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Maximize your productivity with StarOffice Calc the easy way!
StarOffice Calc is your complete, task-focused guide to StarOffice Calc, the spreadsheet component of StarOffice — the world's #1 open source productivity suite! From the absolute basics to advanced data analysis, you'll find step-by-step, quick-access coverage of everything you need to know to get productive — and stay productive. Coverage includes:
Don't just run StarOffice Calc! Master it, with the book that delivers all the answers with none of the hassles: StarOffice Calc.
As discussed briefly in Chapter 2, you have two options for performing math in a Calc spreadsheet: you can design your own formulas, or you can use the built-in math functions that are provided by Calc.
In this chapter, we will discuss the ins and outs of creating your own formulas and some of the enhancements and features provided by Calc that make it easier to work with formulas, functions, and values. Functions will be covered in the next chapter.
Before we take a look at the issues related to creating your own formulas, be advised that a good rule of thumb is to only create formulas in cases where Calc does not provide a function that will do the same job. You will find that for the most part, you can limit your creation of formulas to simple math such as sub-traction, multiplication, and division.
When you begin a new formula, you will start the formula's notation with the equals sign (=). This lets Calc know that the data in the cell is actually a formula.
The simplest way to enter the equals sign (=) in a cell is to click the Function tool on the Formula bar.
The rest of the formula will consist of the appropriate operators and cell references, which are discussed in the next section. Table 5.1 provides a list of some of the commonly used arithmetic operators....
...NOTE Make sure the Num Lock is engaged on your keyboard. The easiest way to enter operators into your formulas is from the ten-key pad on your keyboard.
Table 5.2 provides a summary of operator precedence that you should keep in mind as you create your formulas. Calc reads your formulas from left to right, so you should position your operators appropriately.
You can also control operator precedence in your formulas using parentheses. Operations enclosed in parentheses take precedence over operations that are not in parentheses. In the formula =(b2+b3)*c2, the parenthetical calculation takes precedence over the multiplication operator. So, b2 and b3 will first be added and then their sum will be multiplied by c2....
...Figure 5.1 Calc formulas use relative referencing, making it easy to copy a formula from one location to another.
While the formula contains specific references to two cells (D7 and E7), Calc actually sees the cells that the formula acts upon based upon their relative position to the cell that actually holds the formula.
For example, D7 is actually seen as a cell that is two cells to the left of the formula, and E7 is seen as a cell that is one cell to the left of the formula. This type of cell referencing is called relative referencing. The reason that this type of refer-encing is so useful is that the formula shown in cell F7 can be copied down the column that it resides in and the formula will adjust to its new location. It will now reference the cells that it is supposed to act upon according to its new position.
So, if the formula is copied from cell F7 to cell F8 as shown in Figure 5.2, the formula still works. This is because of relative referencing. The formula reacts to its new location and references the appropriate cells (relative to its new position).
In some cases where a particular value only resides in a particular place on the spreadsheet (such as a cell that contains a particular percentage or an interest rate amount that is to be used in a formula no matter where you copy the formula on the sheet), you will have to specify the cell reference in the formula as absolute. Absolute referencing (which is what this type of referencing is called) makes sure that the formula always points to the one and only cell where the data resides. The cell reference remains static even when the formula is moved or copied. We will look at absolute referencing and how it is used in Calc functions in the next chapter....
This book is designed to get you up and running quickly with StarOffice Calc. Most users have had some experience with spreadsheet software and have a basic understanding of what a formula is and what a chart is supposed to look like. So, this book was designed to stay away from lengthy, overdone explanations related to features and commands. Simple, concise examples are given on how to take advantage of a particular feature and then the steps to access that feature and perform a particular task are provided. You won't get lost in a sea of theory in this book. StarOffice 5.2 Calc Handbook subscribes to the basic precept that in today's busy work-world, things need to happen fast. This book's approach to using StarOffice Calc will have you working with even the most complicated tasks quickly.
The table of contents in this book is organized so that instead of having sections listed according to the menus or commands that you use when working in StarOffice Calc, they are based on actual tasks that you perform with the application. For example, to work with a Calc function (one of Calc's built-in formulas) such as PMT, which allows you to compute the monthly payment for a loan, look in the table of contents in the chapter "Working with Functions." Listed in that chapter is the section "To Use the PMT Function." In fact, task-based sections for a number of Calc's functions are easily accessible in this chapter. A conscious effort was made as part of the overall design for this book not to bury important information in an unrelated section as a fifth-level header that, by the way, might not evengetlisted in the table of contents. Like tasks are grouped together in the chapters of this book.
While every effort has been made to ensure that this book is accurate and timely, there is no doubt that some errors will be found or that information in this book will be overtaken by subsequent releases of StarOffice. If you find anything in need of correction, please let me know at
email@example.com. I will ensure that the necessary corrections are made in future editions or in errata.