The Free and Open Productivity Suite
Released: Apache OpenOffice 4.1.13



How to Format a Spreadsheet


provided by the Documentation Project


Table of Contents:

  1. Applying a style:
    • to a cell
    • to a page
  2. Using the AutoFormat feature
  3. Using the Themes
  4. Credits

1. Applying a style

A. -- to a cell

Open the Stylist:

Inside the Stylist window, there are several ready-to-use styles. You may choose the Default style to modify it as you wish:

Modify Style Window
This new window includes all tabs needed to format your cells, either for the fonts, alignment, or numbers. In fact, it's this latter tab which is the most used.

Let's take a look at the Currency setting of the Numbers tab. Here, you can choose which currency you wish to work with. Below, you can see what is displayed if you click on this category:

Numbers tab
A box called Format is displayed. Select your currency and an example is shown just to the right. The language is what you have chosen by default in the global options of your OOo Suite.

Under 'Options', select the number of decimal places that you wish to be displayed, the color of the negative numbers, etc.

When you have completed your choices, click the OK button and all cells formatted with the Default style will be changed according to the new settings..

Note : If you don't want to accept the style of some cell, select it and instead of changing the Default standard, when the right click context menu appears, select New.... In this way you'll be able to create your own style. Repeat the same actions you may have done for the Default style changes. Then, give it a name for the new style in the Organizer tab and click on OK to have the new style displayed in the Stylist window.
To apply it to a cell, locate your cursor inside the cell and then double click on the name style, inside the Stylist.

B. -- to a page

Once more, everything happens inside the Stylist.

Page tab
Remember: it's inside this page that you can set the header and the footer of your sheets and the color of the background too. Some tabs are the same as we have found in the previous procedure, so they will not be explained again.

Instead, pay attention to the Page tab:

Now, let's examine another very interesting tab: the Sheet.

Sheet tab
It's self-explanatory, except for the section, Scale, which is a bit obscure:

2. Using the AutoFormat feature

Attention: to use this feature, you have to select, by highlighting an area of cells, because the function isn't for one or two cells only, but rather for a range.

You can access the formatter by selecting 'AutoFormat' from the menu, Format, or by clicking on this icon: AutoFormat iconthat you find in the Toolbar to the left of your display.

AutoFormat window
Incredible! It seems that the whole presentation work has been done automatically! :-)

You only have to click on the format's name tabs to select what you prefer!

Of course, you can create your own format (see the Add.... button to the right) and, eventually, delete it when you think that its look and feel doesn't reflect the fashion of the moment anymore!

By clicking on More, some additional formatting options appear. If you modify them, the result will be presented in the preview image displayed in the AutoFormat window.

Note : if you want to undo an AutoFormat action, select the zone to which you have applied the style, right click on it to display the context menu and choose 'Default'.

3. Using Themes from the Gallery

They consist of a collection of cell styles, Themes, whose settings are fixed, but whose styles are interchangeble.

To understand how they work:

Yes, to utilize these themes, it is necessary to learn a bit about them, but it's so easy to learn!

4. Credits

Author: Sophie Gautier

Thanks to: Richard Holt, great proofreader and OOo contributor

Intgr by: Gianluca Turconi

Last modified: February 18, 2002

Contacts: Documentation Project

Translation: Gianluca Turconi



Apache Software Foundation

Copyright & License | Privacy | Contact Us | Donate | Thanks

Apache, OpenOffice, and the seagull logo are registered trademarks of The Apache Software Foundation. The Apache feather logo is a trademark of The Apache Software Foundation. Other names appearing on the site may be trademarks of their respective owners.