When I worked at Sun, there were a few things people always asked, that were hard to figure out.
- How do you print the same rows or columns on every page of a spreadsheet? (See this post. )
- How do you print handouts for a presentation? (See this post.)
- How do you get a blank paragraph line above a table that's at the top of a document? (You now simply have to press Return in the upper left cell of the table.)
Another very common question was:
How in the world do you open a perfectly good .txt or .csv file (comma-separated values) in a spreadsheet? Basically, you've got data in rows and columns, but separated by tabs or commas rather than columns in a spreadsheet, and you want it in a spreadsheet. Comma-delimted files are a common way to get data out of a spreadsheet or database and into another.
The trouble is, in OpenOffice.org, if you just choose File > Open, the .txt or .csv file opens in Writer. Not what you want.
Here's how to open it in a Calc spreadsheet.
Opening a .txt or .csv File in a Calc Spreadsheet
1. Start OpenOffice.org. You can be in Writer, Draw, Calc—it doesn't matter.
2. Choose File > Open. (Click the picture to see a larger version of it, if you want.)
3. In the File Type list, select Text CSV. It's about a third of the way down the list of types, or you can click in the file type list and press T four times.
4. The window should now look like this, so just click Open.
5. You'll get a window where you specify how the file was created: what separates the data into columns, etc. (Click the picture to see a larger version, if you want.)
6. Also in the same window, if you have date-format data or other formats you want to specify, you can do that column by column.
7. When you're done, just click OK. You'll see the data in a spreadsheet.
8. You'll want to save it as a spreadsheet at some point. Choose File > Save As and select the standard OpenSpreadsheet .ods format.
9. Click Save.
Saving a Calc Spreadsheets as a .txt or .csv File
1. Let's say it's the other way around—you've got a spreadsheet and you want it to be in a nice neutral .txt or .csv file. Be sure the file is open.
3. Click Save.
4. You'll probably see this message. Click Yes.
6. Click OK; you're done.