Parts of the main Calc window

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When Calc is started, the main window looks similar to the picture below.

Parts of the Calc window
Documentation note.png If any part of the Calc window is not shown, you can display it using the View menu. For example, View > Status Bar will toggle (show or hide) the Status Bar. It is not always necessary to display all the parts, as shown; show or hide any of them, as desired.

Title bar

The Title bar, located at the top, shows the name of the current spreadsheet. When the spreadsheet is newly created, its name is Untitled X, where X is a number. When you save a new spreadsheet for the first time, you are prompted to enter a name of your choice.

Menu bar

Under the Title bar is the Menu bar. When you choose one of the menus, a submenu appears with other options. You can modify the Menu bar, as discussed in Setting up and Customizing Calc.

  • File contains commands that apply to the entire document such as Open, Save, Wizards, Export as PDF, and Digital Signatures.
  • Edit contains commands for editing the document such as Undo, Changes, Compare Document, and Find and Replace.
  • View contains commands for modifying how the Calc user interface looks such as Toolbars, Full Screen, and Zoom.
  • Insert contains commands for inserting elements such as cells, rows, columns, sheets, and pictures into a spreadsheet.
  • Format contains commands for modifying the layout of a spreadsheet such as Styles and Formatting, Paragraph, and Merge Cells.
  • Tools contains functions such as Spelling, Share Document, Cell Contents, Gallery, and Macros.
  • Data contains commands for manipulating data in your spreadsheet such as Define Range, Sort, Filter, and DataPilot.
  • Window contains commands for the display window such as New Window, Split, and Freeze.
  • Help contains links to the Help file bundled with the software, What's This?, Support, Registration, and Check for Updates.


Three toolbars are located under the Menu bar by default: the Standard toolbar, the Formatting toolbar, and the Formula Bar.

The icons (buttons) on these toolbars provide a wide range of common commands and functions. You can also modify these toolbars, as discussed in Setting up and Customizing Calc.

Placing the mouse pointer over any of the icons displays a small box, called a tooltip. It gives a brief explanation of the icon’s function. For a more detailed explanation, select Help > What's This? and hover the mouse pointer over the icon. To turn this feature off again, click once or press the Esc key twice. Tips and extended tips can now be turned on or off from Tools > Options > > General.

In the Formatting toolbar, the three boxes on the left are the Apply Style, Font Name, and Font Size lists. They show the current settings for the selected cell or area. (The Apply Style list may not be visible by default.) Click the down-arrow to the right of each box to open the list.

Font name and font size
Documentation note.png If any of the icons (buttons) is not shown, you can display it by clicking the small triangle at the right end of the Formatting toolbar, selecting Visible Buttons in the drop-down menu, and selecting the desired icon (for example, Apply Style) in the drop-down list. It is not always necessary to display all the toolbar buttons, as shown; show or hide any of them, as desired.

Formula Bar

On the left hand side of the Formula Bar is a small text box, called the Name box, with a letter and number combination in it, such as D7. This combination, called the cell reference, is the column letter and row number of the selected cell.

Formula bar

To the right of the Name Box are the Function Wizard, Sum, and Function buttons.

Clicking the Function Wizard button opens a dialog from which you can search through a list of available functions. This can be very useful because it also shows how the functions are formatted.

In a spreadsheet the term function includes much more than just mathematical functions; see Formulas and functions for more details.

Clicking the Sum button inserts a formula into the current cell that totals the numbers in the cells above the current cell. If there are no numbers above the current cell, then the cells to the left are placed in the Sum formula.

Clicking the Function button inserts an equals (=) sign into the selected cell and the Input line, thereby enabling the cell to accept a formula.

When you enter new data into a cell, the Sum and Equals buttons change to Cancel and Accept buttons CancelAccept.png.

The contents of the current cell (data, formula, or function) are displayed in the Input line, which is the remainder of the Formula Bar. You can either edit the cell contents of the current cell here, or you can do that in the current cell. To edit inside the Input line area, click in the area, then type your changes. To edit within the current cell, just double-click the cell.

Individual cells

The main section of the screen displays the cells in the form of a grid, with each cell being at the intersection of a column and row.

At the top of the columns and at the left end of the rows are a series of gray boxes containing letters and numbers. These are the column and row headers. The columns start at A and go on to the right and the rows start at 1 and go on down.

These column and row headers form the cell references that appear in the Name Box box on the Formula Bar. You can turn these headers off by selecting View > Column & Row Headers.

Sheet tabs

At the bottom of the grid of cells are the sheet tabs. These tabs enable access to each individual sheet, with the visible (active) sheet having a white tab.Clicking on another sheet tab displays that sheet, and its tab turns white. You can also select multiple sheet tabs at once by holding down the Control key while you click the names.

Status bar

The Calc status bar provides information about the spreadsheet and convenient ways to quickly change some of its features.

Left end of Calc status bar
Right end of Calc status bar

Sheet sequence number (CalcStatusbar3c.png)

Shows the sequence number of the current sheet and the total number of sheets in the spreadsheet. The sequence number may not correspond with the name on the sheet tab.

Page style (CalcStatusbar3d.png)

Shows the page style of the current sheet. To edit the page style, double-click on this field. The Page Style dialog opens.

Insert mode (CalcStatusbar3e.png)

Click to toggle between INSRT (Insert) and OVER (Overwrite) modes when typing. This field is blank when the spreadsheet is not in a typing mode (for example, when selecting cells).

Selection mode (CalcStatusbar3f.png)

Click to toggle between STD (Standard), EXT (Extend), and ADD (Add) selection. EXT is an alternative to Shift+click when selecting cells. See Selecting items in a sheet or spreadsheet for more information.

Unsaved changes (CalcStatusbar3g.png)

An asterisk (*) appears here if changes to the spreadsheet have not been saved.

Digital signature (SecurePDFicon.png)

If the document has not been digitally signed, double-clicking in this area opens the Digital Signatures dialog, where you can sign the document. See Digital signing of documents for more about digital signatures.

If the document has been digitally signed, an icon SecurePDFicon.png shows in this area. You can double-click the icon to view the certificate. A document can be digitally signed only after it has been saved.

Cell or object information (CalcStatusbar3h.png)

Displays information about the selected items. When a group of cells is selected, the sum of the contents is displayed by default; you can right-click on this field and select other functions, such as the average value, maximum value, minimum value, or count (number of items selected).

When the cursor is on an object such as a picture or chart, the information shown includes the size of the object and its location.

Zoom—new in OOo 3.1 (CalcStatusbar3j.png)

To change the view magnification, drag the Zoom slider or click on the + and – signs. You can also right-click on the zoom level percentage to select a magnification value or double-click to open the Zoom & View Layout dialog.

Content on this page is licensed under the Creative Common Attribution 3.0 license (CC-BY).
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