Name: [002] Ian Ozsvald
Member: 126 months
Authored: 181 videos
Description: I am the co-founder of ShowMeDo (see, author of `The Screencasting Handbook <>`_ and the founder of the professional screencast production company `ProCasts <>`_: .. image:: ...

OpenOffice Calc 3.1 for Microsoft Excel users [ID:778]

a series of video-tutorials by Ian Ozsvald

This transition series will help you move from Microsoft Excel to OpenOffice Calc in a few easy steps. Topics covered include sharing .xls files between both programs, getting help and building a full spread-sheet from scratch in Calc.

Video Tutorials

1. Series Overview in 3 minutes (OpenOffice 3.1 for Excel users)

In this series we help you move from Microsoft Excel (2003 is our example) to OpenOffice 3.1. We show you how to use both Excel and Calc to edit the same document and how to do all the usual functions in OpenOffice, as well as where to go to get your questions answered. Visit to get started and read more background at WikiPedia.

2. Installing OpenOffice 3.1 on Windows XP

In just over 2 minutes we run you through the installation of OpenOffice 3.1 on Windows XP. We also show you how you can download a version of OpenOffice for Windows, Mac or Linux in different languages. Visit to get started.

3. Working with .xls Sheets in Calc

An early hurdle when switching to OpenOffice will be the question of whether you can still share documents with MS Office users. Of course you can! Here we edit a document in both MS Excel 2003 and OpenOffice 3.1 Calc to show that all formatting is preserved. You can read a bit more about MS Office and OpenOffice.

4. Saving as an ODF Spreadsheet (.ods) and PDF

Now let's look at a native document - OpenOffice works with .ods files (OpenDocument Spreadsheet).

5. Where to get help

For help, the first place to start is TutorialsForOpenOffice. The official documentation is complete but a bit heavy. OpenOffice's Support section gives many links which include free material, courses and books. If you have questions the most active forum seems to be the independent OpenOffice Forum and although a little bit less active, the official forum should be your other port of call. If y [...]

6. Constructing a Sales-Forecast Sheet

Here we build a spreadsheet from scratch, the example used is a sales-forecast for an eBook. We build a model, use headings and formulas, along with relative and absolute references.

7. Formatting your Sheet

Now we want the sheet to look more pretty. We use formatting to add borders and show percent and currency symbols.

8. Creating a Chart

Finally we want to add a chart to visually represent our calculated financials.

9. Printing your Sheet

Printing on Windows is easy. We take a quick look at the Print Preview function and how to format a page to Landscape view. Tutorials for OpenOffice has a short guide to printing. You might want this tip to turn off the printing of zeroes.

10. Import and Export CSV files

Comma Separated Values are a common topic of the forums. Here I show you how to load a .csv file into both Excel and Calc. I use example data from Yahoo!'s finance site.

11. Re-associating .xls files with Excel after OpenOffice installation

Once you've installed OpenOffice you'll probably find that .xls files are now opened by OpenOffice Calc, not by Excel. This video shows you how to re-associate .xls files with Excel. Alternative approaches are shown here.

12. Light relief - Star Wars Easter Egg and others

Calc contains a few easter-eggs including Star Wars and OXOs. See this wiki page for details and this techrepublic page for examples.

Showmedo is a peer-produced video-tutorials and screencasts site for free and open-source software (FOSS)- with the exception of some club videos, the large majority are free to watch and download.

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Educating the Open-source Community With Showmedo

Although as important as the software it supports, education and documentation are relatively neglected in the Open-source world. Coders love to code, and explaining how best to use or improve the software tends to be deferred or even sidelined.

At Showmedo we believe the community can play a vital role here and also say thanks for the tools and software that make our lives easier. If you have a piece of software you love or a programming langugage you are enthusiastic about, why not make a screencast showing others how to use it? All the stuff you wish you'd been told, the tips, tricks, insights that would have saved you time and frustration.

Screencasting is easier than you think, and we're happy to help you. You can emailus for advice or just use some of the how-to screencasts on the site. This screencasting learning-pathis a good place to start.

Kudos and Thanks for Ian

3 Minute Oveview (What Does Python Look Like?)

simple and informative. you draw me in
67 months ago

Learning Paths

This series lies on the following learning-paths. Learning-paths are a new initiative at Showmedo, to start structuring our content better. You can find out more here.



Showmedo's development is fairly rapid and bugs will inevitably creep in. If you have any problems please drop us a line using the contact address below. Likewise, any suggestions for improvements to the site are gratefully received.