OpenOffice – Could It Be Right For You?

I have been using Microsoft Office for about 15 years and have always found it a very good software product. Yes, there have been some minor issues, but for the most it has been a very useful products. On the Windows side of my system I continue to use Microsoft Office 2007 Ultimate and thus far I have enjoyed the product. But since I am also booting into Linux Mint, I have also used OpenOffice, which is the default product that comes with Mint.

I am using OpenOffice version 3.2, which, as I stated, was the default that came with Mint. OpenOffice is a complete suite of products that is very similar to what Microsoft Office offers. Though the product names are different, the Calc spreadsheet is similar to Excel, Writer is similar to Word and so forth. The basic functions are the same. Notice the word basic. Because using OpenOffice is basically the same as Microsoft Office, so the learning curve I found was minimal.

There was one thing I discovered about myself and my relationship with either Office products. I have changed how I use Office over the years. There was a time I used mail merge, spreadsheets, and made presentations. But that is no longer the case. I basically use Word for creating documents which require minimal functions. I also find that I use .pdf documents the most for receiving newsletters from other organizations.

I copied over all of my Word documents from Windows 7 to Mint. OpenOffice had no problem opening any of them. In fact, OpenOffice also allowed the saving of the document in either Microsoft Office file formats or its own file format. Compatibility for me wasn’t an issue.

The best way to find out how well OpenOffice.org 3.2 can work for you is to download it and give it a try. Versions are available at the link below and versions are available for 32 bit and 64 bit Windows, Linus, OS X, and also for Solaris.

After using OpenOffice, along with Mint, I discovered that OpenOffice has everything I needed. Your mileage may vary.

Oh, I almost forgot the best part. OpenOffice is free. :-)

Comments welcome.

Download OpenOffice from here.

Save An Excel 2007 File As A Web Page

As with previous versions of Excel, Excel 2007 lets you save an excel file as a Web page. You can even have the data updated automatically using the Autorepublishing feature. To save an Excel 2007 file as Web page and configure it for autorepublishing using the following steps:

  1. Within Excel, click Save As Web Page from the Microsoft Office Button.
  2. Select one of the following options:
    • To save to a Web page and create supporting files and folders, select Web Page (*.htm; *.html).
    • To save to a Single File Web page with supporting files embedded in the Web page, select Single File Web Page (*.mht; *.mhl)
  3. Select either Entire Workbook or Select: Sheet.
  4. Click Publish and select the item you want to publish (i.e. Entire workbook, Entire worksheet, Items, Ranges of cells, Charts, Filtered ranges, External data ranges, Republishing).
  5. In the File name box, enter in a file name. Click Browse to find the location where you want to save the web page.
  6. Click OK.
  7. Place a check beside AutoRepublish every time this worksheet is saved. This way the data will be updated each time you make changes to the worksheet.
  8. Select Open published page in Web browser to view the data in your Web browser after you click Publish.
  9. Click Publish.

Copy Excel Values In Excel 2007

Normally when you copy the contents of a cell, the value and the formula is copied. However, there may be times when you only want to copy the value, NOT the formula. In such cases, you can use the Paste Values option as I have described below.

  1. Within your Excel file, select the cell that contains the resulting value of a formula that you want to copy.
  2. From the Home tab, within the Clipboard group, click Copy. You can also right click the cell and select Copy.
  3. Select the upper-left cell where you want to paste the value.
  4. From the Home tab, within the Clipboard group, click Paste, and then click Paste Values.

[awsbullet:chemistry set children]

Copy Excel Values In Excel 2007

Normally when you copy the contents of a cell, the value and the formula is copied. However, there may be times when you only want to copy the value, NOT the formula. In such cases, you can use the Paste Values option as I have described below.

  1. Within your Excel file, select the cell that contains the resulting value of a formula that you want to copy.
  2. From the Home tab, within the Clipboard group, click Copy. You can also right click the cell and select Copy.
  3. Select the upper-left cell where you want to paste the value.
  4. From the Home tab, within the Clipboard group, click Paste, and then click Paste Values.

Convert Columns Of Text Into Rows In Excel 2003

Columns of text in Excel can be converted into rows. You can do so manually but it would be a tedious process. Alternatively, you can use the Paste Special command to quickly change the columns of text into rows.

  1. Simply copy the text from your columns.
  2. Click inside the first cell of the destination row and click Paste Special.
  3. From the Paste Special dialog box, click Transpose.
  4. Click OK.

Excel moves the text into the rows, beginning with the first cell you selected in step 2.

Collaborate Using Excel 2007 Part II

More than one person can edit a shared workbook at the same time. This makes collaborating on Excel spreadsheets much easier.

In Part I of Collaborate using Excel 2007, you learned how to create a shared workbook. Now you’ll learn how to edit a shared workbook.

To edit a shared workbook, you first need to locate and open it from its network location. Once you’ve opened the shared workbook, complete the steps outlined below.

  1. Click the Microsoft Office Button and click Excel Options.
  2. In the Popular category, under Personalize your copy of Office, in the User Name box, enter your user name to identify your work within the workbook.
  3. Click OK.
  4. Enter your data into the workbook.
  5. Once you are complete, click the Save button.

Your changes will be saved to the workbook and other users will be able to view them.

[awsbullet:Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007]

Collaborate Using Excel 2007 Part I

Excel lets you create a shared workbook and store it on a network location so other people can make changes to the contents at the same time.

Very rarely, is a file created, reviewed and edited by a single person. People work collaboratively to build files such as documents and spreadsheets. To facilitate collaboration when building spreadsheets, you can create a shared workbook. By doing so, other people can add information to the workbook instead of having to maintain multiple spreadsheets. Not only does this facilitate collaboration, it also eliminates the need to maintain multiple files, which can result in version control issues.

You can easily create a shared workbook in Excel 2007 using the steps outlined below:

  1. Create a new workbook and enter in the required data.
  2. On the Review tab, in the Changes group, click Share Workbook.
  3. On the Editing tab, select the ‘Allow changes by more than one user at the same time. This also allows workbook merging.’ option and click OK.
  4. Save the workbook to a location on the network that all the required users have access to.

[awsbullet:Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007]

Change The Color Of The Gridlines In Excel 2007

Gridlines in Excel allow you to see the different cells in your spreadsheet easily. By default, these lines are light gray in color in your Excel workbook. If you want more definition to the Excel gridlines, you may want to use a brighter color to define the different cells in your spreadsheet.

You can change the color of gridlines in Excel 2007 spreadsheets by completing these steps:

  1. Within Excel, click the Microsoft Office Button and click Excel Options.
  2. Under Display options for this worksheet, verify that the Show gridlines option is selected.
  3. Use the drop down arrow beside Gridlines color and select the color you want to use.
  4. Click OK.

Your gridlines will now be displayed in the color of your choice.

Use The Evaluate Formula Option In Excel 2003

Formulas can often be difficult in Excel. If you aren’t a math whiz, you may not recall the standard order of precedence that Excel uses. For example, within a formula, multiplication is performed before any addition or subtraction and calculations within parenthesis are performed before any others. If you do not understand how Excel is performing a calculation, you can use the Evaluate Formula option to make it clearer.

To use the Evaluate Formula option in Excel 2003:

  1. Within Excel, select the cell you want to evaluate.
  2. From the Tools menu, point to Formula Auditing and click Evaluate Formula.
  3. Click the Evaluate button to watch as Excel evaluates each step of the formula.
  4. To view the evaluation again, click Restart.

[rsslist:http://ah.pricegrabber.com/export_feeds.php?pid=hjehfab&document_type=rss&limit=25&topcat_id=all&category=topcat:all&col_description=1&form_keyword=excel+tips]

Insert A Row Or Column In Excel

Inserting a new row or column in a worksheet is a snap for experienced Excel users. However, it likely isn’t for those who are new to the application.

To add a new row or column, select the existing row or column that you want the new one to appear before. From the Insert menu, choose the Columns option or the Rows option, depending on what you want to insert. Excel will add the new column or row into your worksheet.

If you like prefer using the keyboard, you can add new columns and rows using keystrokes. Select the appropriate column or row, as you did in the previous steps, and pres CTRL++ (the CTRL key and the plus sign at the same time).

Using Comments In Excel 2007

If you work in Microsoft Word, you may be familiar with the comments feature. It allows you to add comments throughout a document to alert a reader to certain information. For example, an editor can leave comments by certain content in a document to alert the author about specific issues.

You can also add comments to cells in an Excel workbook. The comments are sort of like side notes for a cell.

To add a comment to a cell in Excel 2007:

  1. Click the appropriate cell within a worksheet.
  2. Click the Review tab in the ribbon bar.
  3. Within the Comments group, click New Comment.
  4. A text box will appear. Type your comment within the text box.
  5. Click outside the text box when you are done.

[rsslist:http://ah.pricegrabber.com/export_feeds.php?pid=hjehfab&document_type=rss&limit=25&topcat_id=all&category=topcat:all&col_description=1&form_keyword=excel+tips]

Keep Column Headings In View In Excel 2007

Excel spreadsheets can grow to be very large and if you have column headings, it can be hard to remember what each column is for as more data is entered. As you move farther down the spreadsheet, you will no longer be able to see your column headings. If you don’t mind scrolling up every so often to refresh your memory, you can leave things as they are. Other wise, you can perform the simple steps below so your column headings are constantly visible.

  1. Select the entire row directly below your column headings.
  2. On the View tab, within the Window group, click the arrow beside Freeze Panes.
  3. Click Freeze Top Row.

Your column headings are now frozen and constantly visible.

[rsslist:http://ah.pricegrabber.com/export_feeds.php?pid=hjehfab&document_type=rss&limit=25&topcat_id=all&category=topcat:all&col_description=1&form_keyword=excel+tips]

Prevent Excel 2007 From Opening With A Blank Workbook

By default, when you open Excel, the application opens a blank workbook. If you normally work on existing workbooks, you can prevent Excel from opening a blank workbook.

To do this, you need to create a new Excel shortcut. Right click your Windows desktop, point to New and click Shortcut. The Create Shortcut Wizard will appear. Type in the following path: “c:program filesmicrosoft officeoffice12excel.exe” (assuming you have installed Excel in the default folder location). Click Next and type in a name for the shortcut. Click Finish.

Next, right click the shortcut and select Properties. On the shortcut tab, append a “/e” to the end of the target path (be sure to include a space before the switch). Click Ok. Excel will not longer open to a blank workbook when you launch it using the application shortcut on the desktop.

[rsslist:http://ah.pricegrabber.com/export_feeds.php?pid=hjehfab&document_type=rss&limit=25&topcat_id=all&category=topcat:all&col_description=1&form_keyword=excel+tips]

Force A Page Break In Excel 2002

Excel automatically puts in page breaks when your worksheet spans more than one page. However, the page breaks may not be exactly where you want them. In such cases, you can force page breaks.

To force a page break in Excel 2002:

  1. Select the cell that you want to start on a new page.
  2. From the Insert menu, click Page Break. A dashed line appears between above the selected you selected in step 1.

[rsslist:http://ah.pricegrabber.com/export_feeds.php?pid=hjehfab&document_type=rss&limit=25&topcat_id=all&category=topcat:all&col_description=1&form_keyword=excel+tips]

Name Cells In Excel 2002

Excel lets you assign a name to a single cell or range of cells. Using meaningful names makes it easier when referencing cells. For example, in Excel 2002, you can assign a name to represent a range of cells in a column using the steps described below:

  1. Within Excel, select a range of cells within a column. 
  2. Click the Insert menu, point to Name, and click Define.
  3. Type in the name you want to assign to the range of cells.
  4. Click the Add button.
  5. Click OK.

When you select the range of cells, the name you typed in for step three will appear in the Name Box.

[rsslist:http://ah.pricegrabber.com/export_feeds.php?pid=hjehfab&document_type=rss&limit=25&topcat_id=all&category=topcat:all&col_description=1&form_keyword=excel+tips]