The spreadsheet component of OpenOffice.org is named Calc, and is a very capable Excel alternative.

Calc is used for storing numerical information that you need to analyze in some way. So, for instance, you could use it to help you budget month by month. It can take care of the calculations for you, as long as you tell Calc what you want it to do. Anyone with experience in Excel will feel right at home with Calc.

In this section, we will show you how to get started with Calc, including entering formulas and formatting. We will also take a look at some of the more advanced features of Calc, including the Data Pilot feature, which allows you to easily summarize information.

You can either click the shortcut icon that is located on the top GNOME panel, or select Spreadsheet from the Office menu under the Applications main menu. Whichever route you take, the result is the same and Calc starts to load.

By default, Calc loads with a blank spreadsheet just waiting for you to enter information into it. In Figure 6.7, you can see that we have already started to enter some basic information into Calc.

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2 | ||||||||||

3 |
Sales Person |
Quantity |
Unit Rate |
Total | ||||||

4 |
Andrew Hudson |
9 |
31,15 |
28036 | ||||||

5 |
Bernice Hudson |
10 |
43 96 |
439.6 |
= | |||||

6 |
Phil Hazel |
2 |
5.69 |
13.37 | ||||||

7 |
Adam Romain |
1 |
13.44 |
13.44 | ||||||

8 |
John Parnabx |
10 |
18.27 |
182.74 | ||||||

9 |
Steve Wjthnnsjton |
6 |
33.69 |
202.14 |
1—1 | |||||

10 |
Flieh Miller |
7 |
39.25 |
274.77 | ||||||

11 |
Bernice Hudson |
9 |
52.73 |
474.53 | ||||||

12 |
Phil Hazel |
a |
24.15 |
72.45 | ||||||

13 |
Adam Romain |
4 |
15.06 |
64.25 | ||||||

14 |
Andrew Hudson |
1 |
66.9 |
66.9 | ||||||

15 |
John Pamaöv |
7 |
35.65 |
250.96 | ||||||

16 |
Ricfi Miller |
4 |
39.13 |
156.51 | ||||||

17 |
Steve Withnngton |
9 |
44.06 |
396.56 | ||||||

18 |
Andrew Hudson |
a |
81.16 |
649.29 | ||||||

19 |
Phil Hazel |
2 |
63.12 |
126.24 | ||||||

20 |
John Parnabï |
1 |
15.43 |
15.43 | ||||||

21 |
Bernice Hudson |
t |
30.09 |
30.09 |
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Sheet 1/3 Default 100% STD * Sum=0 |

FIGURE 6.7 Use Calc to store numerical and statistical information.

Calc's layout makes it easy to organize information into rows and columns. As you can see in the example, we have sales people listed in the left column, customers in the second column, Invoice Date in the third column, and finally Revenue in the fourth column. At the moment, there are no formulas entered to help you interpret the data. Clicking the E30 cell selects it and enables you to enter in a formula in the top formula bar. If you enter in the equal sign, Calc knows that you are entering a formula and works accordingly.

In this example, we want to know the total revenue brought in up to now, so the formula to enter is =sum(E4:E29), followed by Return. Calc automatically enters the result into cell

E43 for you to see. Now you want to see what the average order value was. To do this, you have to obtain the number orders made. For this you can use the counta function to count the number of entries in a given list. This is usually used when you need to find out how many entries there are in a text list. So, in cell B30, enter =counta(B4:B29) and press Enter. Calc now counts the number of entries in the range and returns the total in B43. All that remains for you to do is divide the total revenue by the number of orders to find the average order value. So, in cell E31, enter the formula =E30/B30 to get the average order value.

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