Exploiting Calc's Consecutive Fill Down in Writer Tables

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Calc provides an automatic fill down function. This function allows you to enter a series of consecutive numbers or dates by dragging the cursor across the range you want to fill.
Unfortunately, this feature is not available when manipulating tables in a Writer document. Several methods allow you to get around this limitation, however. With all these methods, you first need to use a spreadsheet.


[edit] Preparing the Spreadsheet

Let's suppose you want to insert a table with thirty rows and three columns into your document , and you want the first column with thirty consecutive dates.

  • Open a Calc document.
  • Enter a date in A1, for example 01/01/08 (or choose another format if you wish).
  • Drag the bottom right corner of A1 down to A30. Now the range A1:A30 contains the consecutive dates from 01/01/08 to 01/30/08.
  • Select the range A1:C30 and copy it (Command-C)).

Note 1 : don't select the columns by clicking on their headers, otherwise NeoOffice will hang.
Note 2 : it's not necessary to copy the range when you insert an OLE object. But if you copy it, the process will be easier.

[edit] Inserting the Table

Put the cursor where you want to insert the table. Then several options are available:

[edit] Inserting an OLE Object

If you copied the table, you just have to paste it by pressing Command-V.

  • Choose the Insert menu, then the Object submenu and OLE Objet….
  • In the dialog which opens, check Create from file.
  • Click on Search and select your spreadsheet.
  • Click OK.

Note:To edit this table later, you will have to select it, then double-click it to enter in the edit mode.

[edit] Converting Text to Table

  • Select the Edit menu, then Paste Special….
  • In the Paste Special window, choose Unformatted text. Click OK.
  • You get paragraphs separated with tabs. Select them.
  • Go to the Table menu, then select Convert and Text to Table. Click OK.
  • In the Convert Text to Table window, make sure that the Tabs radio button is checked. Click OK.

[edit] Inserting a HTML or RTF Table

  • Select Edit menu then Paste Special….
  • In the Paste Special… window, choose HTML or Formatted text [RTF]. Click OK.
  • You can format this table later as you desire (position inside the page, borders, columns width,etc.).

[edit] Inserting a DDE link

  • Select Edit menu then Paste Special….
  • In the Paste Special window, choose DDE link. Click OK.
  • You will be able to update your table in the Calc document later, then click on Yes in the dialog which appears when you open the document in Writer.
  • If you don't want to use your Calc document any more, you just have to choose Edit then Links… in your text document, select the spreadsheet in the Edit Links window and click on Break Link.

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