Open Office Calc. Introduction

Today we start our series of articles about Open Office Calc.

You might be asking: what is Calc? And by the way, what is Open Office?

Let’s start with Open Office. Open Office is a free and open source office suite that includes a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation, drawing, and database components. Open Office is available under Linux, Mac OS, BSD, and, of course, Windows. Among the main benefits of using Open Office we have:

  • It is free of charge!
  • It allows you to create PDF files without having to pay for additional licenses
  • It supports multiple languages without additional costs
  • It uses an open document standard
  • It reads and writes documents in popular formats (including Microsoft proprietary formats)
  • It is free of charge! Didn’t I say that already?

Some statistics from the Open Office Newsletter tells us that:

  • More than 61,800,000 have downloaded so far (as of 8 April 2006).
  • The project has about 35,000 unique people subscribed to the mailing lists (as of 8 April 2006).
  • 716 people and companies have signed a JCA and are thus either already contributing or considering to do so (as of 28 April 2006):
  • More than 620,000 people completed the user survey since the launch of 2.0 on October 20, 2005 (as of 28 April 2006).

For more information about Open Office or to download it, you can check their website at

Now, let’s talk about Open Office Calc. Calc is a spreadsheet program [1] with a rich set of features. The set of features available in Calc make it a clear alternative to Microsoft Excel. Some of these feature are:

  • Advanced DataPilot technology to facilitate data analysis
  • Natural language formulas to create formulas using words (columns headers) instead of references to rows and columns (e.g. “sales – costs”).
  • Intelligent Sum Button to insert automatically a sum function
  • Wizards to guide you through a comprehensive set of functions
  • A rich set of Styles and Formatting features to make your work stand out.
  • Scenario Manager to perform “what if …” analysis at the touch of a button

Next week, we are going to start designing spreadsheets using Open Office Calc.

[1] a spreadsheet is a file that holds information in table formed by cells. Each cell is identified by its corresponding row and column

Explore posts in the same categories: Free and Open Source Software, knowledge, Productivity/Tools, Software

5 Comments on “Open Office Calc. Introduction”

  1. I’m using MS Office 2003, Ive had the hump with Mr Gates’s software and wish to use Open Office.
    Before I uninstall MS Office I wish to install Open Office and run both prog on the same computer. Would this cause any problems to my system?

  2. Lino Ramirez Says:


    Even though it should not cause any problem to your system, I cannot guarantee you that 100% (you know, I have to avoid lawsuits in case anything goes wrong).

    Anyway, I have the two of them installed in the same computer at work and they work just fine. The only thing that you should be careful about is on step 8 of the guide I posted on

    In this step, if you want to automatically open MS Word, Excel, and Power Point Office files with OpenOffice then you must select all the check boxes (or the ones corresponding to the file types that you want to be opened automatically). Otherwise, make sure they are unchecked.

    If have any other question. Please, let me know.



  3. K.V.Kumar Says:

    Good Morning !

    Is there any option in Open Office for DATA ANALYSIS Tool Pack like MS Excel

  4. K.V.Kumar Says:

    Is there any option in Open Office CALC for DATA ANALYSIS Tool Pack like in MS Excel

  5. Lino Ramirez Says:

    Hi K.V. Kumar,

    The data analysis tool is a work in progress (see [1] for current status). You might also be interested in the R and Calc add-on [2]. This add-on will bring the power of R [3], the top open source statistical package, into Calc.




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