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Editing an Existing Spreadsheet using OpenOffice

Editing an Existing Spreadsheet using OpenOffice

Suppose that we need to update the spreadsheet we created in the previous section on spreadsheet creation. We first need to open it. There are two main ways of opening the file:

  • Open the file from the File → Recent Documents list (-this is fine if you've not edited 10 other files since, as only the last 10 are kept)

  • Open the file using File->Open and navigating the file to open

As you should already be familiar with the latter, let's open using the Recent Documents list:

Open Recent Documents

The file should be opened and displayed on screen:

Opened spreadsheet

Let's add the following:

  • A column heading in cell A2 of “Expense” (bold)

  • A column heading in cell B2 of “Monthly Cost” (bold)

  • A column heading in cell C2 of “Annual Cost” (bold)

  • Hint: select the text and type CTRL+B to change to a bold font

The spreadsheet should now look something like:

Updated spreadsheet

The text in cell B2 has been truncated off, so double click the line between columns B and C at the top of the screen (-where the arrow cursor is shown below) to expand column B:

Updated spreadsheet

You should find that column B expands so all the text is now visible.

Next, click on row 2 (left hand side – where the arrow is shown in the example below):

Expand Columns

Click CTRL+ (Ctrl and the “+” key) to insert a blank line above it; your file should now look like the one below:

Insert spreadsheet row

Now, type the following in cell C4: =(B4*12)

This is a formula stating that column C4 should contain a value of twelve times that in cell B4. Hopefully, you should now see the following in C4:

Insert spreadsheet formula

Having calculated the annual cost for electricity,we now need to do the same for the other utilities. Luckily, there is a short cut:

  • Click in cell C4 and type CTRL+C to copy the formula into the paste buffer

  • Click-drag cells C5 – C8

  • Press CTRL-V to paste the formula into the selected cells

Update multiple spreadsheet formulae

Notice how the spreadsheet program adapted the formula to each cell (-i.e. calculating the value in the C column from that of the corresponding B column). We can also use this trick for the totals:

  • Click in cell B10 and type CTRL+C to copy the formula into the paste buffer

  • Click in cell C10

  • Press CTRL-V to paste the“totals” formula into C10

Update multiple spreadsheet total formulae

Lastly, let's just make the table stand out a little more:

  • Click drag cells A2 to C10

  • Right click the mouse and choose “Format Cells”

Update multiple spreadsheet total formulae

In the dialogue box that opens, select the “Borders” tab and then click the icon shown below:

Spreadsheet Cell Borders Tab

This should add a grid border around those cells, which will be displayed when printed:

Spreadsheet Add Grid Border

Now select cells A3 to C3, right click and again choose “Format Cells”:

Spreadsheet Format Row

This time, click on the “Background” tab and choose “Blue 8” (-shown below), before clicking on the “OK” button:

Spreadsheet Format Colour

Your spreadsheet should now look as follows:

Formatted Spreadsheet

Lastly, let's highlight the total row and the column headings:

  • Select cells A3 to C3 and type CTRL+B

  • Select cells A10 to C10 and type CTRL+B

The completed file should look something like that shown below:

Final Spreadsheet

Finally, Save the file using CTRL+S or File → Save:

Save Spreadsheet

Once saved the application can be exited, using File → Exit or CTRL+Q:

Quit Spreadsheet

If you have not saved any changes, then OpenOffice will warn you of this and ask you if you want to discard them or cancel the request to exit.


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