Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Pain-Free Way to Delete Cell Contents in OpenOffice Calc

Microsoft has come to fame making computing no-brainer for everyone at home and office. For example, its office suite (earlier than Office 2007) is so contextual and easy that it's ported to Mac. And many people prefer it to iWorks.

Its biggest opensource counterpart, has come a long way, and its 3.1 iteration is a big leap forward. However, it still has some big annoyances. Sometimes OO.o people consider users too dumb. Here is one such instance related to OpenOffice Calc.

For last one week I had to edit many official spreadsheets. It involved deleted several cells, rows and columns across various sheets. Every time I selected certain cells/rows/columns and pressed delete button, OpenOffice Calc popped up a dialog box (see the screenshot below).

use backspace instead of delete in openoffice calc

It's good to provide cautionary dialog boxes for some important tasks. But it's definitely an annoyance to every time interfere with the user in such mundane tasks as deleting a cell. Because, even if a user deletes certain cells, rows or columns, he/she can always Undo it.

I was really scared with this behavior of oocalc and looked for alternatives to Delete. Fortunately, OpenOffice has not binded this annoying dialog box with Backspare key. So all of you who use openoffice calc and are scared of this delete dialog box can use Backspare instead of Delete to clear contents of a spreadsheets. And don't panic, there is always the venerable Undo button in case you wrongly deleted something.

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