The Structure of Spreadsheet Documents

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The document object of a spreadsheet is based on the service. Each of these documents may contain several spreadsheets. In this guide, a table-based document or spreadsheet document is the entire document, whereas a spreadsheet (or sheet for short) is a sheet (table) in the document.

Documentation note.png VBA : Different terminology for spreadsheets and their content is used in VBA and Apache OpenOffice Basic. Whereas the document object in VBA is called a Workbook and its individual pages Worksheets, they are called SpreadsheetDocument and Sheet in Apache OpenOffice Basic.


You can access the individual sheets of a spreadsheet document through the Sheets list.

The following examples show you how to access a sheet either through its number or its name.

Example 1: access by means of the number (numbering begins with 0)

Dim Doc As Object
Dim Sheet As Object
Doc = ThisComponent
Sheet = Doc.Sheets (0)
Documentation note.png ThisComponent returns the currently active document.

The expression Doc.Sheets(0) is a Basic simplification of the API call : Doc.getSheets.getByIndex(0)

Example 2: access by means of the name

Dim Doc As Object
Dim Sheet As Object
Doc = ThisComponent
Sheet = Doc.Sheets.getByName("Sheet 1")

In the first example, the sheet is accessed by its number (counting begins at 0). In the second example, the sheet is accessed by its name and the getByName method.

The Sheet object that is obtained by the getByName method supports the service. In addition to providing several interfaces for editing the content, this service provides the following properties:

IsVisible (Boolean)
value True if the spreadsheet is visible.
PageStyle (String)
name of the page template for the spreadsheet.

Renaming Sheets

A sheet provides methods getName and setName to read and modify its name. Basic can handle both methods like a property Name. Here we rename the first sheet of the spreadsheet document.

Dim Doc As Object
Dim Sheet As Object
Doc = ThisComponent
Sheet = Doc.Sheets(0)
Sheet.Name = "First"

Creating and Deleting Sheets

The Sheets container of a spreadsheet document is also used to create and delete individual sheets. The following example uses the hasByName method to check if a sheet called MySheet exists. If it does, the method determines a corresponding object reference by using the getByName method and then saves the reference in a variable in Sheet. If the corresponding sheet does not exist, it is created by the createInstance call and inserted in the spreadsheet document by the insertByName method.

Dim Doc As Object
Dim Sheet As Object
Doc = ThisComponent
If Doc.Sheets.hasByName("MySheet") Then
   Sheet = Doc.Sheets.getByName("MySheet")
   Sheet = Doc.createInstance("")
   Doc.Sheets.insertByName("MySheet", Sheet)
End If

The hasByName, getByName and insertByName methods are obtained from the interface as described in Introduction to the API.

The interface provides a better method to create a new sheet: insertNewByName. It inserts a new sheet with the name specified by the first argument, at the position specified by the second argument.

Dim Doc As Object
Doc = ThisComponent
Doc.Sheets.insertNewByName("OtherSheet", 2)

The same interface provides methods moveByName and copyByName.

The interface provides a method to remove a sheet of a given name:

Dim Doc As Object
Doc = ThisComponent

Content on this page is licensed under the Public Documentation License (PDL).
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