you can press Ctrl+Z (for undo) or click the Undo button to back up to a cell's previous state.

Type a Long Title

Replace the text in cell D5 by typing Fiscal Year Report for the 1st Quarter . As you type, the text spills into cells E5, F5 , and finally ends in G5 . The important thing to note is that only cell D5 holds the text value Fiscal Year Report for the 1st Quarter . Although it looks as though pieces of the title spill into the cells to the right, Calc is showing the full text in cell D5 because no values appear to the right of D5 . If any data resided in cells E5, F5 , or G5 , Calc would not have shown the full value in D5 .


You'll see that when you type 1st , Calc's AutoCorrect feature converts it to 1 st .

Type the Long Title Again

Move to cell D10 and begin typing the same title, Fiscal Year Report for the 1st Quarter . As with cell D5 , the full text shows because nothing appears in the cells to the right of D10 .

Calc automatically completes the entry thanks to a feature called AutoInput , which is similar to Writer's AutoComplete feature (see 31 About Writer's Automatic Correction Tools ). AutoInput matches your text to input found elsewhere in the column. You can accept the proposed completion by pressing Enter or ignore the suggestion and continue typing.


To turn the AutoInput feature on and off, choose Tools, Cell Contents and then click the AutoInput check box to enable or disable the option.

Instead of typing the title twice, you could select the title and click Copy (or press Ctrl+C ). You then could paste the title where you want it by clicking the cell and then clicking Paste (or pressing Ctrl+V ).

If you ever want to see the full content of a cell that contains more data than can be displayed, click the cell and view its contents in the Formula bar.

Type Numbers

Type the following numeric values into cells E10 and E11 , respectively: 56 and 45 . You'll see that as soon as you type cell E10 's value, the long text in cell D10 no longer displays. The long text is still in cell D10 , but Calc doesn't display the text because then you would be unable to see the number in cell E10 . Instead, it displays a small red triangle at the end of the cell to indicate that the cell contains more data than there is room to display.

Calc usually recognizes any entry that begins with an alphabetical character as text. Some textual data, such as price codes, telephone numbers, and ZIP Codes can fool Calc into thinking you are entering numeric data because of the initial numeric value. Calc treats numeric data differently from text data when you type the data into cells. If you want Calc to treat a number (such as a ZIP Code) as a text entry so that it does not perform calculations on the cell, precede the contents with a single apostrophe ( ' ). For example, to type the ZIP Code 74137, type '74137 ; the apostrophe lets Calc know to format the value as text. Knowing this enables you to enter text-based numbers such as ZIP Codes and product codes that require a leading zero. Without the quote, Calc interprets a value with a leading zero as a number and removes the zero and right-justifies the number.

Also notice that, unlike text values, Calc right-justifies numeric values. You'll also see when you enter formulas that Calc right-justifies the results of those formulas.

Type an Underline

You can put a line, composed of dashes, below the two numbers you just entered. Type - in cell D7 and press Enter . The dashed line doesn't look correct because Calc left-justified the line since the line is not numeric but text.

Edit the Underline

Click cell D7 to make it active. Then click the Align Right button that resides in the group of justification buttons and Calc right-justifies the underline.

Type a Formula

Type =E10+E11 in cell E13 . You've just typed your first formula in Calc. The moment you press Enter , Calc displays the formula's answer instead of the formula itself.

Click cell E13 to make it active again. You'll see the formula in the Input line. So when you click a formula's cell, Calc shows you both the formula and the value. If you want to change the formula, either press F2 to display the formula once again inside the cell itself or click to edit the formula in the Input line.


For now, do not make changes to the formula but rather click cell E13 and press F2 . Calc colorizes the formula and highlights each formula value's cell so you can easily see the cells that comprise the formula. Press Enter to keep the current value.

Type July 4, 1776

Type July 4, 1776 in cell A4 .

Calc Converts the Date

Press Enter and Calc converts your date to a different format. Calc converts the date to 07/04/76 . Calc does retain the date's full value inside the cell, and only the date's display appears in the mm/dd/yy format.

Display Date Format Options

Calc supports almost every national and international date and time format. To determine which format Calc is to display dates (and times) in, select Format, Cells , click the Numbers tab, and then click the Date entry under Category . You can change the way Calc displays any cell's date by modifying its format. 60 Format Cells goes into detail about how to format cells. Click OK to close the dialog box.

Type 6:15 p.m.

Type 6:15 p.m. in cell A7 .

Calc Converts the Time

Press Enter and Calc converts your time to a different format. Calc converts the time to 06:15:00 PM , the time's full value in the hh:mm:ss AM/PM format.


Type the am or pm designation when entering time values or enter the time using a 24- hour clock. Either 6:15 pm or 18:15 work to enter the same time in the cell. 2, Firefox, and Thunderbird for Windows All in One
Sams Teach Yourself 2, Firefox and Thunderbird for Windows All in One
ISBN: 0672328089
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2005
Pages: 232
Authors: Greg Perry © 2008-2017.
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