Functions in OpenOffice Calc

Office suite expert Solveig Haugland explains how functions in OpenOffice's Calc work similarly to Microsoft's Excel.

Can you explain functions in Calc? I'm used to using Microsoft Office's Excel. Does it work differently?

Functions in Calc work very similarly to functions in Microsoft Office Excel. You type "=," then the function such as SUM or AVERAGE. The syntax is typically all within a set of parentheses. A colon separates a range of numbers, like A1 - A9, and semicolons separate individual numbers, like A1;A5;A9.

=SUM(A1:A2)   (the sum of the numbers in the range A1 to A9)
=AVERAGE(A1:A9)  (the average of the numbers in the range A1 to A9)
=SUM(A1;A5;A11)  (the sum of the numbers in the cells A1, A5, and A11)
=AVERAGE(A1;A5;A11)  (the average of the numbers in the cells A1, A5, and A11)

If you want to find all the functions, click the function icon on the toolbar at the left end of the main toolbar. You'll get a window listing all the functions. Select a function to get a defintion; then double-click the function to see fields that help walk you through using that function.

This was first published in April 2007

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