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Manipulating lists in OpenOffice.org Calc

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When asked to explain the purpose of spreadsheets, most people think of calculations first. And it's true that spreadsheets like Calcs have hundreds of different functions for performing calculations. However, probably the most common tasks in spreadsheets is manipulating lists.

Calc and other spreadsheets have few advantages over a word processor when you are just making a list. In fact, unless you have a spreadsheet template set up so that cells have word wrap and hyphenation, you might be better off using a word processor if all you have is half a dozen items on the list. However, as the number of list items creeps up into the hundreds and beyond into the lower fringes of database territory, the different ways that you can manipulate lists in spreadsheets starts to give them a distinct advantages. In Calc, searching, the printing of selected items, and, to a lesser extent, privacy can all be made easier through the use of outline group controls, filters, and customized sorts.

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