How to Add Columns in OpenOffice


OpenOffice is a free, open source suite of programs that includes a word processing program, spreadsheet software and presentation and drawing programs. Calc is the OpenOffice spreadsheet program. You can add columns in Calc using the insert columns feature.

  • Open a Calc spreadsheet if you don't have one already open. Click "File" then "Open" or "File" then "New" to open an existing or new spreadsheet. If you're working in Writer, the OpenOffice word processor, go to "File" then click "New" and "Spreadsheet" and a new spreadsheet will open.

  • Click in cell A1 to add a column to the left of A1. To insert a column elsewhere in the spreadsheet, click on the cell to the right of where you want your new column. For example, to insert a column between C and D, click on D1. The new column will be inserted to the left of column D.

  • Go to "Insert" on the toolbar and click "Columns." A new blank column will appear to the left of the cell you clicked on. Everything to the right will be shifted over one column.

  • Insert text or data in the new column as needed.

  • Remove the added column if you've inserted it in the wrong place. To remove a column click "Edit" then "Undo Insert" or "Edit" the "Delete Cells..." and "Delete entire column(s)," then click "OK."

Tips & Warnings

  • You can hide additional columns to prevent them from appearing on a printout. Hidden columns will still be used in any calculations you create, but you can turn them on or off for printing. To hide, click on the column and go to "Format" then "Column" and click "Hide." To show a hidden column, select the column and go to "Format" then "Column" and "Show."
  • Adjust the column width to make sure the page will still print on one page after you've added new columns. Click and drag the cursor over the dividing line between two columns to manually adjust the column width. Choose "Format" then "Column" and "Optimal Width..." to have the software calculate the best width for you.

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