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Navigating within spreadsheets

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Calc provides many ways to navigate within a spreadsheet from cell to cell and sheet to sheet. You can generally use whatever method you prefer.

Going to a particular cell

Using the mouse

Place the mouse pointer over the cell and click.

Using a cell reference

Click on the little inverted black triangle just to the right of the Name Box on the Formula Bar. The existing cell reference will be highlighted. Type the cell reference of the cell you want to go to and press Enter. Or just click into the Name box, delete the existing cell reference, and type in the cell reference you want.

Using the Navigator

Click on the Navigator button Nav-icon.jpg in the Standard toolbar (or press F5) to display the Navigator. Type the cell reference into the top two fields, labeled Column and Row, and press Enter. In the figure below, the Navigator would select cell G28.

Calc Navigator

Moving from cell to cell

In the spreadsheet, one cell normally has a black border. This black border indicates where the focus is (see below). If a group of cells is selected, they have a highlight color (usually gray), with the focus cell having a dark border.

(Left) One selected cell and (right) a group of selected cells

Using the mouse

To move the focus using the mouse, simply move the mouse pointer to the cell where the focus should be and click the left mouse button. This changes the focus to the new cell. This method is most useful when the two cells are a large distance apart.

Using the Tab and Enter keys

  • Pressing Enter or Shift+Enter moves the focus down or up, respectively.
  • Pressing Tab or Shift+Tab moves the focus right or left, respectively.

Using the arrow keys

Pressing the arrow keys on the keyboard moves the focus in the direction of the arrows.

Using Home, End, Page Up and Page Down

  • Home moves the focus to the start of a row.
  • End moves the focus to the column furthest to the right that contains data.
  • Page Down moves the display down one complete screen and Page Up moves the display up one complete screen.
  • Combinations of Control and Alt with Home, End, Page Down, Page Up, and the cursor keys move the focus of the current cell in other ways. Table 1 describes the keyboard shortcuts for moving about a spreadsheet.
Tip.png Holding down Alt+Cursor key resizes a cell.


Table 1. Moving from cell to cell using the keyboard

Key Combination Movement
Right one cell
Left one cell
Up one cell
Down one cell
Control+→ To last column containing data in that row or to Column AMJ
Control+← To first column containing data in that row or to Column A
Control+↑ To first row containing data in that column or to Row 1
Control+↓ To last row containing data in that column or to Row 65536
Control+Home To Cell A1
Control+End To lower right hand corner of the area containing data
Alt+PgDn One screen to the right (if possible)
Alt+PgUp One screen to the left (if possible)
Control+PgDn One sheet to the right (in sheet tabs)
Control+PgUp One sheet to the left (in sheet tabs)
Tab To the cell on the right
Shift+Tab To the cell on the left
Enter Down one cell (unless changed by user)
Shift+Enter Up one cell (unless changed by user)

Customizing the effect of the Enter key

You can customize the direction in which the Enter key moves the focus, by selecting Tools > Options > OpenOffice.org Calc > General.

The four choices for the direction of the Enter key are shown on the right side of the figure below. It can move data down, right, up, or left. Depending on the file being used or on the type of data being entered, different directions can be useful.

The Enter key can also be used to switch into and out of editing mode. Use the options under Input settings to change the Enter key settings.

Customizing the effect of the Enter key

Moving from sheet to sheet

Each sheet in a spreadsheet is independent of the others, though they can be linked with references from one sheet to another. There are three ways to navigate between different sheets in a spreadsheet.

Using the keyboard

Pressing Control+PgDn moves one sheet to the right and pressing Control+PgUp moves one sheet to the left.

Using the mouse

Clicking one of the sheet tabs at the bottom of the spreadsheet selects that sheet.

If you have a lot of sheets, then some of the sheet tabs may be hidden behind the horizontal scroll bar at the bottom of the screen. If this is the case, then the four buttons at the left of the sheet tabs can move the tabs into view. The figure below shows how to do this.

Sheet tab arrows

Notice that the sheets here are not numbered in order. Sheet numbering is arbitrary—you can name a sheet as you wish.

Documentation note.png The sheet tab arrows shown in the figure above only appear if you have some sheet tabs that can not be seen. Otherwise they will appear faded.


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