April 24, 2019

OpenOffice Tips: Writer, Calc and Impress - page 2

No Writer's Block Here

  • July 26, 2004
  • By Drew Robb
Calc, the spreadsheet program in OpenOffice contains most of Excel's familiar functions. With it, you can make lists; calculate groups of numbers and sort data. It's simple to manage columns and rows, sort data, take care of addressing, inserting graphics, creating charts and formatting. Still, there are a few differences you need to know:

  • Calc has a row limit of 32,000 rows, about half the limit of Excel.
  • If you want text to wrap within a cell, click on Format and then Cells. Right click the cell, find Properties then the Alignment tab. You have to then check Automatic line break.
  • Formulas from Excel worksheets often don't work in Calc. The usual reason is that Calc uses semi-colons between arguments, instead of commas.
If you'd like an in-depth summary of Calc basics, check out Jan Wilson's site. You'll find another great resource at the OpenOffice Forum.

Impress is the OpenOffice presentation alternative to PowerPoint, and if you've used MS Office, you'll find the transition to Impress fairly straightforward. This program makes it very easy to create slides, outlines, notes, handouts and slideshows. Here are a few differences and tips:

  • If you want to share your documents or use them at tradeshows, save them in Microsoft PowerPoint format. Go to File and Save As and choose .ppt as the document type.
  • If you create presentations in OpenOffice, save it as a .ppt file and open it in Microsoft Office, you may lose a couple of features. In particular, you may have to fix the slide number at the bottom corner as well as the line spacing, which sometimes gets scrambled.
  • If your presentations don't need to be revised by others, the easiest workaround is to click the PDF conversion icon at the top of the page and send people your presentations in PDF format.
  • Some new users create a slide and then can't figure out how to start the next one. Click Insert Slide or click View Toolbars Presentation so you have easy access to the necessary icons.

You'll find a great introduction to Impress in this book excerpt from the OpenOffice site. You can find answers to any other questions you have using Impress's built-in Help system. For more advanced information, try this Linux Migration site. It'll help you learn to add animation to slides, create fancy slide transitions and how to print multiple slides per page.

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