It's the little things, isn't it.
In OpenOffice.org Calc, you have to press Backspace to delete cell contents instead of pressing Delete like in Excel.
Press Delete in Calc, and you get a Delete window that lets you delete formats, text, formulas and/or other elements, a very useful feature. It just might not be quite what you expect.
Some folks note this as one of the issues with OpenOffice, like the Delete key thing. That blog certainly isn't the only one; I'm just listing it as an example and to....well, just keep reading. I think Greg C's point in the blog is just that the Delete-versus-Backspace is an unnecessary difference from MS Office.
Would it make sense to set up the OpenOffice defaults to be the opposite way around? Sure. Did Novell swap it around in their version? Yes. Is it still a good idea to consider switching to OpenOffice to save thousands or millions of dollars, even if your users will have to change how they do some tasks? Yes.
But honestly, is having to learn to press a different key all that big a deal? Really?
Besides. Can you change OpenOffice so that when you press Delete, the contents of the cell(s) are just plain deleted, like you expect? Yes.
Either follow these steps, or skip to the end and download the configuration file. Load it according to the instructions at the end.
1. Choose Tools > Customize, Keyboard tab.
2. Be sure that the Calc radio button is selected.
3. In the Shortcut Keys area of the window at the top, select Delete as shown. In the Functions area of the window at the bottom: under Category select Edit, and under Function select the FIRST of the two "Delete Contents" items. This is the one that just deletes, bam, with no window.
4. Click Modify. You'll see Delete now listed as a key.
5. If you don't want Backspace to delete contents, then select Backspace in the Keys list in the lower right corner and click the Delete button.
6. Now scroll through the Shortcut Keys list at the top and find a function you want to use to bring up the Delete window. It can be Backspace, or Ctrl 8, or whatever you want.
Then in the lower part of the window, as before, under Category select Edit and under Function select the SECOND "Delete Contents" item.
7. Click Modify. Your new selection will be the one that brings up the interactive Delete window.
8. If you want to share this configuration with others, click Save and name the file in the window that appears. Here's mine--right-click on that link and choose to save the link target to your computer.
Loading the Configuration File Give the configuration file to your friends. They should choose Tools > Customize, Keyboard tab, and click Load to load that file. Then they'll be happily pressing Delete, as well.