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OpenOffice Impress User Guide
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Using spreadsheets in Impress

A spreadsheet embedded in Impress includes most of the functionality of a spreadsheet in Calc and is therefore capable of performing extremely complex calculations and data analysis. However, in most cases people limit the use of spreadsheets in Impress to creating complex tables or presenting data in a tabular format. If you need to analyse your data or apply formulas, these operations are best performed in a Calc spreadsheet and the results displayed in an embedded Impress spreadsheet.

    1. Inserting a spreadsheet

To add a spreadsheet to a slide, select the corresponding layout in the list of predefined layouts in the Tasks pane, as shown in Figure 110. This inserts a placeholder for a spreadsheet in the center of a slide, as shown in Figure 111. To insert data and modify the formatting of the spreadsheet, it is necessary to activate it and enter the edit mode. To do so, double-click inside the frame with the green handles.


Alternatively, select Insert > Spreadsheet from the main menu bar. This opens a small spreadsheet in the middle of the slide. When a spreadsheet is inserted using this method, it is already in edit mode.

It is also possible to insert a spreadsheet as an OLE object as described in “Inserting other objects” on page 164.


When editing a spreadsheet, some of the contents of the main menu bar change, as does the Formatting toolbar (see Figure 112), to show entries and tools that support working with the spreadsheet.


One of the most important changes is the presence of the Formula toolbar, just below the Formatting toolbar. The Formula toolbar contains (from left to right):

  • The active cell reference or the name of the selected range

  • The Formula Wizard button

  • The Sum and Formula buttons or the Cancel and Accept buttons (depending on the contents of the cell)

  • A long edit box to enter or review the contents of a cell

If you are familiar with Calc, you will immediately recognize the tools and the menu items since they are much the same.

  1. Resizing and moving a spreadsheet

To resize the area occupied by the spreadsheet or change its position, enter the edit mode and use the black handles found in the gray border surrounding the spreadsheet (see Figure 113).

Move the mouse over the handles to resize the spreadsheet area. The corner handles resize the two sides forming the corner simultaneously, while the handles in the middle of the sides modify one dimension at a time. When moved over each handle, the cursor changes shape to give a visual representation of the effects applied to the area.

When resizing or moving a spreadsheet, ignore the first row and the first column (easily recognizable because of their light gray background) and the horizontal and vertical scroll bars). They are only used for editing purposes and will not be included in the visible area of the spreadsheet on the slide.


The position of the spreadsheet within the slide can be changed both when in edit mode and when not in edit mode. In both cases:

  1. Move the mouse over the border until the cursor changes shape (typically a four-headed arrow).

  2. Click the left mouse button and drag the spreadsheet to the desired position.

  3. Release the mouse button.

When not in edit mode (green handles), the spreadsheet object is treated like any other object, therefore resizing it results in changing the scale rather than the spreadsheet area. This is not recommended as it may produce distortion of the fonts and picture shapes.

  1. Moving around the spreadsheet and entering data

    1. How a spreadsheet is organized

A spreadsheet consists normally of multiple tables which in turn contain cells. However, in Impress only one of these tables can be shown at any given time on a slide.

The default for a spreadsheet embedded in Impress is one single table called “Sheet 1”. The name of the table is shown at the bottom of the spreadsheet area (see Figure 113).

If required, it is possible to add other sheets. To do that:

  1. Right-click on the bottom area.

  2. Select Insert > Sheet from the pop-up menu.

Just like in Calc, it is possible to rename a sheet or move it to a different position using the same pop-up menu or the Insert menu in the main menu bar.


Even if you have many sheets in your embedded spreadsheet, only the sheet which is active when leaving the spreadsheet edit mode will be shown on the slide.

Each of the sheets is further organized in cells. Cells are the elementary unit of the spreadsheet. They are identified by a row number (shown on the left hand side on gray background) and a column letter (shown in the upper part again on gray background). For example, the top left cell is identified as A1, while the third cell on the second row is C2. All data, whether text or numbers, is input in a cell.

    1. Moving the cursor to a cell

To move around the spreadsheet and select the cell which has the focus, you can:

  • Use the arrow keys.

  • Left-click with the mouse on the desired cell.

  • Use the combinations Enter and Shift+Enter to move one cell down or one cell up respectively; Tab key and Shift+Tab key to move one cell to the right or to the left respectively.

Other keyboard shortcuts are available to move quickly to certain cells of the spreadsheet. Refer to Chapter 7 (Getting Started with Calc) in the Getting Started guide for further information.

    1. Entering data in the selected cell

Keyboard input is received by the active cell, identified by a thick black border (see Figure 113 where cell B3 is active). The cell reference (or “coordinates”) is also shown on the left hand end of the formula bar.

To insert data, first select the cell to make it active, then type in it. Note that the input is also added to the main part of the formula bar where it may be easier to read.

Impress will try to automatically recognize the type of contents (text, number, date, time and so on) of a cell and apply default formatting to it. Note how the formula bar icons change according to the type of input, displaying accept and reject buttons () whenever the input is not a formula. Use the green Accept button to accept the input made in a cell or simply select a different cell. In case Impress wrongly recognized the type of input, it is possible to change it using the toolbar shown in Figure 112, or from the Format > Cells in the main menu bar.


Sometimes it is useful to treat numbers as text (for example, telephone numbers) and to prevent Impress from removing the leading zeros or right align them in a cell. To force Impress to treat the input as text, type a single apostrophe ' (U + 00B4) before entering the number.

  1. Formatting spreadsheet cells

Normally, for the purpose of a presentation it may be necessary to increase considerably the size of the font as well as matching it to the style used in the presentation.

The fastest and most flexible way to format the embedded spreadsheet is to make use of styles. When working on an embedded spreadsheet it is possible to access the cell styles created in Calc and use them. It is however recommended to create specific cell styles for presentation spreadsheets, as the Calc cell styles are likely to be unsuitable when working within Impress.

To apply a style (or indeed manual formatting of the cell attributes) to a cell or group of cells simultaneously, first select the range to which the changes will apply. A range consists of one or more cells, normally forming a rectagular area. A selected range consisting of more than one cell can be easily recognized because all its cells except the active one have a black background. To select a multiple cells range:

  1. Click on the first cell belonging to the range (either the left top cell or the right bottom cell of the rectangular area).

  2. Keep the left mouse button pressed and move the mouse to the opposite corner of the rectangular area which will form the selected range.

  3. Release the mouse button.

To add further cells to the selection press the Control key and repeat the steps 1 to 3 above.


You can also click on the first cell in the range, hold down the Shift key, and click in the cell in the opposite corner. Refer to Chapter 7 (Getting Started with Calc) in the Getting Started book for further information on selecting ranges of cells.

Some shortcuts are very useful to speed up the selection:

  • To select the whole visible sheet, click at the intersection between the rows indexes and the column indexes, or press Control+A.

  • To select a column, click on the column index at the top of the spreadsheet.

  • To select a row, click on the row index on the left hand side of the spreadsheet.

Once the range is selected, you can modify the formatting such as font size, alignment (including vertical alignment), font color, number formats, borders, background and so on. To access these settings, select Format > Cells from the main menu bar. This command opens the dialog shown in Figure 114.


If the text does not fit the width of the cell, increase these values by hovering the mouse over the line separating two columns and, when the mouse cursor changes shape, clicking the left button and dragging the separating line to the new position. A similar procedure can be used to modify the height of a cell (or group of cells).

To insert rows and columns in a spreadsheet, use the Format menu or right-click on the row and column headers and select the appropriate option from the pop up menu. To merge multiple cells, select the cells to be merged and select Format > Merge cells from the main menu bar. To de-merge a group of cells, select the group and again Format > Merge Cells (which will now have a checkmark next to it).

When you are satisfied with the formatting and the appearance of the table, exit the edit mode by clicking outside the spreadsheet area. Note that Impress will display exactly the section of the spreadsheet which was on the screen before leaving the edit mode. This allows you to hide additional data from the view, but it may cause the apparent loss of rows and columns. Therefore, take care that the desired part of the spreadsheet is showing on the screen before leaving the edit mode.

OpenOffice Impress User Guide
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