Spreadsheet Cells

Insert, Select

Understand that a cell in a worksheet should contain only one element of data, (for example, first name detail in one cell, surname detail in adjacent cell).

Any cell in a worksheet should always contain only one element of data. Even if we want to enter the name of a person; then the first name, the last name, and the middle name (if there is one), should all be entered in different cells. This helps in manipulating and analyzing data more effectively and efficiently.


Recognize good practice in creating lists: avoid blank rows and columns in the main body of list, insert blank row before Total row, ensure cells bordering list are blank.

When data is contained in a Calc spreadsheet in the form of a table, then the most important point is to format your data in such a way so that it can be identified as a list. When the data is manipulated in Calc, then you just need to select any cell within the list and the tool automatically picks up your list based on some rules.

Any empty row or column, or the upper or left border is considered as the boundary of the list. This is why it is very important to never have empty rows or columns within a list. At the same time, individual lists should be marked by a boundary of empty rows or columns. Also it is generally considered to be a good practice to have a blank row before the total row, the total row being the row where the total of the values of other rows gets calculated.

Enter a number, date, text in a cell.

To enter a number in a cell, double click on the cell and type the number using the keyboard. Numbers are right aligned by default.

To enter a date, select the cell and type the date in the appropriate format which is required. The date elements can be separated with a slash (/) or a hyphen (-). The date format will automatically get changed to the format which has been selected for Calc. We will learn about formatting in the subsequent chapters.

To enter text, double click on the cell and type the text. The text values are left aligned by default.

Enter a number

Select a cell, range of adjacent cells, range of non-adjacent cells, entire worksheet.

To select a cell, simply click on that cell. It should just be a single click and not a double click. Upon selection, the cell will get surrounded by a thick dark border.

To select a range of adjacent cells, click on the first cell in that range and without releasing the mouse button, drag the cursor to the last cell in the range. This will select the entire range of adjacent cells.

To select a range of non-adjacent cells, click on one of the cells and then press the ‘ctrl’ key on the keyboard. Without releasing the ‘ctrl’ key, click on all the cells which need to be selected. If some of the cells are adjacent, then these can be selected by dragging the mouse over them. But the ‘ctrl’ key should not be released throughout. This is how we can select a range of non-adjacent cells.

To select the entire worksheet, click on any one of the cells in that worksheet. After this, press ‘ctrl + A’ from the keyboard and this will select the entire worksheet.

range of cells