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OpenOffice/LibreOffice Custom Hot Keys to Add New Row & Highlight Cells

Posted on Thursday, March 28, 2013 @ 03:01:54 PM CDT by David Yee [] [read 10086 times]

Tips: Windows-world
I use OpenOffice Calc on a daily basis. I know that LibreOffice is supposedly better, etc, but the one time I tried it I had issues with it messing up the quotes when I tried to export to a tab-delimited file. Plus Open Office has more life in it has now it is "owned" by Apache, which is a trusted long time provider of the Apache web server.

Anyways I wanted to share a tip that will help you work faster in OpenOffice Calc which should also apply to LibreOffice since they were based on the same code. I have a list in Calc, the OpenOffice spreadsheet equivalent of Microsoft Excel, which I manage and edit quite often. I like to highlight certain rows to attribute a certain task done, or ask new rows. I did wish that I didn't have to select the row, then go up to the menu bar to achieve what I wanted. I wished there were a hotkey that allowed me to add a new row, and a hotkey to let me change the background color of a row to let's say, yellow. Unfortunately there are not, but thankfully I found out, you can make your own custom hot keys pretty easily.

Hotkey to Add a New Row in OpenOffice Calc Spreadsheet App

1) Go to Tools on the menu bar, then pick Customize.

2) Make sure that Calc radio button is selected (vs on the upper right. Then go to the Keyboard tab, then in the Functions section, under Category.

3) Scroll down until you find Insert. On the box to the right, scroll down until you locate Insert Rows.

4)Now in the Shortcut Keys section above, highlight the hotkey you want to assign to the Insert Row function. Then click the Modify button. Oddly enough, many keys are grayed out- for instance F6 and F10. For me, F4 was not grayed out, so that was the one I picked. After you press Modify, make sure that you see the key displayed under the Keys box to the right of the Function box.

4)Press the OK button and now you can press F4 (or if you selected a different key) to automatically insert a row below the current row.

Hotkey to Highlight a Row/Change Background Color of a Row in OpenOffice Calc Spreadsheet App

1) On the menu bar, go to Format, then pick Styles and Formatting (or simply press F11)

2) A small window will pop up- right-click inside of it and select New.

3) The Cell Style window will appear- go ahead and change the Name field- for instance I called the style "Highlight Cells in Yellow".

4) Next, go to the Background tab and pick the highlight color, then click OK to save your custom style.

5) Repeat steps 1 and 2 of the insert row hotkey tip.

6) Under Category, scroll all the way down until you see Styles. Expand the +, then pick Cell Styles. On the right, highlight the style you created- in our example it is called "Highlight Cells in Yellow". Go back up to the Shortcut keys section, and pick your hotkey. In the screen shot below, I've selected SHIFT-F3. Then click Modify. Press OK, and you are done!

I tested these tips under Apache OpenOffice 3.4.1, but in LibreOffice this method should work as well.

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OpenOffice/LibreOffice Custom Hot Keys To Add New Row & Highlight Cells Rating: 3.0/5 (66 votes cast) 1 comment(s) by users total.

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Posted by Gonzalo P. (4 months ago)

Thank you!

I've been looking for a way to do this for a while (adding a shortcut to "Background Colour" wasn't working).

This worked better than perfectly; I can even add a style/shortcut for a specific colour (I highlight *and* gray out cells often), which is better than I was hoping to find!

Thank you!

From: Peru

Using Apache OpenOffice 4.1.4

Bought: Apache OpenOffice 4.1.4

  • It's free and more comfortable to use
  • Cons:
  • There are always compatibility issues
  • plus the inability to save in docx/pptx/xlsx format is annoying
  • Was this review helpful for you?


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    Glad it helped you- thanks for your comment!

    Peru flag   Review came from Peru.