73. Import and Export Sheet Data
BEFORE YOU BEGIN
47 Print a Spreadsheet
74 About Advanced Spreadsheet Printing
140 Access an Existing Database
As with all the OpenOffice.org programs, Calc works well with data from similar programs such as Microsoft Office and StarOffice. Most of the time, you can load an Excel spreadsheet directly into Calc and work with the spreadsheet as though you had originally created it in Calc. When you load a spreadsheet from another program into Calc, you are using Calc's automatic import feature to bring that data into Calc's workspace. If you want to use Calc data in a program that does not support the OpenDocument format, you must export the spreadsheet data.
Import To load data from a non-Calc program into Calc.
Export To save data from Calc so another program can use the data.
All spreadsheet programs that support the OASIS standard use the same file extensions. Therefore, any spreadsheet created in StarOffice 8 or KOffice shares Calc's native file extensions: .ods for spreadsheets and .ots for spreadsheet templates.
If you want to use a database you create in Calc in the Base component of OpenOffice.org, you must first register the Calc database with OpenOffice.org. See 140 Access an Existing Database for more information.
73. Import and Export Sheet Data
Although Calc imports virtually all Excel spreadsheets, Calc may have problems importing the following Excel items. If your imported spreadsheets contain any of these items, you may need to adjust the imported spreadsheet manually to eliminate the sections with these items or make a note that the items will not be appearing:
Like OpenOffice.org 2.0, StarOffice 8 and KOffice use the new file format developed by the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS), so exchanging documents with StarOffice is virtually seamless. Working with Microsoft Excel files is not quite as transparent but is usually simple enough.
In addition to exporting Calc files to other spreadsheet programs, you can export them as PDF or XHTML files. PDF files are useful for eBooks and for offering as downloads to web page visitors because PDF files can be read on many kinds of computer systems. A primary advantage of PDF files is that they look the same no matter what kind of computer you view them on. The XHTML format is useful for saving a spreadsheet as a web page so that it can be opened in a web browser.
Like a PDF file, an XHTML file cannot be directly edited. People viewing the page in a Web browser can select and copy data, but cannot change it.
Portable Document Format (PDF) A file format developed by Adobe Systems, Inc., that enables you to electronically send formatted documents and have them appear onscreen exactly as they would if they were printed.
eXtensible Hypertext Markup Language (XHTML) A nonproprietary file format that lets you save a file as a Web page and ensure that the content and formatting remain intact.
If you try to save an existing Calc spreadsheet in an earlier version of Calc (such as the OpenOffice 1.0 Spreadsheet file format), a dialog box opens to warn you that some formatting or content might be lost. Although you can choose to save in the older format if necessary, it's hard to imagine why anyone would decide not to upgrade to the newer version of the software.
An XML (eXtensible Markup Language) format is also available for Excel 2003 XML documents, as well as a PXL (Pocket Excel) format if you want to export to Microsoft's Pocket PC operating system.
Calc's File, Export command also offers the option of converting a file to PDF format, but the File, Export to PDF command offers quicker access to this option.