Data entry in tables

Moving between cells

Within a table, you can use the mouse, the cursor keys, or the Tab key to move between cells.

The cursor keys move to the next cell only if there is no text in the way. For example, pressing the right cursor key will move the cursor to the right within the text in the current cell, then to the next cell.

The Tab key moves directly to the next cell and, if the cursor is in the last cell in the table, creates a new row. Pressing Shift+Tab moves the cursor back a cell.

Tip: To enter a Tab character as part of the text of the cell, press the Control and Tab keys at the same time.

Number recognition

If number recognition is turned on, when you type a number in a table, Writer aligns it to the right of the cell and strips off any trailing zeros. For example, 4.0 is changed to 4 and aligned to the right.

To turn number recognition on or off, right-click on the table and select Number Recognition in the pop-up menu.

Converting between table and text

Writer makes it easy for you to convert from a table to text (that is, replace a table with its data) or vice versa.

To convert plain text data into a table, select the data and then select Table > Convert > Text to Table from the main menu bar. In the Convert Text to Table dialog, select the field delimiter (tab, paragraph marker, comma, or other printing or non-printing character) that Writer should use to divide data into different cells. Click OK to perform the conversion.

To convert from a table to plain text, select the table and then select Table > Convert > Table to Text. The data in the table will be converted to plain text with the field delimiter of your choice. Click OK to perform the conversion.

Sorting data in a table

Just as in a spreadsheet, Writer allows data in a table to be sorted. Up to three levels of sorting can be specified (for example, sort first by age, then by name within each age).

To sort data in a table:

  1. Select the table (or part of the table) to be sorted.
  2. From the menu bar, select Table > Sort.
  3. In the Sort dialog:
    • Decide whether you want to sort in the direction of rows or columns. The default sorting direction is by rows, which results in sorting the data in a column.
    • Select up to three keys to sort on, in the correct order.
    • For each key, select which column or row to sort on, whether the sort is Numeric or Alphanumeric and whether it is Ascending or Descending.
    • Click OK to perform the sort.

Note: You have to select all cells that might be affected by the sorting. For example, if you select only the cells of one column, the sort affects that column only, while the others remain unchanged. In such a case, you risk mixing the data of the rows.

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