The Document Pane

The document pane is where you work on your spreadsheet. Just pick a cell and start typing. You can also access a formatting shortcut menu by right-clicking in the document section.

Each cell contains data, in the form of a numerical value, a text value, or a formula. Formulas reference cells by their column and row location. For example, cell A1 is the cell in the first column (A) and the first row (1). Cell B1 is the cell in the second column (B) and the first row (1).

Formulas can contains both equations and built-in Calc functions. An equation uses standard mathematical operations (use the asterisk for multiplication and the forward slash for division):

This equation multiplies the values in cells A1 and B1, then divides that total by the value stored in cell A2.

Calc provides a wealth of built-in functions for data manipulation. Fortunately, you don't need to memorize all of the functions. Pressing the Function button on the formula bar produces a dialog box listing the available functions.

Secret

Selecting a cell that contains a formula and clicking the Function button in the formula bar produces a graphical representation of the formula, shown in Figure 7-3.

Figure 7-3: The Calc Function Wizard Structure window.

The Structure tab shows the relationship between cells in the formula. Notice that it also shows the structure of the mathematical operations as folders containing the individual operands (cells). This is a great tool for breaking down complex formulas into simple pieces.

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