The Gnumeric Manual, version 1.12

1. Welcome!

Gnumeric is a spreadsheet, a computer program used to manipulate and analyze numeric data. Gnumeric can help you keep track of information in lists, organize numeric values in columns and rows, perform and update complex calculations by defining each step of the calculation and modifying particular steps subsequently, create and display or print graphical plots of data using bar plots, line graphs, pie charts or radar charts, implement complex optimization modeling or perform many other tasks involving numbers, dates, times, names or other data.

The features of Gnumeric make it versatile and powerful. The screenshot (picture) of Gnumeric shown in Figure 1-1 demonstrates the main program window and some of the features currently available.

Figure 1-1An example of what Gnumeric can do.

An example of Gnumeric, shrunk to fit in this document.

Gnumeric currently supports a full complement of calculation functions, formatting options, graph types and drawing options.

Gnumeric aims to be the best spreadsheet available. It has been developed over many years to become mature and mathematically correct. Gnumeric was created and is maintained by the GNOME project. This manual describes version 1.12 of Gnumeric.

Releases of Gnumeric in the 1.12 series have numbers starting with 1.12 but with extra numbers afterwards, such as 1.12.0 or 1.12.3. These are stable releases which are only changed with minor improvements and fixes for problems (bugs) in the program. These releases can be considered safe for use in a production environment.

The 1.13 series of releases are unstable releases meant for developer testing. If you want a stable release get the most recent release from the 1.12 series.

Goals of Gnumeric

Gnumeric is developed with a specific set of goals in mind.

  • Stability

    Gnumeric has undergone significant amounts of testing. A diverse group of users evaluates Gnumeric in a wide variety of environments. Testing workbooks are used to assess the mathematical correctness of the calculations and to validate the quality of the file importers.

  • Accuracy

    Calculating the correct answer is important, and Gnumeric has worked hard to surpass the competition. Recent reports indicate that it has done so.

  • File compatibility

    Transparent access and manipulation of files from other applications is vital in a modern office. The Gnumeric file format is simply compressed XML which can be decompressed using gunzip, the GNU gzip program's decompression utility, into text. Gnumeric can open files from several well known proprietary and free spreadsheets including MS Excel, Lotus 1-2-3, Applix, OpenOffice.org, Psion, Sylk, XBase, Oleo, PlanPerfect, Quattro Pro and HTML. Gnumeric can save files to several versions of the MS Excel file format and can save tables into LaTeX \longtable, HTML, and roff files. Gnumeric also benefits from a highly configurable text importer and exporter which ensures that data can be transferred smoothly, and allows new formats to be added easily as plug-in software routines.

  • Minimal cost of transition

    Learning new and unfamiliar interfaces is an expensive and frustrating process. Gnumeric attempts to present itself so that a user's familiarity with other applications will still apply and to offer new features in an intuitive manner.

  • Extensive feature set

    Gnumeric now has enough of the features that users expect in a spreadsheet to provide for the vast majority of user needs. However, new features are constantly being added. People often quote the statistic that most users only need 20% of the features of the software they use. This statistic does not mean that only 20% of the features are needed but, rather, that most users share a common need for 10% of the features and require distinct features for the rest of their work. Gnumeric attempts to provide full implementations of the features it offers, leaving features unimplemented until a robust and complete implementation exists.

  • Internationalization

    Gnumeric has been translated into 46 languages, and is being used by people around the globe with the symbols and date/monetary conventions appropriate for their local setting.

  • Scalability

    The core architecture is designed to ensure that Gnumeric can comfortably scale to moderately large loads (1 million cells) while remaining usable on older hardware.

  • Openness

    Gnumeric is free software in the sense of giving its users several freedoms related to the program including the freedoms to use, modify and redistribute the program. These freedoms are explained at the Free Software Foundation web site page on the philosophy of free software. In order to maintain these freedoms for everyone, certain restrictions are required which prevent anyone limiting these freedom for others. Gnumeric is therefore released under a particular license agreement; Gnumeric is licensed under the terms of the GNU GPL.

    One of the consequences of these freedoms, is that everyone can have access to the source code used to create Gnumeric. This code is explicitly maintained and documented to make it easy for anyone to modify in any way they choose. This makes it possible to modify the spreadsheet, write custom routines or extend Gnumeric for special needs.

The Gnumeric 1.13 Series of Releases for Developers

The Gnumeric 1.13 series of releases are developer releases. These releases are kept as stable as possible. However, each release in this series includes changes and improvements some of which may be quite large. These new changes may cause the program to crash and loose data. Do not use these releases if you cannot afford to loose any data or work. However, these releases include many new features that can be helpful. If you use this series, backup your data often, not just by saving files but by renaming them and checking that they can be reopened. If you experience mistakes or crashes while you are using this version, please report these using the GNOME project's bug reporting interface as detailed in Chapter 17 ― Reporting a Problem.

New features introduced in the Gnumeric 1.12 release series:

The 1.12 series of Gnumeric is primarily a port of Gnumeric to version 3 of the GTK library. It alos includes some other improvements over the versions in the 1.10 series.

  • Improved OpenDocument Format (ODF) support

    Both ODF import and export have been improved.

New features introduced in the Gnumeric 1.10 release series:

The 1.10 series of Gnumeric includes numerous improvements over the versions in the 1.8 series.

  • Adjustable Sheet Size

    Sheets are no longer restricted to 256 columns of 65536 rows.

  • Improved OpenDocument Format Import and Export

    Basic import and export support for the OpenDocument Format ("ODF") format was added, focussing on standard spreadsheet content and charts. Gnumeric also supports nearly all functions in the large group of functions in the current OpenFormula Draft.

  • Improved Microsoft OfficeOpenXML import and export

    Import and export of Office Open XML ("OOXML") format files was significantly improved.

  • New and Improved Graphs

    New plot types for surfaces and probability plots have been added. Moreover, when an axis is a date or time axis, reasonable places for tick marks will now be picked. Trend lines have also been improved

  • Conditional Formatting

    Gnumeric now supports conditional formatting of cells. Gnumeric's conditional formatting supports an arbitrary number of conditions.

  • Faster Evaluation

    Evaluation of some fairly common sheets with large numbers of calls to HLOOKUP, or similar functions, over the same database have been improved from “rather slow” to “instant”. Similar improvements have been implemented for farms of RANK or PERCENTILE calls.

  • Reduced Memory Usage

    The memory usage for large sheets has been decreased significantly.

  • Added Statistical Analysis Tools

    The statistical analysis tools have been improved and there are quite a few new ones, for example Kaplan Meier Estimates, Normality Tests, Principal Component Analysis, Sign Tests, improved Exponential Smoothing, various basic non-parametric tests, etc.

  • Improved Sheet Objects

    Support for sheet objects (lines, arrows, widgets, …) has been improved.

New features introduced in the Gnumeric 1.8 release series:

The 1.8 series of Gnumeric includes numerous improvements over the versions in the 1.6 series.

  • Improved .gnumeric and export

    Gnumeric now uses the faster SAX based parser by default for parsing .gnumeric files. The schema was improved and additional features were added.

  • Microsoft OfficeOpenXML import and export

    Basic import and export support for the Office Open XML ("OOXML") format was added, focussing on standard spreadsheet content. Charts and embedded objects are not yet supported.

  • New value formatting engine

    Improved compatibility and performance.

  • Use new Gtk based Printing

    The printing infrastructure was changed to use Gtk based printing instead of the deprecated libgnomeprint libraries.

  • Improved in-cell drop downs

    In cell validation lists, and improved finger feel for autofilters.

New features introduced in the Gnumeric 1.6 release series:

The 1.6 series of Gnumeric included numerous improvements over the versions in the 1.4 series.

  • Better Charting:

    Several new types of charts have been added, and many features, such as regression lines, have been added.

  • Improved Accuracy:

    While Gnumeric 1.4 was already the best available source for accuracy in statistical calculations, Gnumeric 1.6 is even better. We are continuing our behind-the-scenes cooperation with The R Project to make this happen. We have also added a new plugin supplying consistently named probability density, cumulative density, and reverse cumulative density functions to Gnumeric. The new function names mirror their R counterparts.

  • The Port to Microsoft Operating Systems

    Our "Windows" port is now mature enough for everyday use. We have improved the theming support of our custom widgets, so Gnumeric now looks and feels slightly more like a native application. The build might still have a few rough edges, but those are being worked on.

  • Right-to-Left Support:

    We now support right-to-left orientation of the sheets as well as for text within cells.

New features introduced in the Gnumeric 1.4 release series:

The 1.4 series of Gnumeric included numerous improvements over the versions in the 1.2 series.

  • The Port to Microsoft Operating Systems

    The port of the core of Gnumeric to the GTK+ libraries will enable the application to be run on the series of operating systems sold by Microsoft and colloquially known as "Windows".

  • Improved Analytics

    The analytical correctness of Gnumeric is a primary concern of the team. The precision and correctness of the analytics are constantly being evaluated and improved. Updated versions of the solver libraries (lp_solve and GLPK) were added.

  • Improved Charting

    The graphical system is improving rapidly with new types of graphs, such as radar plots. There is now support for error bars and additional styles. The plots also look significantly sharper on screen, and off thanks to some pixel tuning. The axes now support various mappings (logarithmic, inverse), and there are a wider selection of markers. There is also support for formatting individual points in a plot.

  • Rich Text In Cells

    The ability to use Rich Text has been added in this version. This allows a single cell to contain text with mixed formatting including bold, italic and other formats.

  • Improved Microsoft Excel Compatibility

    The file format used by the Microsoft Excel  spreadsheet is commonly used to exchange spreadsheet documents. The Gnumeric team spends a considerable effort reverse engineering that file format to ensure that Gnumeric can read and write files in that format. This release now supports all forms of 'array formula' and adds export support for charts, rich text, and images. More compatibility accelerator keys were added to simplify transition, and improve the finger feel. There is better support for hyperlinks.

  • Printing

    Using Pango throughout the printing subsystem improves the consistency between on screen and resulting paper.

  • Improved Analytics:

    This version of Gnumeric includes 470 sheet functions including all of the functions from the North American edition of Microsoft Excel 2000 (TM). This version also includes numerous new functions and statistical routines imported from the R statistical language, from the GNU Scientific Library, and from other sources. The random number generation has been updated to include Beta, Cauchy, Chi-Squared, Exponential power F, Gamma, Geometric, Laplace, Levy alpha-Stable Logarithmic, Logistic, Log-normal, Pareto, Rayleigh Rayleigh tail, T, Type I Gumbel, Type II Gumbel, Weibull Gaussian Tail, Landau, and Uniform integer distributions. The derivative valuation routines have been expanded to include Black-Scholes (and sensitivities), Garman Kohlhagen, Merton Jump Diffusion process, Bjerksund and Stensland (American options), Forward Starts, Simple and Complex Choosers, Exchange Options, options on future spreads, and most favourable state payouts. The solver has been improved with new linear and quadratic programming routines. There were improvements in the T-Test, Z-Test, and F-Test. More accuracy for GEOMDIST, BINOMDIST, BETADIST, BETAINV, FINV, CAUCHY, FDIST, FTEST, HYPGEOMDIST, ERF, FISHER, EFFECT, NOMINAL, MIRR, IRR, XNPV, NPV, PMT, RATE, PV, FV, IPMT, PPMT, ZTEST, EXPM1, LN1P.

  • Import/Export

    The xml exporter is now much faster and lighter for .gnumeric files, and the GNOME enabled Gnumeric supports gnome-vfs and drag-n-drop images and files.

  • GTK+ Port

    One of the principal aims of this developers series is to make Gnumeric work using only the GTK+ libraries. These libraries, following their 2.4.0 release, have all the functionality needed for the core of Gnumeric. This work will remove all dependencies in the core code on GNOME libraries although a version with the more complete features included in GNOME will still exist.

The 1.4.x release is dedicated to the memory of lost colleagues, Chema (Grandma) Celorio who helped make Gnumeric as stable as it is, and Mel Seder who kept us smiling. They'll be missed.

For more details on the changes in Gnumeric, refer to the file; named NEWS in the source code distribution.

Known Issues in Gnumeric:

The current list of all known and reported problems with Gnumeric is maintained in the GNOME bugzilla database. This list can be accessed using this bugzilla query.

2. How to Use This Manual

There are several ways to use this manual depending on what kind of user you are.

  • New users

    If you are new to computers or to spreadsheets consider reading Chapter 3 ― A Quick Introduction, titled "A Quick Introduction", which explains the basics of spreadsheets in general and Gnumeric in particular.

  • Users who want specific help

    Quickly finding help for a particular question can be quite hard. We suggest first reading the explanations of the contents of each chapter which are given below to try to figure out where your question might be answered, and then go directly to that section.

The chapters of this version of the Gnumeric manual are organized as follows:

  • Chapter 3 ― A Quick Introduction: A Quick Introduction

    The best way to learn how to use Gnumeric is to begin exploring the program yourself. This chapter will help you get started trying new things and seeing what happens. The chapter explains the fundamentals of spreadsheets in general and of Gnumeric in particular. The chapter attempts to help new users get started with Gnumeric and provides background for the more detailed explanations given in the rest of the manual.

  • Chapter 4 ― Gnumeric Elements: Gnumeric Elements

    This chapter describes all of the pieces of Gnumeric which a user can manipulate. The chapter provides explanations for each of the menus, menu entries, toolbar buttons and other elements of the graphical user interface.

  • Chapter 5 ― Working with Data: Working with Data

    This chapter explains the core functionality of Gnumeric including the basic types of data manipulated by Gnumeric, the methods of entering, altering and formatting data, and the basic tools for analysis of these data. More advanced analysis is described in Chapter 6 ― Advanced Analysis.

  • Chapter 6 ― Advanced Analysis: Advanced Analysis

    This chapter explains the advanced analytic tools available in Gnumeric including linear algebra calculations, the goal seek tool, simulation analysis, and scenarios.

  • Chapter 7 ― The Solver: The Solver

    This chapter explains how to use Gnumeric's linear programming Solver.

  • Chapter 8 ― Statistical Analysis: Statistical Analysis

    This chapter explains the various statistical analysis tools available in Gnumeric including tools to create descriptive statistics, as well as parametric and non-parametric hypotheses tests.

  • Chapter 9 ― Graphics: Images, Widgets, and Drawings: Graphics: Images, Widgets, and Drawings

    This chapter explains how to add graphical elements to a Gnumeric worksheet, including images from external files, graphical user interface widgets which interact with worksheet data, and simple drawing elements.

  • Chapter 10 ― Graphs: Graphs

    This chapter explains how to add data graphs to a Gnumeric worksheet, that can be used to plot worksheet data.

  • Chapter 11 ― Using Worksheets: Using Worksheets

    This chapter explains the use and manipulation of worksheets in Gnumeric. The chapter explains how to move around a worksheet, how to alter the appearance and display organization of the worksheet contents, how to manipulate entire worksheets and how to protect worksheet contents.

  • Chapter 12 ― Workbook Settings: Workbook Settings

    This chapter explains the contents of a Gnumeric workbook which are not part of the worksheets. This includes several settings which apply to the workbook and are saved in the Gnumeric file. Settings which apply to the Gnumeric program itself are called `preferences' and are explained in Chapter 13 ― Configuring Gnumeric.

  • Chapter 13 ― Configuring Gnumeric: Configuring Gnumeric

    This chapter explains how to change the default behaviour of Gnumeric including the startup behaviour and default locale (language and number display).

  • Chapter 14 ― Working with Files: Working with Files

    This chapter explains how to use files in Gnumeric. The chapter provides an extensive description of the file formats used by Gnumeric. The chapter also explains how to open files, import data from text files, save files, export data to text files, send data to others via electronic mail, and convert files from one format to another.

  • Chapter 15 ― Printing: Printing

    This chapter explains how to print spreadsheets, tables and plots from Gnumeric to a printer directly or into PostScript or PDF (both are page description languages).

  • Chapter 16 ― Getting More Help: Getting More Help

    This chapter describes other sources of help which are available to users including the Gnumeric web site, the mailing list, and the internet relay chat (IRC) discussion channel. The chapter also explains how to tell the project about a problem with the program.

  • Chapter 17 ― Reporting a Problem: Reporting a Problem

    This chapter explains how to report a problem with Gnumeric so that the problem can be fixed. The same procedure can be used to file a report requesting an enhancement or a new feature.

  • Chapter 18 ― Extending Gnumeric: Extending Gnumeric

    This chapter explains how to go about extending Gnumeric to provide extra functionality. Because Gnumeric is Free Software this is quite easy to do.

  • Appendix A ― Function Reference: Function Reference

    This appendix provides a list of all the functions which are currently defined in Gnumeric.

  • Appendix B ― Keybinding Reference: Keybinding Reference

    This appendix lists the keyboard shortcuts which are defined by default in Gnumeric.

3. A Quick Introduction

The best way to learn how to use Gnumeric is to begin exploring the program yourself. This chapter will help you get started trying new things and seeing what happens. The chapter explains the fundamentals of spreadsheets in general and of Gnumeric in particular. The chapter attempts to help new users get started with Gnumeric and provides background for the more detailed explanations given in the rest of the manual.

Getting started with computers

Unfortunately, this manual cannot teach you the very basics of interacting with a modern computer. If you have never used computers, don't know the names of the hardware components (the pieces you can touch) or don't know the names of the elements you see on the screen (like windows or the mouse pointer), you will probably want to get some basic advice from someone you know or read the manuals which came with your machine or your operating system. It's all pretty easy but, in order to understand this manual, you will need to know some basic terminology and have some basic computing skills.

If you are using the GNOME desktop environment, you can read the the GNOME Desktop User Guide for help in getting started with computers.

If you are using the another desktop environment such as KDE or another operating system, please see the instructions from the web site linked with either your desktop environment, your operating system, your software distribution source or the people who provided you with your computer. There are also many books providing good introduction to computers.

3.1. Working with Gnumeric

Using a spreadsheet generally involves several steps. First the application is started to obtain an empty workbook, which generally has several empty worksheets. Next, data and formulas are entered into one or several sheets. The data may be entered by hand or imported from external files. The formulas are generally entered by hand, possibly with the help of various tools. The data may be formatted to appear in particular ways and to clarify the structure of the data in the worksheet. A user may also create several graphical plots. Certain parts of the spreadsheets may be printed out as tables. The work is then usually saved into a file which can be re-opened later to add or modify the contents of the workbook.

A spreadsheet file contains a workbook and possibly some other information about the file. Because a spreadsheet file contains exactly one workbook, the files themselves are often called workbooks. A workbook contains one or more worksheets. A worksheet consists of a number of cells, usually arranged in a two dimensional grid made up of columns and rows. We introduce the names of the parts of Gnumeric in Section 3.3 ― The Parts of Gnumeric and explain the parts further in Chapter 4 ― Gnumeric Elements.

3.2. Starting Gnumeric the First Time

Gnumeric can be started in several ways, depending on your computer operating system and desktop environment. The approaches described below are equivalent; they result in a Gnumeric window appearing on your monitor as shown below.

Figure 3-1The Gnumeric spreadsheet when first opened

We assume that Gnumeric is already installed on your machine. Installing Gnumeric depends on the particular operating system and distribution used on your machine and is therefore beyond the scope of this manual. If Gnumeric is not already installed on your machine, read the manuals that came with your distribution or look at your distribution vendor's web site.

3.2.1. Starting Gnumeric from the GNOME desktop

If you are a GNOME user, you should have a ‘panel’ somewhere on your desktop. This panel contains icons and at least two menus. One of these menus is called Applications and has an icon which looks like the outline of a foot. If you click on this menu name, a menu will appear. Drag the cursor down to the Office sub-menu name, and a sub-menu will appear. Drag the cursor into the sub-menu and then release the mouse button when the cursor is on the entry which reads "Gnumeric Spreadsheet." This will start the program and the main window of Gnumeric will appear as shown in Figure 3-1.

3.2.2. Starting Gnumeric from another *NIX desktop

If you run a UNIX-like operating system (called *NIX in this manual) such as GNU/Linux, GNU on some other kernel, or a commercial UNIX (TM) system, or if you use a commercially distributed version of GNOME, KDE (K Desktop Environment), or a similar desktop system, you will have to find a way to launch Gnumeric yourself. Hunt around the menus until you find something named "Gnumeric", possibly with the icon, and then click on that menu entry.

On UNIX-like operating systems, Gnumeric requires the X window system to run.

3.2.3. Starting Gnumeric from a *NIX terminal

You can also start Gnumeric from the command line in an xterm window or equivalent terminal emulator. Open a terminal. At the shell prompt type:

gnumeric &
This will start the program and send it into the background, which means that you can run other commands in the terminal window or close it while Gnumeric runs in its own window.

On UNIX-like operating systems, you must be running the X window system to run Gnumeric.

3.2.4. Starting Gnumeric from a Microsoft desktop

Gnumeric, starting with the 1.4 series, can be run as a native application on the Microsoft Windows operating systems. On those operating systems, The Start menu should contain an entry which will launch Gnumeric. The actual location of the menu item depends on the choices made during installation.

3.2.4.1. Starting Gnumeric from a Microsoft command prompt

You can also start Gnumeric from a shell window by finding the directory with the program itself which will be called gnumeric.exe. You can either move to that directory and type:

gnumeric
or you can type the whole name of the path and file, which will be something like:
c:\Program Files\Gnome-Office\gnumeric
either of which should start the program.

3.2.5. Starting from a Spreadsheet file

Gnumeric can also be opened using a spreadsheet file directly. If there is a spreadsheet file on the desktop or in a file manager like Nautilus, it may be possible to click or double-click with the mouse pointer on the file and have Gnumeric open the file automatically. Alternatively, you may be able to right click on the file and get a pop-up menu that will allow you to select Gnumeric as the application to use to open the file.

3.2.6. Other sources of help

If you are still stuck, ask a friend or someone who knows your machine. Unfortunately, getting started is often the hardest part of learning to use a new program but it is also the one place a manual such as this one cannot really help.

3.3. The Parts of Gnumeric

After opening, Gnumeric appears as was shown in Figure 3-1 but is shown below with the major components labeled. The open application contains a menubar at the top, two toolbars below the menu bar, and below these, on the left, the object toolbar, and, on the right, the data entry area above the cell grid area which itself is above the list of worksheets and the information area.

Figure 3-2The parts of Gnumeric

The part names are listed below along with a reference to the section that discusses that element. If you are reading this document on a computer, you may be able to click on a reference to jump to that section of the manual.

1 The menubar

The menubar provides access to the core functions of GNOME. Almost everything that you can do in Gnumeric you can do through the menus. We discuss the menus and menubar in Section 4.2 ― Menus.

2 The standard toolbar

The standard toolbar provides shortcuts for the most used items in the menus. We discuss the toolbars in Section 4.4 ― Toolbars and this toolbar in particular in Section 4.4.2 ― The Standard Toolbar.

3 The format toolbar

The format toolbar changes the display properties of data in the workbook. We present it in Section 4.4.3 ― The Format Toolbar, part of the general discussion of toolbars in Section 4.4 ― Toolbars.

4 The object toolbar

This toolbar enables you to draw graphic elements on the sheet, such as text labels, big red circles or thin green arrows. You can use these to bring attention to a particular part of a worksheet. We explain the object toolbar in Section 4.4.5 ― The Object Toolbar in the Section 4.4 ― Toolbars portion of this manual.

5 The data entry area

The data entry area is useful for the modification of complex formulas. We discuss it in Section 4.5 ― Data Entry Area.

6 The cell grid area

The cell area lies in the middle of all the rest. The cell area includes the row and column labels, the scrollbars and the tabs below. We explain the use of these elements in Section 4.6 ― The Cell Grid.

7 The information area

This area is used by Gnumeric to give you feedback on the status of certain operations. We explain this information in Section 4.7 ― The Information Area.

For a detailed explanation of each of these elements, see Section 4.1 ― Overview.

By default, Gnumeric opens a workbook with three worksheets and a file name of Book1.gnumeric.

3.4. Using Commands

You can access the commands provided by Gnumeric using several methods. These methods are explained here. The most important commands are explained in the rest of this chapter. We explain all of the commands in later chapters of this manual.

3.4.1. Using Menu Commands

The menus provide the simplest way for you to get to all of the commands provided by Gnumeric. These menus work like those in any GNOME application: you click on the menu to open it, you drag the mouse cursor onto the menu and then release the mouse button (or click again) while the cursor is above a menu entry to execute that command. For further information, see Section 4.2 ― Menus.

3.4.2. Using Toolbar Button Commands

The buttons on the toolbars are quite simple to use. You simply place the mouse cursor above one of the buttons and press the left mouse button to perform the command and it will either execute immediately or open a dialog window to obtain further information first. For further information on the toolbar button commands, see Section 4.4 ― Toolbars.

3.4.3. Using Context Menu Commands

In many situations, Gnumeric provides a menu right under the mouse cursor if the right hand mouse button is clicked. This menu contains different entries depending on where the mouse cursor is when you click the right hand mouse button. For further information, see Section 4.3 ― Context Menus.

3.4.4. Using Keyboard Shortcut Commands

You can trigger certain common commands by using a combination of keys. The menu entries are often followed by a combination of keys which you can use to trigger that command. For instance, to save the file which you are currently using, you can jointly type the control key and the s key (i.e. Ctrl+S). For further information, see Appendix B ― Keybinding Reference.

3.5. Data in Gnumeric

The main purpose of spreadsheets like Gnumeric is to collect information in a coherent manner, perform calculations on the information and then be able to update those calculations easily if the original numbers change. The use of a spreadsheet therefore requires a substantial understanding of the types of information which can be entered into the spreadsheet and the methods which can be used to manipulate that information. This section explains how you can use data in Gnumeric.

3.5.1. The Types of Data in a Spreadsheet

Spreadsheets like Gnumeric treat information by separating the data into separate cells and considering the data in each cell to be separate elements. Each cell in the spreadsheet has both a value, which is what Gnumeric manipulates, and a representation, which is what is actually shown. Understanding this distinction is complicated and make take some time if you are new to spreadsheets. This distinction between value and representation is one of the reasons spreadsheets are so useful.

The cells of the spreadsheet are contained in the cell grid area. The cell grid area is the area with a white background and grey grid lines. The grid lines separate this area into separate cells. Each cell has a unique reference name which is the combination of the letters of the name of the column and the number of the row. For instance, the top, leftmost cell is the cell named "A1" and the cell two over to the right and four rows down is named "C4" because it is in the column labelled "C" and in the fourth row. Each of these cells can contain only one single datum.

The datum contained in any cell will have one of five types: a text string type, a number type, a formula type, a boolean type or an error type. These five types of data values can then have various display formats so that, for instance, a number value can be displayed as a number, a monetary amount, a date or a time. Text strings are sequences of characters and punctuation marks and could, for example, contain textual information such as people's names. Number values are simply numbers but may be input and displayed in various formats including decimal numbers, dates, times, and numbers in scientific notation. Formulas are instructions to Gnumeric to calculate a result. The power of spreadsheets comes from these formulas because the results of the calculation can depend on the contents of other cells. Boolean values are either TRUE or FALSE and can be used in logical statements. Error values are usually the result of mistakes or impossible calculations.

For more advanced information on the types of data usable in Gnumeric, see Section 5.2 ― The Types of Cell Elements.

3.5.2. Putting Data into the Spreadsheet

In order to enter data into the spreadsheet, you must first select a cell in which to place the information and then actually type the information on the keyboard. Once you have entered the information, Gnumeric attempts to figure out both the appropriate data value type to assign to the cell and the appropriate data format in which to display this data value. Because this process is quite complex, you may occasionally need to actively select these parameters of the cells, which we explain in Section 3.6 ― Cell Formats below. The next two sections explain how to get data into a cell, by first moving the selection box to a desired cell and then typing the data.

3.5.2.1. Moving the selection box

In order to enter data into Gnumeric you must place the selection box over the appropriate cell. The selection box appears on the cell grid as a double lined rectangle with a small grey square in the lower right corner of the box. By default the selection box surrounds the top, leftmost cell in the cell grid area.

The simplest way to move the selection box is to use the mouse. If the mouse cursor is placed over the cell "C3" (the cursor will be represented as a thick white cross) and the left mouse button then clicked, the selection box will move to cell "C3". Note that the selection box can cover more than one cell if the mouse is dragged while being clicked. The use of these larger selections is explained below in Section 3.7 ― Complex Cell Selections.

The location of the selection box also causes the column and row headers to change slightly. The letters and numbers turn bold, and colors of the headers (the text color and the header background color) change in ways that depend on the version of Gnumeric. This helps indicate what is currently selected.

You can also move the selection box with the keyboard arrow keys. For instance, typing the right arrow twice and the down arrow once will move the selection box from the cell "C3" to the cell "E4".

The selection box can be moved in other ways and will move in response to certain actions. These movements become intuitive after using Gnumeric for a little while.

3.5.2.2. Data input

To enter data into a selected cell, you can simply start typing. The characters will then become part of the spreadsheet when you change the selection either by pressing the Enter key, which moves the selection down one cell, by pressing the Tab key, which moves the selection one cell to the right, or by selecting any other cell with the mouse. If the cursor is in the cell and not in the data entry area, pressing any of the cursor movement keys also causes Gnumeric to record the data in the cell and select another cell.

For example, you could use the mouse to select the cell four columns over (Column D) and three rows down (Row 3). Then you could type "Hello, this is a line of text." and then press the Enter key. The text would then appear in cell "D3" and, if the cells to the right are empty, would span into those cells so that the whole entry is visible. The selection box moves to cell “D4” when you press Enter, ready for the input of more data.

Note that as the data text is entered it appears in both the cell and the data entry area (the area below the toolbars and to the right of the equals (=) sign).

You can correct mistakes you make during data entry by using the Backspace key or the Delete key. Finer control can be obtained if the cursor is moved to the data entry area by clicking with the mouse in the box to the right of the equals (=) sign. Editing in the data entry area lets you use the arrow keys to move backward and forward in the text. You can also use the mouse to move the cursor.

To change the contents of a cell, select the cell again and either type the new contents or edit the existing contents of the cell in the data entry area.

If the content of the cell is too large for the size of the cell, the entry may span over the edge of the cell into the empty cells to the right. If the cell is a number, the cell grid area may display hash marks (######) to indicate the cell has content which is too large to display in the given cell width.

3.5.2.3. Automatic data recognition

As you enter data into the spreadsheet, Gnumeric interprets the information in order, first, to assign it to a data category and, second, to give it an appropriate data display format. The entry will be assigned to one of the basic data types and possibly to a sub-type. Entries which start with an apostrophe (') are considered to be text no matter what the rest of the contents. Entries which start with an equals sign (=) are automatically considered to be a formula. Entries which are single numbers or which fall into commonly used patterns for dates or times will be considered to be numbers.

Gnumeric usually figures out correctly both the type and the appropriate display format for the data being entered. Occasionally, you will have to force Gnumeric to consider the data to be a different data type than Gnumeric would guess by default. We explain the details of this process in greater detail in the extended chapter on data, Chapter 5 ― Working with Data.

3.5.2.4. Entering text

To enter text, select the appropriate cell, type the text, and then press the Enter key. If the text is too large to fit in its own cell, and the cell to its right is empty, the text will span into the cell on the right. By default, Gnumeric uses a display format for text in which the contents are shown left justified.

For more information about text elements, see Section 5.2.1 ― Text Data Elements.

3.5.2.5. Entering numbers

To enter a number, select the appropriate cell, type in the number and then press the Enter key. Gnumeric recognizes several types of information to be numbers.

The simplest kind of input which Gnumeric recognizes as numbers are standard numeric values. Technically, these are contiguous sequences of digits which may have a separator symbol between the thousands and another symbol indicating the decimal separator. These symbols follow the English convention by default (comma as thousand separator, period as decimal symbol) but will adopt the symbols appropriate for a different locality if Gnumeric is launched in a particular way (see Section 13.5 ― Languages and Locales). For instance, in a French setting the period is the thousand separator symbol and the comma the decimal separator symbol. By default, Gnumeric displays numeric values lined up against the right side of the cell.

Several other types of input are recognized as numeric values which means that calculations can be performed on the values in the cells.

  • Dates in the standard format of the locale (see Section 13.5 ― Languages and Locales) are recognized as numbers. By default, 11/21/1970 will be recognized as the twenty-first of November of the year nineteen seventy. Gnumeric stores the value as the number of days since the first day of January in 1900.
  • Time values, such as 10:34 or 11:23:45 PM, are recognized as number values. These values are stored in Gnumeric as fractions of the whole day.
  • You can input percentage values simply by appending the percent symbol (%) to the value.
  • Fractions and mixed numbers are recognized as numbers. For example, “1 1/2” is equivalent to 1.5. Note that a simple fraction, such as “3/12”, may be interpreted by Gnumeric as a date. You can prevent that by including a sign (for example, “+3/12”) or by entering the fraction as a formula (“=3/12”).
  • You can also input numeric values using scientific notation. For instance, 1.003e+6 will be recognized as the value one million three thousand.

For more information on numbers, see Section 5.2.2 ― Number Data Elements.

3.5.2.6. Entering a Boolean

To enter a boolean value, select the appropriate cell, type in either "TRUE" or "FALSE" and then press the Enter key.

3.5.2.7. Entering a formula

To enter a formula, select a cell and type the equals sign (=) followed by a valid formula. If Gnumeric cannot understand the formula which is entered, it will open a dialog box which may have an explanation and gives you a chance either to re-edit the expression or to accept the entry as a text entry instead of a formula. The second choice makes it easy to re-edit the entry into a valid formula simply by fixing the formula and removing the leading apostrophe (') before the equals sign.

Formulas can be quite complex since the power of spreadsheets comes from these formulas. A simple example of the use of a formula is as follows: first, select cell B2 and input the value "3" into that cell. Second, select cell D4 and input (without the quotes) "=B2+2" and then type the Enter key. Cell D4 should display the value "5". If the value of cell B2 is changed from "3" to "100", Gnumeric will automatically update the value of cell D4 to "102".

A valid formula can be a simple arithmetic expression such as

=3+4-1
which uses a formula to make the cell equal to the value 6.

Formulas may include calls to functions. These are statements which indicate that more complex operations should be performed. For instance, a formula could be "=EXP(24)" which would give the value of e (the base of the natural logarithm) raised to the 24th power. The cell would then display "2.6489e+10".

Certain functions return not just a single value but an array of values. To enter such a function, first select a range of cells to receive the result, then enter the formula to generate the array, and then press the key combination Ctrl+Shift+Enter rather than just the Enter key. For more details see Section 5.2.4.5 ― Array Formulas.

As was shown in the example above, formulas may contain references to the contents of another cell. In the example given above, the contents of the cell in the second column and the second row was used in a calculation by using the cell name "B2". These references mean that complex calculations can be automatically updated when one of the original values change.

You can make references to the cells in other worksheets and even to those in other workbooks (files). The basic format of a complete reference is made of the name of the file the reference is in, enclosed by square brackets, followed by the name of the sheet, followed by an exclamation point, followed by the letter(s) of the column name, followed by the number of the row. For example, a complete reference could be "[my_file.gnumeric]Sheet3!C3". These complete references can be shortened if the filename or sheet names are the same as that of the reference. "AE34" would refer to the cell in the current file, in the current worksheet which is in column "AE" and in row "34".

References can identify a contiguous range of cells. For instance, the reference "A1:E5" refers to all the cells from the top left corner of the current sheet to the cell five rows down and five rows over. This can be useful in a formula which uses a function such as MAX(). The formula "=MAX(A1:E5)" would display the value of the largest number value in this range of cells.

For more information on references see the complete discussion in Section 5.2.4.3 ― Cell Referencing later on in this manual.

For more on the use of formulas see Section 5.2.4 ― Formula Elements later in this manual. For a list of the functions available, see the function reference appendix, Appendix A ― Function Reference, or click on the toolbar button with the symbol "f(x)" on it for an organized list of functions.

3.5.2.8. Entering an error value

Error values are almost never entered into the spreadsheet directly but generally arise when formulas cannot calculate valid results. The only error value occasionally entered is "#N/A". It can be either typed in directly or created via "=na()".

3.6. Cell Formats

The data in Gnumeric are stored in the cells of the spreadsheet, each of which has a cell format which dictates how the data will be displayed, whether the cell will have borders and other information. Cell formatting can be quite confusing at first because it combines simple changes, such as the colour of the characters being displayed, with more complex ideas, such as how future changes to the cell will be interpreted.

All of the cell formatting commands can be reached through a context menu by right clicking on a cell and selecting the Format Cells... menu entry. This will open a dialog window with tabs which group together similar types of formatting. Clicking on the Font tab allows you to change the font family, style, size and colour. For instance, if the cell B2 contained the text "Hello, this is my first spreadsheet" then you can make this text bigger by selecting a larger font size.

3.6.1. Simple Cell Formatting

Simple changes to the format of a cell include changing the alignment of the characters, changing the font type or colour, changing the border, and changing the colour or pattern of the background.

The Alignment, Font, Border, and Background tabs are simple to understand simply by playing around with the settings and looking at the effect on a cell which contains text.

The Protection and Validation tabs are advanced functionality which you can ignore at the beginning. For explanations of these tabs, see the advanced description in Section 5.10.3.2 ― Validation Tab.

3.6.2. Formatting the Display and Entry Data Types

Cell formats are most difficult to understand when they address the type of data stored and the visual display of that data. This only arises with the options selected in the Number tab of the Format Cells dialog. While these ideas are complex, you need to understand them early on as they are fundamental to spreadsheet use.

When you enter data into Gnumeric, the spreadsheet interprets the entry based on the input format of the cell. The default format of empty cells is the General format which instructs Gnumeric to guess both the type of the data being entered and a suitable display format for that data type. However, you can change the General format to a specific format in order to alter both the way Gnumeric interprets any future data input to the cell and the way data in the cell are displayed.

Changing the format does not alter the data type of data already in a cell but does alter the display format of that data. This means that the input format will only affect future input whereas the display format will affect both the data currently in the cell and any data placed later into the cell.

For example, if you enter "12/25/2000" (without the quotes), Gnumeric guesses that this is a date and stores the value (serial number) 36885. (Usually, the value Gnumeric uses for dates is the number of days since January 1st, 1900.) 1 At the same time, Gnumeric changes the display format to display this number as a date, with a numeric month, day and year, separated by slashes.

The order in which the formatting operations occur is critical. It is not possible to alter the type of a datum currently in a cell by formatting. To alter the interpretation of the data type in a cell, formatting must occur prior to the entry of the data.

It sometimes becomes necessary to override the "General" type if Gnumeric is making an incorrect assessment of the data being entered. Postal Zip Codes in the United States, for instance, are incorrectly interpreted to be numbers. Some of these Zip Codes start with a leading zero which the "General" format type drops so the user must intervene to keep that zero displayed. In order to input these Zip Codes, the following steps must be performed. First, the cell must be selected. Next, the cell must be formatted to hold a "Text" value. This formatting changes both the interpretation of any future data entry into this cell and alters the display formatting of the cell. Finally, the Zip Code can be entered. Following these steps, the data value will be considered to be a "Text" value, any leading zeros will be retained and the data will be left justified since this is the default display format for "Text" values.

If you need to alter the data type of a whole column prior to data entry, you can do this in one formatting operation. You can click the right mouse button on the column header (the letters at the top) and select Format 1 Column from the context menu, or you can first select the whole column by clicking on the column header, then selecting the Format menu and the Cells... menu entry. This quick approach to pre-formatting cells can be done for any group of selected cells.

3.7. Complex Cell Selections

Selections can be more complex than a single cell at a time. Selections may describe a continuous rectangular block of cells, an arbitrary shaped group of cells or even a discontinuous group of cells.

The most common way to select a continuous rectangular block of cells uses a click and drag mouse motion. You can select the cells in this continuous block by clicking and holding the left mouse button down on one of the corner cells (for instance, the top, leftmost cell) and dragging the mouse cursor to the opposite corner (for instance, the bottom, rightmost cell) before releasing. The selection box will expand to include all of the cells in this range.

The most common way to select an arbitrary shaped or discontinuous group of cells is to hold down the Ctrl key while using the mouse to select cells. If the cell containing the mouse cursor when you click is not part of the selection, it is added, as are any other cells enclosed in the selection box when the mouse button is released. If the cell initially containing the mouse cursor is already selected, the click or click-and-drag action instead removes all the enclosed cells from the selection. As long as you hold the Ctrl key down, all of the cells included by a click or a click and drag motion will be added to or removed from the selection.

For example, to perform an operation on all the cells in a square area except those on its diagonal, begin by clicking and dragging to select the square area. Next press and hold the Ctrl key and click on each of the cells on the diagonal, removing them from the selection. You could now use Format ▶ Cells ▶ Format... to apply a format change to all but the diagonal elements of the square area.

There are several operations which cannot be performed with odd shaped or discontinuous groups of cells.

For more information and other ways to select multiple cells, see the complete discussion in Section 5.6 ― Selecting Cells and Cell Ranges.

3.8. Moving Cell Contents, Inserting New Cells or Deleting Cells

The contents of cells, both data values and formatting, can be moved from one part of a spreadsheet to another so that data do not have to be re-entered if the spreadsheet is reorganized. New cells can be added to a spreadsheet and old cells removed but these latter operations cause the layout of the spreadsheet to be altered.

3.8.1. Moving Cell Contents

The simplest way to move cell contents around a spreadsheet involves selecting a block of cells containing the contents to be moved, either "cutting" or "copying" those cells, selecting the location where these contents are to be moved and then pasting the data.

Moving data can only be performed with a single selection of cells which means that only continuous rectangular blocks of cells can be moved. This does mean, however, that columns or rows can be moved as a unit. By default, Gnumeric moves the entire contents of the cells including both the data values and the formatting of the cells.

Once you have selected a group of cells, they can be "cut" or "copied" either using the Edit menu, the toolbar buttons (a pair of scissors or two pieces of paper, respectively), the right mouse button context menu or keyboard shortcuts (Ctrl+X or Ctrl+C respectively). If cells are "cut" the contents will be removed from the current location. If cells are "copied", the contents will be duplicated in the new location. These two operations treat cell references in formulas slightly differently. If cells are "cut", any references in the cells in the new location will remain pointed at the original cells. If cells are "copied", the references in the cells in the new location will point to cells in the same relative position.

You can select the new location for the cells in two ways. The simplest is to select the top, left cell of the new location. Alternatively, you can select the whole new range of cells but the shape of this new range must match exactly the dimensions of the original range which is more difficult.

Finally you can "paste" the cell contents in the new location using either the Edit menu Paste menu entry, the toolbar button with a clipboard, the context menu Paste menu entry or the Ctrl+V keyboard shortcut.

An alternative way to move cells in a current worksheet involves dragging and dropping the original selection. You select the cells to be moved as above. You then place the mouse cursor on the thick white selection border. If you click and hold the left hand button, you can drag the selected cells to a new location resulting in the same operation as a "cut" and a "paste". If you hold down the Ctrl key during the click and drag of the mouse, the result is the same as a "copy" and "paste" operation and can be repeated several times.

Both the Edit menu and the context menu have an extra menu entry called Paste Special... which can be used during a cut and paste operation to selectively transfer some of the original cell contents or to alter the contents in specific ways. This option allows the transfer of only the cell contents, only the cell formats or only the calculated values of the cells. The transferred contents can also be mathematically combined with the current contents of cells in the new location. Alternatively, the selection can be transposed. See Section 5.7.3 ― Paste Special for more information on the Paste Special... command.

3.8.2. Inserting and Deleting Cells

A worksheet can also be altered by inserting or by deleting cells. These operations actually alter the locations of cells in a workbook.

Inserting and deleting columns and rows are easy to understand. If you select a group of columns or rows, selecting the Column or Row menu entries in the Insert menu will add the same number of columns to the left of the selected columns or of rows above the selected rows. You can also use the context menu for the insert operation. The context menu can be used to delete the currently selected columns or rows.

Insert operations can result in the loss of data if the last columns or rows currently contain information.

Individual cells or contiguous rectangular blocks of cells can also be inserted and deleted. During this operation, you are asked which way to shift the current cells to allow the insertion or deletion of the selected cells. The movement can be along the rows or along the columns and will result in the relative movement of cells which were previously contiguous. This shift is the fundamental difference between insert and delete operations compared to cut or copy and paste operations.

3.9. Sheets

The worksheets in a workbook can be altered in several ways. The name of a particular worksheet can be altered. New sheets can be added. A current sheet can be duplicated or removed. The sheets can be reordered. Other sheets operations can alter the colour of the tabs or change the "protection" status of a worksheet to allow cells to be locked or hidden.

To change the name of a worksheet, right-click on its tab to access the Worksheets context menu and select Rename. Edit the New Name field and click on OK to set the new worksheet name.

You can insert a new empty sheet after the current sheet through the Sheet menu entry in the Insert menu or through the context menu which appears when you click the right mouse button on a tab.

Instead of an empty sheet, you can add a copy of the current worksheet to the workbook after the current sheet by selecting the Duplicate menu entry from the context menu.

You can remove the current sheet using the Remove menu entry from the context menu.

You can re-order worksheets from the Manage Sheets dialog.

Many of these operations can be performed at once from the Manage Sheets dialog which can be opened through the Manage Sheets... menu entry in either the Sheet submenu in the Edit menu or in the sheet tab's context menu.

3.10. Graphing

A major function of moderns spreadsheets is to provide a quick and easy way to plot numerical data in graphical charts of various kinds. The use of graphs provides users a way to explore data to discover relationships and trends in the data values. Graphs also provide an effective way to present data so as to demonstrate relationships in the data and summarize large amounts of data in an effective image. In Gnumeric, both of these can be done easily and efficiently. Information on the creation of graphical displays of data is presented in greater detail in Chapter 9 ― Graphics: Images, Widgets, and Drawings.

When graphs are used to explore data, the aim is usually to produce a plot quickly with a minimum of effort. These plots are not designed to look polished but must present the required information as quickly as possible. To produce these graphs, users must learn a simple series of operations which will produce the desired plots. For speed, the most critical operation involves selecting the cells on the spreadsheet which will be used as data before starting the graphing process.

Graphs which are used to present data must be carefully crafted to communicate effectively. Clarity of communication is the critical factor and the plot may include a large amount of work to ensure that the visual result of the plot helps to communicate the desired result.

The use of a graph may not be the best way to communicate information. A verbal explanation or a simple table are often sufficient and, because they are more compact, may be more effective ways to communicate.

Gnumeric includes a large number of features which allow users to craft the look of a particular graph to maximize the effectiveness of the presentation. In Gnumeric, it is possible to change the fonts, modify the borders of each element, add patterns and images to backgrounds, add patterns to plot elements and configure the graph in multiple ways. These features will be explained in detail below.

Graphs which use a large number of the graphical features available in Gnumeric often appear cluttered. The visual richness of such images can often obscure the message contained in the presentation of the data. Sparse, elegant and direct graphs will communicate results most effectively.

3.10.1. A Simple Graphing Example

This section will introduce the process of creating a graph by presenting an example of a side-by-side column plot.

3.10.1.1. Data for the examples.

Because a graph requires data, it is first necessary to create some simple data to use in these examples. First we have to input these data into a worksheet. The data used are shown in Figure 3-3. For clarity in this discussion, the word "Interval" should be in cell A1.

Figure 3-3Gnumeric with the data used in this example.
3.10.1.2. Making the Column Plot

A column plot presents a series of data points as columns whose height depends on the value of each datum. This is a useful type of plot to show the number of eggs produced in each interval.

Making a Column Plot
  1. The quickest way to make a plot starts with the selection of the data. Using the mouse, first select the range A1:C5 which includes the data both for the number of Eggs and for the number of Females.

  2. Next, click on the graphing toolbar button which looks like three colored pillars. This launches a new window called the graph guru.

  3. Next, click on the word "Column" next to the icon with vertical colored bars which will move the selection to that row.

  4. Click on the "Insert" button. This will make the druid disappear and leave the mouse cursor as a thin cross hair.

  5. Finally, we will place and size the graph on a sheet. Click on the sheet and drag downward and to the right. As the mouse is dragged, a rectangle will expand. When the mouse button is released, a simple column chart should appear.

The simple graph should look like Figure 3-4.

Figure 3-4The Simple Graph with a Column Plot.
3.10.1.3. Modifying the Simple Graph

The graph can be customized with titles, extra charts, overlaid plots, label boxes and lots of extra information. To customize the graph, right click on the plot to open the graph custom menu. The graph context menu will appear as shown in Figure 3-5.

Figure 3-5The context menu which appears on a graph object.

This menu provides access to several functions. Users can customize the appearance of graphs by selecting the Properties menu item, can save the graph into PNG or SVG formats using the Save as image menu item, can reorder the various graphical elements displayed in the worksheet using the Top, Up, Down, and Bottom menu items or can delete graphical elements with the Delete menu item.

If we wanted to add a title and a legend to the graph, we could use the Properties menu item to open the graph editor and customize the graph as follows:

Adding a title and legend to the simple graph
  1. Right click on the graph to open the context menu and select the Properties menu item. This will open the graph editor.

  2. The graph editor opens with the top-level "Graph" entry selected in the element tree displayed in the top left pane of the editor. The top right pane of the editor displays a preview of the eventual graph. The bottom pane of the editor has a single or several tabs presenting the elements which can be modified for the particular item selected in the element tree. Click and hold on the Add button to open the menu of elements addable to a graph. Note that this menu changes depending on the element selected in the element tree when the Add is clicked. Drag the mouse cursor down until the selection highlights the "Title" entry and release the mouse button. This will add a "Title" node in the graph element tree and change the selection to this "Title" node. The bottom pane of the graph editor will also change to display the modifiable characteristics of the "Title" element.

  3. In the text field of the tab displayed in the bottom pane of the graph editor, add a title such as "Egg Production and Female Productivity" and type the Enter key. Note that the title appears at the top of the graph in the preview pane.

  4. In the graph tree, select the node labelled "Chart1". Next, click and hold on the add button, drag down to the Legend menu item and release. Note that this adds a legend on the right of the graph in the preview pane.

  5. Click on the "Apply" button. The plot should now have a title and a legend. Note that Gnumeric has used the words in the column headers automatically to label the two data series in the legend.

The modified graph should look like Figure 3-6.

Figure 3-6The Modified Column Graph.

3.11. Printing

Printing in Gnumeric is quite simple and similar to other GNOME applications. Printing can be done using the toolbar buttons or can be accessed through the File menu. Printing usually involves configuring the page properties (like the paper type and margins), then previewing the document to be printed and finally actually printing the document.

In order to configure a worksheet for printing several parameters must be set such as the correct size of the paper sheet, the layout of the spreadsheet, headers and footers and such information. These parameters can be set once for all of the worksheets in a file or separately for each worksheet. The Page Setup... menu entry invokes a dialog through which to alter the printing parameters.

The Print Preview... menu item or toolbar button will open a window which shows what will be printed with the current configuration. By default, printing only applies to the current worksheet but this can be changed in the print dialog explained next.

The Print... menu item or toolbar button will open a dialog which allows the user to select whether to print to a printer or to a PostScript or PDF file. Various printers can be selected and the parameters of the job, such as whether to print all the worksheets or only the currently selected worksheet, can be altered. Clicking on the Print button will perform the printing task.

Printing is explained in greater detail in Chapter 15 ― Printing.

3.12. File Opening and Saving

When you first start Gnumeric a new workbook will be opened. To save this workbook into a file, click on File ▸ Save As … . This brings up the file dialog where you can pick the filename and format for the book you are saving. It is best to save the book in the Gnumeric XML file format the first time. This allows you to easily edit the file without worrying about changes in the format and look of the book.

Once the file has a name and a file format, saving subsequent changes can be done easily either through the File menu, through the toolbar or through a keyboard shortcut. Saving with the menu requires selecting the File and then the Save menu item. Saving with the toolbar simply requires clicking on in the tool bar. Finally saving with a keyboard shortcut simply requires typing Ctrl+S.

Sometimes you want your book to be saved often so you do not lose any work. To save the book at intervals click on Tools ▸ Auto Save …. The Auto Save dialog appears.

Figure 3-7Auto Save dialog
Click on the Automatic Save Every button and enter the number of minutes will pass between each save. When the interval is shorter more of your work will be potentially saved, but Gnumeric might appear sluggish. If Gnumeric is sluggish increase the time between saves. The button Prompt Before Saving brings up a dialog to ask if you want to save the book.

Using the automatic saving feature of Gnumeric can save time but is dangerous. Gnumeric does not create a new file each time a file is saved but instead Gnumeric modifies the existing file which destroys the previous work. In certain situations, this feature can lead to the loss of possibly important work. Users are highly recommended to backup their work by copying the original file to a new name or by saving files to newly named files.

An existing spreadsheet file can be opened in several ways. If the file has an icon on the desktop, this icon can be clicked or double-clicked with the mouse button. Similarly, if a file manager, such as the Nautilus file manager, lists the file, then the file name can be clicked and opened. If Gnumeric is already opened, a file can be opened by clicking on the File and selecting the Open menu item. Alternatively, the "Open file" button on the toolbar, , can be used or the F3 key clicked. All three of these open the Open File dialog. You can then select the spreadsheet file you wish to open. Gnumeric can open many different types of spreadsheet file formats.

If the file has recently been opened in Gnumeric, the file name will appear in the File menu and can simply be clicked to re-open the file.

3.13. Closing Gnumeric

There are several ways to close Gnumeric. The simplest is to select the File menu and then the Quit menu option at the bottom of the File.

Gnumeric can also be closed through the window manager by clicking on a close box in the window frame or through a pop-up menu. The placement of the box and the invocation of the menu depend on the particular window manager and the theme being used. If the GNOME panel is running the window list applet, clicking with the right mouse button opens a context menu with a Close which can be used to close Gnumeric.

If any changes have been made to the workbook since the last time it was saved, a dialog will open to ask what is supposed to happen to the contents of the workbook. At this point the contents of the workbook can be saved (Save), the request to close gnumeric can be cancelled (Don't Quit) or the most recent changes can be discarded (Discard). If the user decides to save the content, a second dialog may open requesting a file name, location and type for the saved workbook.

To delete files that were created by Gnumeric any graphical file manager (such as the GNOME file manager Nautilus) or the shell command rm can be used.

4. Gnumeric Elements

This chapter describes all of the pieces of Gnumeric which a user can manipulate. The chapter provides explanations for each of the menus, menu entries, toolbar buttons and other elements of the graphical user interface.

4.1. Overview

This part of the Gnumeric manual explains the pieces of the software that users can manipulate. The menus, the toolbars and the cell grid area comprise what is called the graphical user interface of an application because it is an interface --- a way to interact with Gnumeric --- which is made of graphical elements --- pictures --- designed to be used by human users.

Gnumeric opens by default with a view of an empty workbook which is called "Book 1" and which contains three worksheets: "Sheet1", "Sheet2", and "Sheet3" as can be seen in Figure 4-1. The outermost portion of the window is not actually part of Gnumeric and may look different on different machines. Gnumeric attempts to place its name and the name of the workbook on this outer portion.

The majority of spreadsheet work is done while interacting with this view of Gnumeric. All of the functions which Gnumeric provides can be accessed quickly from here. The graphic elements of Gnumeric are made of several independent pieces. Figure 4-1 shows a newly opened, empty Gnumeric with the principle elements labelled.

Figure 4-1The Gnumeric worksheet elements

The elements names are listed below along with a reference to the section that discusses that element. Those reading this document on their computers may be able to click on the references to jump to that section of the manual.

1 The menubar

The menubar provides access to the core functions of GNOME. Almost everything that can be done in Gnumeric can be done through the menus. The menus and menubar are discussed in Section 4.2 ― Menus.

2 The standard toolbar

The standard toolbar provides shortcuts for the most used items in the menus. The toolbars are discussed in Section 4.4 ― Toolbars and this toolbar in particular in Section 4.4.2 ― The Standard Toolbar.

3 The format toolbar

The format toolbar changes the display properties of data in the workbook. It is presented in Section 4.4.3 ― The Format Toolbar, part of the general discussion of toolbars of Section 4.4 ― Toolbars.

4 The object toolbar

This toolbar enables the user to draw graphic elements on the sheet, such as text labels, big red circles or thin green arrows. These can be used to bring attention to a particular part of a worksheet. The object toolbar is explained in Section 4.4.5 ― The Object Toolbar in the Section 4.4 ― Toolbars portion of the manual.

5 The data entry area

The data entry area is useful for the modification of complex formulas. It is discussed in Section 4.5 ― Data Entry Area.

6 The cell grid area

The cell area lies in the middle of all the rest. The cell area includes the row and column labels, the scrollbars and the tabs below. The use of these elements is explained in Section 4.6 ― The Cell Grid.

7 The information area

This area is used by Gnumeric to give feedback on the status of certain operations. This information is explained in Section 4.7 ― The Information Area.

The next chapters will explain each of these elements. Section 4.2 ― Menus will explain the menus, Section 4.4 ― Toolbars will explain the toolbars, Section 4.5 ― Data Entry Area will explain the data entry area, Section 4.6 ― The Cell Grid will explain the cell grid area, and Section 4.7 ― The Information Area will explain the information area.

4.2. Menus

This section of the manual describes the use of the menubar and the menus themselves. It then explains each entry in every Gnumeric menu, submenu or context menu.

4.2.1. Using Menus

A menu is a graphical element within a program which appears with a list of options. For instance, almost all applications have a File menu through which the user can access the computer's filesystem to open or save their work. The main menus are on the menubar. The use of these menus is discussed in Section 4.2.2 ― Menubar.

Gnumeric also uses context menus to give users a quick way to access certain commands. The context menu will open up right under the mouse pointer when one of the secondary mouse buttons, usually the rightmost, is clicked. This menu is called a context menu because the entries in the menu are different depending on the location of the mouse pointer. The context menus are discussed in Section 4.3 ― Context Menus.

Both the main menus, on the menubar, and context menus may have submenus. A submenu is indicated by a small right-pointing arrow. To access a submenu, move the pointer down to the submenu entry. When the submenu opens, move the pointer directly across into the submenu. When there is not enough room to the right of the currently open menu, submenus may open to the left. Note that the submenu will close if the mouse pointer moves into any other menu entry.

You can also use the keyboard to navigate menus and submenus. See Section 4.2.2 ― Menubar to access the main menus using the keyboard. Once a menu is displayed, menu entries can be highlighted by pressing the down and up arrow keys. When a submenu opens, pressing the right arrow key moves the highlight to the first entry of the submenu. When a submenu entry is highlighted, pressing the left arrow key removes the highlight from the submenu. Pressing the space bar or the Enter key activates the highlighted menu entry.

Menu entries ending with an ellipsis (three dots) open a dialog window which asks for more choices.

4.2.2. Menubar

The default location of the menubar is at the top of the application window. The menus provide quick and organized access to all major commands such as opening files, saving files, printing and quitting the application.

Figure 4-2The Gnumeric menubar.

To open a Gnumeric menu, click on the name of the menu in the menu bar. Once clicked, the menu will stay open. If the mouse pointer is moved to the name of another menu on the menubar, the first menu will close and the new menu open up. This is a useful way to look in each menu to hunt for a commands. Menus can also be opened through the keyboard. Pressing and holding the Alt key causes one of the letters in each menu name to be underlined. Press-and-hold Alt and press the underlined letter to open the associated menu. Using the keyboard for menu activation or navigation causes a letter of each menu or submenu item label to be underlined. Press that letter key to activate the menu item. Once a menu is open, the arrow keys can be used to move between menus or select an entry in a particular menu. To close an open menu, click over any other area of the application or of the desktop or press the Escape key, Esc.

Many menu entries are followed by a series of key names. These keys can be used to perform the menu action without having to open the menu. These are often combinations of keys involving the control key which is labeled as Ctrl, the shift key which is labeled Shift and the function keys which are labeled with an F and then a number. For example, to quickly cut a selection (accessible through the Edit menu), the user can make a selection and then type the control key and the "x" key at the same time.

4.2.3. File Menu

The File menu is the most important menu in Gnumeric because it gives the user the ability to interact with the computer operating system. This menu allows the user to create files containing all the work they have done. It also enables users to print the results of their work. Finally, the File menu is the best way to close Gnumeric.

Figure 4-3The File menu.

The menu choices are grouped into the following groups:

1 Workbook creation operations.

These menu items perform operations on files. Each item is presented below. File operations are critical and are therefore discussed in their own section latter in this manual in Chapter 14 ― Working with Files.

  • New — Create a new workbook. This opens a new workbook in a new window. By default the workbook will be named "Book1" or another number if there is already a worksheet with that name open. Note that the opened file has not yet been saved.
  • New From Template — This menu item brings up a submenu from which a template can be selected. Rather than creating a new empty workbook, the template specifies some standard content. The new workbook is opened in a new window. The name named of the workbook is determined by the name of the template. Note that the opened file has not yet been saved.
  • Open — The Open menu item opens the file chooser dialog to allow the user to pick an existing workbook for Gnumeric to open. Files in many different spreadsheet formats can be opened. To open files in a non-spreadsheet format, use the Data menu described in Section 4.2.10 ― Data Menu. See Section 14.2 ― File Formats for details. The Open menu item creates a new window containing the selected file. A more extensive discussion is presented in Section 14.3 ― Opening Files.
2 File creation operations.
  • Save — The Save menu item saves the current worksheet. If the file has been named and saved before, this will silently save the file to the current filename. If it has not been saved before, this will act as if the Save As... menu item had been called and prompt the user for a filename.
  • Save As... — The Save As... menu item allows users to save a file which has not yet been named to a named file. This is always used when a user saves a file which Gnumeric has named by default. This menu item can also be used to save a newly created file or to save an existing file to a new and different name. To export data from Gnumeric to a non-spreadsheet format, use the Data menu described in Section 4.2.10 ― Data Menu. For an explanation of the file formats which Gnumeric supports see Section 14.5 ― Saving Files.
3 Printing operations.

These menu items enable Gnumeric to print. Each item is presented below and printing issues are discussed fully in Chapter 15 ― Printing.

  • Page Setup... — The Page Setup... menu item call the Page Setup dialog. This dialog allows the user to set various printing options such as paper type, margin sizes and running header and footer formats. This dialog is explained in detail in Section 15.2 ― Page Setup..

  • Print Area — The Print Area menu item opens the submenu shown in Figure 4-4. The items in this submenu allow the print area to be set, shown or cleared; and manual page breaks to be set or cleared. The print area of a sheet is that range of the sheet that should be printed. Items outside of the print area are usually omitted when printing. When printing Gnumeric will usually choose the appropriate page breaks. Manual page breaks can be used to force Gnumeric to insert a page break prematurely.

    Figure 4-4The Print Area submenu.
  • Print... — The Print... menu item allows a user to print one or all of the worksheets in a workbook. Gnumeric can send files directly to a printer or can print to PostScript or portable document format files. The Print dialog is explained further in Section 15.1 ― Printing to a Printer or a File..

  • Print Preview... — The Print Preview... menu item calls a dialog which presents the current workbook as it would be printed with the current Page Setup settings. The dialog also permits the user to print. This dialog is explained in Section 15.3 ― Print Preview.

4 Miscellaneous Operations.
  • Send To... — The Send To... menu item call the Send To dialog. This dialog allows the user to send a Gnumeric workbook as an attachment to an email message. This dialog is explained in detail in Section 14.7 ― Sending Files.
  • Document Properties... — The Document Properties... menu item calls the Document Properties dialog, a dialog with several tabs that allow many document specific settings to be adjusted. The dialog is described in detail in Chapter 12 ― Workbook Settings.
5 Recently used files.
  • The first three menu entries in this section are shortcuts to re-open recently used files. The list will change dynamically as new workbooks are opened and created. Clicking on a file name listed here is the same as using the Open menu entry and finding the file in the Find File dialog. Note that if the file has been moved since Gnumeric last saved it, Gnumeric will not find the file. To access any recent file not listed, one can use the Full History... menu item below.
  • Full History... — The Full History... menu item opens a dialog that shows all recently used files.
6 The Close and Quit operations.

These menu items either close the current worksheet, Close, or close all open worksheets, Quit. Gnumeric will prompt the user with a Save Workbook.. dialog for any workbooks that have been changed since the last time they were opened or saved.

  • Close — The Close menu item allows the user to close the current workbook. If this is the only workbook which this instance of Gnumeric has open, the close operation will also quit Gnumeric. If other workbooks are open, this workbook will close without affecting the others. If the workbook has unsaved changes, Gnumeric will ask the user if he wants to save the file.
  • Quit — The Quit menu item will close all the workbooks currently being used by Gnumeric and quit the program. Gnumeric will prompt the user asking if he wants to save any workbooks which has changes which have not been saved.

4.2.4. Edit Menu

The Edit menu is mostly used for operations on a worksheet or between worksheets. This menu gives users powerful editing operations such as the ability to undo recent changes, the ability to cut and paste selections of cells and the ability to search for specific cell contents.

Figure 4-5The Edit menu.

The menu choices are grouped into the following groups:

1 Change History.

These menu items allow the user to remove recent changes to a worksheet or re-introduce changes which have been undone. These options give the user control over recent edits. This functionality is often called the "change history" of an application.

The type of edit has no importance. An edit which deletes the contents of a cell is treated in the same way as an edit which adds contents to a cell. The change history is session specific. The user will not be able to undo changes through the change history if the file is saved and then re-opened. Note also that the list only covers the last few dozen operations. The number of operations which Gnumeric tracks in its history depends on the size and complexity of those operations. You can customize this number using the preference facility described in Chapter 13 ― Configuring Gnumeric. There are a few unusual operations which are not yet tracked in this way.

  • Undo — The Undo menu item is used to remove the last few edits from a workbook. The edits must be undone in order. This menu item removes only the last edit from the workbook. The user can also access the undo list through one of the toolbar buttons and its associated menu. With this menu, the user can undo several operations at once. This is explained in section Section 4.4.2 ― The Standard Toolbar.
  • Redo — The Redo menu item is used after an undo operation to restore the change that was undone. The menu item only restores the last undone operation. Users can also restore edit using a button on the standard toolbar and through the associated menu. The menu allows several operations to be redone at once. It is explained in Section 4.4.2 ― The Standard Toolbar.
2 Operations on selected areas.

These menu items enable selected cell contents to be moved around a spreadsheet, moved between worksheets or between workbooks. Selections are areas of the spreadsheet that have been chosen, usually with the mouse, and are usually colored pale blue. Selections are explained in greater detail in Section 5.6 ― Selecting Cells and Cell Ranges. Gnumeric currently only allows single range selections for these operations.

To use these menu items, the user must first select the range of the cut or copy area. When the user then picks these menu items, the contents of the selected areas will be entered into the Gnumeric clipboard and into the X clipboard. The contents of the Gnumeric clipboard can then be inserted into a new region of the spreadsheet, into another worksheet or into a new workbook. The X clipboard holds the space delimited results of each cell: either the text or the result of any calculation. The X clipboard can be pasted into any text area.

  • Cut — The Cut menu item is used to remove a selection from the selected area of a currently open workbook. When the menu item is chosen, the selected area will be outlined with a moving dotted line. This is the area which will be moved. The selection will only be removed after it is moved to the new location. Until then cut has not had an effect on the worksheet.

  • Copy — The Copy menu item allows a user to duplicate a selection. The original data remains where it was and the Gnumeric clipboard (and the X clipboard) has a copy which can be inserted elsewhere.

  • Paste — The Paste menu item is used to paste the contents of a selection which has been cut or copied. If the selection was cut, it is pasted into the new location unchanged. Cell references will not change in that they will still point to the same cells.

  • Paste Special... — The Paste Special... is used to paste a selection while altering certain characteristics. The Paste Special... menu item opens a dialog with three categories. The defaults make Paste Special... act as if it were the Paste menu item.

    Figure 4-6The Paste Special Dialog

    The first set of choices allow the user to control the data pasted.The user can chose to limit the pasting to only the cell contents (no cell formatting is copied) or --- the opposite --- only cell formats copied (no contents). Furthermore, the user can insert the selection while transforming all the contents into values only. In this case, formulae will not be copied, only the results will be.

    A second set of choices allows the user to perform simple mathematical transformations during the paste. The data in the cells being pasted into are modified by the cell contents. For instance, using the divide operation will result in each cell in the zone pasted into being divided by the equivalent cell which was copied originally.

    The third set of choices allow the transposition or flip of the original selection. The transpose choice will change the selection by flipping it about the diagonal from top left to bottom right. Similarly, flip horizontally and flip vertically paste the selection accordingly.

    The skip blanks check box prevents Gnumeric from taking any action for the cells in the selection that are blank. Normally Gnumeric will modify formulae that use relative addressing to cells outside the selection. The do not change formulae checkbox suppresses this change. (Note that references to cells within the selection are always preserved.)

3 Data entry and removal operations.

These operations add or remove data from the worksheet. They differ in the type of data modified or removed and the possible re-arrangement of remaining data, as explained below. With one exception noted below, these operations are like the previous group in acting based on the selected cells.

  • Clear opens a submenu with eight choices, organized into two sets of four. The first group affects all cells in the selection. The second group applies the same actions to just the selected cells that are in rows selected by the filter. See Section 5.12 ― Filtering Data for details of setting up a filter.

    Choose All to clear all the elements of the cells in the selection: the formats and hyperlinks, the comments, and the contents. Choose Formats & Hyperlinks to clear the formats and hyperlinks while leaving the data or formula in the cell intact. This removes any borders, re-sets the cell alignments, changes the background colour to white and the text colour to black, resets the number format to General, and removes the hyperlink associated with each cell, if any. Choose Comments to delete the comments for the cells in the selection. Choose Contents to leave the cell's formatting in place but remove the formula or data contents of the cell.

  • Delete opens a submenu with five choices. They permit deleting a range of rows or columns, deleting just the selected cells, or deleting just the comments or hyperlinks associated with the selected cells.

    Choose Columns or Rows to delete the columns or rows, respectively, that cover the cells in the selection. Selecting Rows when the selection is one or more columns or Columns when the selection is one or more rows deletes all cells in the worksheet. The space left by deleted rows is filled by moving lower rows up. The space left by deleted columns is filled by moving to the left columns which were right of the selection. For example, if columns D and E are deleted, Gnumeric will move the contents of all columns from F onwards two columns to the left.

    Cells...: If the selection is one or more columns or one or more rows, Cells... deletes the selected columns or rows as described above. If the selection is a block of cells, Cells... opens a dialog asking how to fill in the deleted cells. Blocks of cells can be filled in by the columns of cells below the block selection or by the rows on the right of the block.

    Figure 4-7The Delete Cells Dialog

    For example, if the block of cells from E6:G8 is deleted, those cells would be filled in by the cells below E8, F8 and G8 if the Shift cells up option were chosen. The cells to the right of G6, G7 and G8 would fill in the space from the right if the Shift cells left option were chosen. The two Delete choices are the same as Edit ▶ Delete ▶ Rows and Edit ▶ Delete ▶ Columns.

    Comments: This is the same as Edit ▶ Clear ▶ Comments, described above.

    Hyperlinks: This is similar to Edit ▶ Clear ▶ Formats & Hyperlinks, as described above, except that existing cell formats are not disturbed.

  • Modify opens a submenu with three choices:

4 Search and replace operations.
  • Search... — The Search... menu item opens a dialog to search for cells with particular content. The dialog has three tabs. In the first the user can enter the information the user wants to find and some constraints on the search. The second tab gives some extra choices for the search. When the user has picked the options they prefer, pushing the search button on the first tab will run the search. The third tab will show which cells match the search.
  • Search & Replace... — The Search & Replace.. menu item will launch a dialog to find cells with particular characteristics and replace them all with a common content. This dialog is similar to the Search dialog.
5 Other operations on worksheets.
  • Sheet — From the Sheet submenu you can perform operations on the worksheet as a whole. These functions are also available from the worksheet tab context menu. You can create, duplicate, rename, re-order, or delete worksheets. These functions are described in detail in Section 11.6.2 ― Worksheet Tab Context Menu.

  • Select — The Select menu item allows the user to select various portions of the worksheet. When selected it opens a submenu.

    Figure 4-8The Select Submenu
    • The All item provides a quick way to select the entire worksheet.
    • The Row and Column items allow the user to select all the rows or columns spanned by the current selection.
    • The Array menu item allows a user to select all the cells which are part of the same array as the current cell.
    • The Depends menu item selects all the cells which contain formula that reference data in the current cell.
    • Similarly, the Inputs menu item selects all the cells whose data is referenced by the formula in the current cell.
    • The Next Object menu item selects the next sheet object on the current sheet. If no object is selected it will select the object locate at the front.
    • The Go to Top, Go to Bottom, Go to the First, Go to the Last, menu items move the selection within a rectangular block of data cells. the front.
    • Goto cell... — The Goto cell... menu item opens up a dialog which allows the user to type the name or address of a cell in the worksheet. The current view will then change to ensure that the selected cell is in the current view and the selection will cover that cell.
  • Recalculate — The Recalculate menu item forces the workbook to recalculate its results. This is useful if a formula in the current worksheet depends on a cell in a different workbook. Gnumeric will not necessarily know when that data has been updated so a user can force Gnumeric to recalculate all the cells in the current workbook.

6 General Configuration of Gnumeric.

Preferences... — The Preference... menu item calls the Gnumeric Preferences dialog explained in detail in Chapter 13 ― Configuring Gnumeric

4.2.5. View Menu

The View menu is

Figure 4-9The View menu.

The menu choices are grouped into the following groups:

1 Alternative views of the current document.

These menu items allow the user to open multiple views of the same document.

  • New View... — The New View... menu item opens up a new window with the current workbook visible. and where both windows are open to the same section of the workbook. If the user starts editing a different part of the sheet in one view, the other view moves automatically to that portion of the worksheet. Similarly, if the user changes to a different worksheet in one view, the other view changes also.

  • Freeze Panes — The Freeze Panes menu item is used to freeze the top-most and leftmost visible portion of the worksheet. This is useful to be able to line up portions of the worksheet which are not usually together. For instance, if a user had a very large table with the titles of each column of data on row 12, the user could select row 13 and select this menu item. If the user scrolled through each data row, the data would line up underneath each header.

    There are 3 ways to determine which rows and/or columns should be frozen.

    • If the selection is at least partially visible and does not include the cell A1, Gnumeric freezes the portion of the worksheet above or to the left of the current selection.
    • If the selection is at least partially visible, includes cell A1, and does not consist of whole rows or columns, Gnumeric freezes all rows or columns intersecting the selection.
    • If the selection is at least partially visible, includes cell A1, and consists of whole rows or columns, Gnumeric freezes those rows or columns.
    • If the selection is not visible at all, then Gnumeric freezes those rows and columns to the left or above the sixth visible column and tenth visible row.

    In all cases, the region of the worksheet above or to the left of the currently visible region will become inaccessible until the view is unfrozen.

  • Windows — The Windows menu item provides access to a submenu which lists all of the windows which are currently open. This provides an easy way to jump between all the different instances and views of Gnumeric documents.

2 Changes to the current view.

These menu items alter the display of the current view.

  • Toolbars — The Toolbars menu item provides a submenu which lists each Gnumeric toolbar. The toolbars in this submenu which have a check mark in front of their name will be shown. The display status of each toolbar can be changed by selecting the menu item with that toolbar's name.

  • View Statusbar — The View Statusbar menu item determines whether to display the status bar and information area at the bottom of each worksheets. Selecting the menu item toggles the check mark in front. When this menu item has the checkmark, Gnumeric will display the statusbar.

  • Full Screen — The Full Screen menu item changes the display of Gnumeric from a window based display to a display which occupies the whole screen. In full screen mode, the window borders will not be displayed nor will the toolbars. The key F11 toggles between full screen and regular display mode. When this menu item has the checkmark, Gnumeric is in Full Screen mode.

  • View Properties... — The View Properties... menu item opens the View Properties dialog.

    Figure 4-10The View Properties dialog

    The View Properties dialog has four tabs. Auto Completion is described in Section 11.4 ― General Settings, Protection in Section 11.4.1 ― Content Protection.

    Figure 4-11The View Properties dialog, Cell Markers tab

    The check boxes on the Cell Markers tab shown in Figure 4-11 determine whether cells are shown with indicators that they contain formulae and/or that they have clipped content.

    The check boxes on the Widget tab shown in Figure 4-10 determine whether the notebook tabs, the horizontal scrollbar and/or the vertical scrollbars are shown in this view.

3

Zoom... opens a dialog where you can set the magnification of one or more worksheets in the current workbook.

4.2.6. Insert Menu

The Insert menu is

Figure 4-12The Insert menu.

The menu choices are grouped into the following groups:

1 Insert into workbook.

These menu items alter the cells available in a workbook.

  • Cells... — The Cells... menu item opens a dialog asking the user how the sheet should be altered when new cells are inserted. The dialog lists four choices. The user can choose one of these by clicking the mouse pointer on one of the four dots. Only one choice is possible and the currently selected choice has a black dot in front.

    The Shift cells right will insert a region of new cells of the size of the current selection. Cells which are on the same row as the selection and within or to the right of the selection will shift over to the right to accommodate the new cells. The Shift cells down choice will also insert a region of new cells the same size as the current selection. With this choice, cells which are in the selection or below the selection will move down to accommodate the new cells. The two other choices will act as if the user had chosen to insert rows or columns. These actions are explained above.

  • Columns — The Columns menu item will insert columns to the left of the current selection. The number of columns inserted will equal the number of columns spanned by the current selection.

  • Rows — The Rows menu item will insert rows above the current selection. The number of rows inserted will be equal to the number of rows spanned by the current selection.

  • Sheet — The Sheet menu item allows the user to insert a worksheet immediately following the current sheet.

2 Insert an object into the worksheet or content into the current cell.

The menu items insert sheet objects into the worksheet or insert content into the current cell.

  • Graph... — The Graph... menu item will allow a user to insert a graphic plot of data. This menu item will launch the graph druid. Graphing in Gnumeric is explained in Chapter 10 ― Graphs.

  • Image... — The Image... menu item will allow a user to insert a graphic object containing the image from an external file. The use of images in Gnumeric is explained in Section 9.2 ― Images.

  • Function — This menu item opens a dialog to allow the user to enter a mathematical formula into the cell. The function dialog includes the names and a brief explanation of all the available functions.

  • Function Wrapper — Selecting an item from the submenu shown in Figure 4-13 replaces every rectangular region in the current selection with an array function in which the appropriate function is wrapped around an array version of the current content. This can be used to create a self-sorting data region.

    Figure 4-13The Function Wrapper submenu.
  • Name... opens a dialog with a list of all defined names that can be pasted into the current cell. The dialog is similar to the Define Names dialog opened by choosing Modify ▶ Names... from the Section 4.2.4 ― Edit Menu. See Section 5.2.4.4 ― Names for details.

  • Comment... opens a dialog where you can enter or edit a comment for the active cell. The dialog is described in Section 5.15 ― Comments in Cells.

  • Hyperlink... opens a dialog for entering the location of a link. The dialog is described in Section 5.16 ― Hyperlinks.

  • Special opens a submenu from which you can insert predefined content into a cell. You can insert the current date, the current time, or both.

4.2.7. Format Menu

The Format menu allows users to control the formats of cells, columns, rows, worksheets and the workbook. This menu also gives users access to templates of standard formats.

Figure 4-14The Format Menu and Its Cells Submenu.
The Format Menu offers these menuitems:

  • Cells — The Cells... menu item opens a submenu with choices to allows the user to modify the formatting of the selected cells.

    • Format... — The Format... menu item opens the cell format dialog. This dialog is used to set cell data types and formats. It is explained in Section 5.10 ― Formatting Cells.
    • Conditional Formatting... — The Conditional Formatting... menu item opens the conditional format dialog. This dialog is used to set cell data types and formats that depend on values in the workbook. It is explained in Section 5.11 ― Conditional Formatting of Cells.
    • Merge — This menu item combines the current selection into a single large cell.
    • Unmerge — This menu item divides a merged selection into the original cells.
    • Auto Fit Height — This menu item makes Gnumeric automatically choose the optimal row heights to display all of the text in the current selection.
    • Auto Fit Width — This menu item makes Gnumeric automatically choose the optimal column widths to display all of the text in the current selection.

  • Column — The Column menu item opens a submenu with choices to allows the user to modify the view of the selected columns.

    Figure 4-15The Column Submenu.

    • Width... — The Width... menu item opens a dialog to enable the user to adjust the size of the columns which hold the current selection. The dialog has a single entry box in which the user can change the current size of the column in points.
    • Auto Fit Width — This menu item makes Gnumeric automatically choose the optimal column size to display all of the text in the current selection.
    • Hide — The Hide menu item will hide the columns containing the current selection. Gnumeric still holds these columns in memory and will save them to a file but will not display those columns. The only indication that a user has that columns have been hidden is that the column header names are not sequential.
    • Unhide — This menu item will show columns which are hidden if the selection spans the two columns on either side of the selection. If columns D, E, and F have been hidden, the selection must span at least across columns C and G for this menu item to unhide columns D, E, and F.
    • Standard Width — This menu item allows the user to resize the columns which hold the selection to the standard size. At 100 percent zoom this is 48 points or 64 pixels.

  • Row — The Row menu item provides the same functions as the Column menu item but operates on rows.

    • Height... — This menu item opens a dialog which allows the user to type in a row height in pixels.
    • Auto Fit Height — This menu item changes the rows which hold the selection to the optimal height to hold the text in the selection.
    • Hide — The Hide menu item will hide the rows in the selection. The workbook still contains the data in the hidden rows but those rows are not shown.
    • Unhide — This menu item will make hidden rows visible. The selection must span the rows which are hidden for this menu item to unhide the hidden rows.
    • Standard Height — This menu item resizes the rows back to the default height of 12.75 points or 17 pixels (at 100 percent zoom).

  • Sheet opens a submenu where you can change properties of the current worksheet. With the exception of Manage Sheets... and Zoom..., all operations on this submenu apply to just the current worksheet.

    Figure 4-16Sheet Submenu
    1 Sheet Management

    These items are also on the worksheet tab context menu, accessed by clicking (usually with the right mouse button) on one of the worksheet tabs.

    Manage Sheets... opens a dialog from which the names and many properties of all the sheets can be managed. Properties that can be managed from this dialog include locking, worksheet visibility, column display order (left to right or right to left), sheet name, sheet order, and sheet tab appearance. From this dialog you can also add new worksheets and duplicate or remove existing worksheets. For more information, see Section 11.6.3 ― Manage Sheets dialog.

    Rename... opens the Rename Sheet dialog. Edit the sheet name in the New Name: field and press Enter or click OK to change the worksheet name.

    2 Sheet Display Toggles

    The second section contains various toggles that control how a worksheet is displayed. If a toggle is enabled, a small check mark is displayed to the left of the menu item.

    • Display Formulas — When this property is enabled, the worksheet will show the actual formulae for all cells with formulae, instead of showing the calculated result. You can use this property to quickly determine which cells contain data and which contain formulae.
    • Use R1C1 Notation — When this property is enabled, Gnumeric uses R1C1-style notation to address cells, rather than A1 notation.
    • Hide Zeros — When this property is enabled, Gnumeric displays all cells which would display a zero value as empty cells. This can be used to more easily find cells with non-zero data in sheets with many zero results.
    • Hide Gridlines — When this property is enabled, Gnumeric does not draw the grid lines that ordinarily separate cells.
    • Hide Column Headers — When this property is enabled, Gnumeric does not display the column headers, which leaves room in the cell grid for roughly one more row of cells of default height.
    • Hide Row Header — When this property is enabled, Gnumeric does not display the row headers, which leaves slightly more room to display the contents of cells.
    • Direction — When this menu item is selected, Gnumeric switches between left-to-right sheets and right-to-left sheets. If row headers are displayed, they are moved to the right-hand side of the cell grid when the worksheet is displayed right to left.

    3 Zoom...

    Zoom... opens a dialog where you can set the magnification of one or more worksheets in the current workbook.

  • Autoformat... — This menu item opens the autoformat dialog to give user access to a list of format templates. Format templates are useful for users who are often filling out tables in a particular format. The user picks an area of the worksheet into which they want to apply the template. Most templates define headers and footers so the selection area must be big enough to fit those template elements and the user's data. The template will not affect data which has already been input into a worksheet.

    The dialog has two tabs: Preview and Template Details. The details are simply information about the template. The Preview tab has three main options: a Settings menu, an Edit menu and a category chooser. The settings menu allows a user to pick what parts of the template they want to copy into the worksheet. The edit menu will be used to create new templates. Currently templates are written as text into an extensible markup language (XML) format. The category chooser gives the user access to different groups of templates. Templates in each category are displayed in the middle area of the dialog. Users select the template they want to use by clicking on it. The currently selected template is highlighted with a red boundary which may be hard to see.

4.2.8. Tools Menu

The Tools menu is

Figure 4-17The Tools menu.

The menu choices are grouped into the following groups:

1 Automatic tools

These two tools allow the user to make Gnumeric automatically correct typing or automatically save workbooks at periodic intervals.

  • Auto Correct... — The Auto Correct... menu item opens a dialog which allows the user to configure the way in which Gnumeric automatically corrects text which is being entered. The dialog presents the user with three tabs. Each of these tabs allows the user to correct one type of common spelling mistake, while allowing the user to add exceptions to the rules. Gnumeric can automatically capitalize the names of week days. Gnumeric can automatically change an entry which starts with two capital letters to only start with one and Gnumeric can change a sentence entry to start with a capital letter.
  • Auto Save — The Auto Save menu item opens a dialog which allows the user to have Gnumeric automatically save the current workbook after a fixed interval of time. The user can also have Gnumeric ask for confirmation before saving so that the user always remains aware of the state the workbook was in when it was saved.
2 Linear programming, scenario generation, simulation and statistical analysis tools

Gnumeric can be used to solve systems of linear equations and other mathematical problems. These two dialogs enable access to these tools. A full discussion of these tools is presented in Section 7.1 ― Solver.

  • Goal Seek — The Goal Seek menu item opens a dialog through which the user can configure Gnumeric to iteratively search for a numeric value which solves a formula. This dialog is explained in Section 6.3 ― Goal Seek Tool.
  • Solver — The Solver menu item opens a dialog through which the user can configure Gnumeric to solve linear systems of equations. This is explained in Section 7.1 ― Solver.
  • Scenarios — The Scenarios menu item displays a submenu with two entries. The View... menu item opens a dialog in which the user can select previously defined scenarios. The Add... menu item opens a dialog in which the user can define the contents of a new scenario.
  • Simulation — The Simulation menu item opens a multipaned dialog allowing the user to configure the parameters for a simulation using linear modeling constraints.
3 The Plug-ins dialog.

This entry launches the plug-in management dialog. Plug-ins are programs which are separate from Gnumeric but provide useful functionality. Some of the core parts of Gnumeric, such as Excel file format support, are actually plugins. This means that a user who never uses Excel files can remove this module from Gnumeric and make Gnumeric use less memory.

4.2.9. Statistics Menu

The Statistics menu is

Figure 4-18The Statistics menu.

The Statistics menu and its submenus contain all available statistical analysis tools. These tools are explained in Chapter 8 ― Statistical Analysis.

4.2.10. Data Menu

The Data menu is

Figure 4-19The Data menu.

The menu choices are grouped into the following groups:

1 Data Field tools.

These menu items allow the user to re-organize data.

  • Sort... — The Sort... menu item opens a dialog which allows users to sort a selection according to defined criteria. By default Gnumeric sorts the rows in a selected area depending on the contents of the cells in a particular column of each row. The sort criteria can be extended to calculate on the basis of the cells in several columns. Gnumeric can sort a selection using any number of rules. Rules can be added using the Add button. Rules with no column entered will be ignored or the user can remove these rules with the Remove button.

    For each rule, the dialog has an entry box in which the column to be sorted must be entered. The dropdown box (the little down pointing arrow) will show a list of appropriate columns. The user can determine a sort order for the selection. The Advanced button allows the user to further characterize the sort criteria..

    If the first row of the selection is a header, Gnumeric can be told not to shuffle this row during the sort. Gnumeric can also sort columns based on the contents of cells in specified rows, instead of shuffling rows on the basis of columns, if the user toggles the Sort to act right-left instead of top-down.

  • Shuffle... — The Shuffle... menu item opens a dialog that allows users to shuffle a selection. Shuffling means to rearrange the cells in the selection into a random order. The dialog allows users to shuffle the data within a column, within a row, or within an area.

  • Fill — The Fill menu item opens a submenu that allows various forms of data to be created.

  • Filter — The Filter menu item opens a submenu with three entries: Add Auto Filter, Show All, and Advanced Filter entry. Filters are explained in Section 5.12 ― Filtering Data.

  • Validate... — The Validate... menu item opens the cell format dialog to the validation tab. Validation is a means of constraining the contents of a cell either to have a certain value or to fall within a certain range.

  • Consolidate... — The Consolidate... menu item opens a dialog box through which a user can create derived information based on data in other worksheets.

  • Table...

  • Group and Outline — The Group and Outline menu item provides a submenu through which users can group rows or columns into units which can be collapsed to be hidden from view. These entries also allow users to alter the display of the grouping handles on the borders of the worksheet.

2 Data Modifications or Import.

These entries allow user to convert data already in a worksheet or to import external data directly into a worksheet.

  • Text to Columns... — The Text to Columns... menu item opens a dialog box through which a user can create derived information based on data in other worksheets.

  • Import Data — The Import Data menu item provides the following submenu:

    Figure 4-20The Import Data submenu.

    The items in this submenu allow the user to import data from various non-spreadsheet formats. To open files in a spreadsheet format, use the Open menu described in Section 4.2.3 ― File Menu. See Section 14.2 ― File Formats for details. These submenu items create a new window containing the selected file. A more extensive discussion is presented in Section 14.3 ― Opening Files.

  • Export Data — The Export Data menu item provides the following submenu:

    Figure 4-21The Export Data submenu.

    The items in this submenu allows users to export the current file or sheet to a non-spreadsheet format. The Repeat Export menu item repeats the last export in the current session or, if the file was recently imported, exports the file to the original source. To save data from Gnumeric in a spreadsheet format, use the Save As... menu described in Section 4.2.3 ― File Menu. For an explanation of the file formats which Gnumeric supports see Section 14.5 ― Saving Files.

4.2.11. Help Menu

The Help menu is quite simple.

Figure 4-22The Help menu.

The Help menu connects users to this manual, to the list of functions available for use in Gnumeric and to the list of people who created this wonderful application.

1 Entries to find help and report a problem with Gnumeric

These menu items allow the user to obtain help from several sources or to report a problem with the program.

  • Contents — This menu entry allows the user to launch the local help system and display this manual.

  • Gnumeric on the Web — This menu entry allows the user to launch a web browser and explore the web site dedicated to Gnumeric on the server used by the GNOME project.

  • Live Assistance — This menu entry allows the user to launch an Internet Relay Chat (IRC) client to join the GIMPnet network and the #Gnumeric channel. This channel is used by the Gnumeric developers. There is generally someone around who will, after a few minutes, notice a nice question and attempt to answer it.

    Live assistance is provided on a purely voluntary basis. There are no guarantees that your question will be answered or that the answer will be correct. We generally try our best to answer questions when they are asked politely and when the user shows that they have at least looked in the User Manual for an answer.

  • Report a Problem — This menu entry allows the user to launch a web browser and open the page on GNOME's Bugzilla bug entry system for the Gnumeric program. This page includes instructions on submitting reports of problems. The first time a user reports a problem, they will be asked to login to the system.

2 The About Gnumeric dialog.

About —Shows basic information about Gnumeric, such as the authors' names and the application version number.

4.3. Context Menus

Context menus are menus which open up under the mouse pointer and are therefore detached from the format graphical structure of the application. These menus provide an extra and convenient way to access Gnumeric commands. All of the commands in context menus are available through the regular menu system. Context menus provide different commands depending on the position of the pointer.

To activate a context menu, a user simply positions the pointer over the appropriate area and clicks one of the buttons on their mouse. Since this button is configurable and users have mice with different buttons, it may be a different button on any given machine or may even require the combination of a keyboard key and a mouse buttons. The user will have to find how to do this themselves.

Currently Gnumeric provides five different context menus. The context menu that is called in the central grid area is discussed next in Section 4.3.1 ― The Context Menu for the Cell Grid Area. The Context menu that appears when the pointer is over the row headers or column headers is presented in Section 4.3.2 ― The Context Menu for Column and Row Headers. Another context menu relates to the worksheet tabs and is explained in Section 4.3.3 ― Context Menu for Worksheet Tabs. Yet another context menu applies to embedded objects or shaped components such as a plot. These are shown in Section 4.3.4 ― The Context Menu for Embedded Objects and Components.

4.3.1. The Context Menu for the Cell Grid Area

The context menu in the cell grid area appears when the pointer is over the cell grid area. This menu applies to the cells that have been selected, not necessarily the cell underneath the mouse pointer.

Figure 4-23The Context Menu for the Cell Grid Area.

The grid context menu merely provides an extra way to access Gnumeric commands. The Cut, Copy, Paste, Paste Special, Delete Cells..., Clear Contents, Remove Comment, Edit Hyperlink, and Remove Link commands are taken from the Edit menu and its submenus and are explained in Section 4.2.4 ― Edit Menu. The Insert Cells... and Add Comment menu items are explained in the section on the Insert menu in Section 4.2.6 ― Insert Menu. The Format Cells..., Conditional Formatting... items as well as the items on the Cell, Column, and Row submenus are explained in the manual section on the Format menu in Section 4.2.7 ― Format Menu.

4.3.2. The Context Menu for Column and Row Headers

The Context Menu for Column and Row Headers

Figure 4-24The Context Menu of a Row Header

The context menu which relates to column or row headers is similar to the context menu for the grid area. Both insert and delete operations are modified to operate explicitly on rows or on columns.

4.3.3. Context Menu for Worksheet Tabs

The context menu for worksheet tabs provides access to functions that manipulate worksheets as a whole, rather than their contents.

Figure 4-25The Context Menu for Worksheet Tabs

The context menu for the worksheet tabs provides the same functions as the Sheet submenu of the Edit menu. These functions are explained in Section 11.6.2 ― Worksheet Tab Context Menu. There are also two submenus where you can select one of the existing sheets, whether its tab is currently visible or not. The first submenu lists the sheets in their current order, the second submenu lists them alphabetically.

4.3.4. The Context Menu for Embedded Objects and Components

The Context Menu for Embedded Objects and Components.

Figure 4-26The Context Menu for Graphical Objects

All embedded objects, such as drawing elements, graphs and images, have a context menu which can be invoked by placing the mouse pointer over the element and clicking with one of the secondary mouse buttons.

The first menu entry, labeled Properties, will open a dialog specific to the type of element selected in which the user can configure the properties of the element.

The menu entry labeled Size & Position, will open a dialog that permits the user to adjust the size and position of the embedded object.

The menu entry labeled Snap to Grid, enlarges the object such that all of its corners are located at cell corners.

The menu entry labeled Order, opens a submenu which allows the user to change the visual order in which the graphical elements are placed. This order will affect the way in which the graphical elements obscure each other.

Figure 4-27The Context Submenu for Graphical Object Order

The menu entries labeled Cut, Copy, and Delete, allow the user to operate on the whole object at once. The Cut menu item allows the user to remove the element from its current position and then paste the object in a different location on the same sheet, in a different worksheet, in a different Gnumeric file, or in a file from a different program entirely. The Copy menu item provides the same functionality while leaving the original item in place. The Delete allows the user to remove the graphical element entirely.

The remaining menu item, Print, allows just the selected object to be printed.

For certain types of objects, a menu entry labeled Save As Image... allows the object to be saved as an image file. This menu item is not present in Figure 4-26 but is shown in Figure 4-28 .

Figure 4-28The Context Menu for Graphs and Images

Graphs have a context menu that also contains menu entries labeled Open in New Window and Copy to New Graph Sheet. The Open in New Window menu item shows the graph by itself in a window. The Copy to New Graph Sheet copies the graph to a special sheet in the current workbook that contains only a single graph.

4.3.5. The Context Menu for Toolbars

The Context Menu for Toolbars

Figure 4-29The Context Menu for Toolbars.

The context menu for toolbars allows the user to configure toolbars. Each toolbar can be displayed above the sheets, to the left of the sheets, or to the right of the sheets. The context menu can also be used to hide a toolbar. The toolbar can be made visible again via the Toolbars submenu of the View menu. See Section 4.2.5 ― View Menu.

4.4. Toolbars

The toolbars contain buttons and other elements which can be used to perform quickly some the more common operations. Each button has an icon intended to provide a mnemonic reminder of the operation performed by the button. The toolbar elements are intended to provide fast access to the commonly used tools. Almost all of these functions are also available through the menu system. The specific actions required to use each button vary.

Gnumeric has four toolbars, the standard toolbar, the format toolbar, the long format toolbar, and the object toolbar. The three toolbars are shown in Figure 4-30.

Figure 4-30The Four Gnumeric Toolbars

These toolbars will be discussed separately in the subsequent sections of this manual. User interaction with each toolbar happens in essentially the same way. Similarly, the toolbars can be configured in the same way. The next section explains the standard behavior of Gnumeric toolbars.

The long format toolbar contains all of the buttons of the format toolbar plus a few extra buttons, but in a different order. Users will usually choose only one of these toolbars to be displayed.

4.4.1. General Toolbar Behavior

The toolbar context menu described in Section 4.3.5 ― The Context Menu for Toolbars can be used to determine where each toolbar (above the sheets, to the left of the sheets, or to the right of the sheets) is displayed. The Toolbars submenu of the View menu (see Section 4.2.5 ― View Menu) can be used to determine which toolbars are visible.

If the Gnumeric window is too small to fit all of the toolbar buttons, Gnumeric displays an arrow to indicate that there are more options. If the user clicks on this arrow, a window will open with the remaining buttons as shown in Figure 4-31.

Figure 4-31The Toolbar Extension Menu

Certain toolbar options, such as the zoom box, are combinations of a button or text entry area and a downward pointing arrow. If the user clicks on the arrow, a list of available options appears.

4.4.2. The Standard Toolbar

The standard toolbar is shown in Figure 4-32.

Figure 4-32The Standard Toolbar

The Standard Toolbar gives the user access to file operations, printing, movement of data blocks, the undo system, and to some of the powerful tools like the function creator and the graphing system.

New File.

Create a new file.

Open

Open an existing file.

Save

Save the current worksheet to disk.

Print

Print the current worksheet or workbook to a file or a printer.

Print Preview

Display a print preview of the current worksheet.

Cut

Copy the cells in the current selection to the clipboard buffer and mark them to be deleted from the current position. The cells will only be removed if they are pasted into a new position.

Copy

Copy the cells in the current selection to the clipboard buffer.

Paste

Paste the contents of the clipboard buffer into the active cell.

Undo

Undoes the last operation undertaken.

Redo

This is the reverse of the undo operation, restoring its original state.

Insert a hyperlink

This button opens a dialog to allow the user to define a hyperlink either internally within the spreadsheet or to an external resource such as a web page.

Sum into the current cell

Starts a simple sum formula in the selected cell with Gnumeric simply waiting for a selection to be made to complete the sum. The user selects the destination cell, pushes this button, enters the range to be summed and pushes the confirm button (green arrow) in the data entry area or types the Return key.

The function druid

This button will start a formula in the current cell using the function druid.

Sort Ascending

Sorts the selected region in ascending order based on the first column selected.

Sort Descending

Sorts the selected region in descending order based on the first column selected.

Graph

This button calls the graph druid to create a graph.

Zoom

The zoom button allows the users to trade-off the extent of the worksheet which is visible against the size of the visible text and cells.

4.4.3. The Format Toolbar

The Format Toolbar

Figure 4-33The Format Toolbar
Font Chooser.

The user can change the font of a selection either by typing the name of a new font in the text area of this box or by clicking on the little arrow to the right of the text area. This will cause a menu to appear from which a font can be chosen.

Font size

The user can change the font size of a selection by typing the number of a different font size or by clicking on the little arrow to the right of the entry box and selecting the preferred size.

Bold

Change the style of the current cell or the currently selected text to be bold, or unbold it if it is already bold.

Italic

Change the style of the current cell or the currently selected text to be italicized.

Underline

Change the style of the current cell or the currently selected text to be underlined.

Left justify..

Justify the contents of the cell to the left of the cell.

Center

Center the content of the cells.

Right Justify

Justify the content of the cells to the right side of the cells

Center across the selection

Center the content of the cells on the selected cells.

Merge Cells

Merge the selected cells into a single cell.

Split Merged Cells

Split previously merged cells into separate cells.

Money

Sets the format of the selected cells to be monetary.

Percentage

Sets the format of the selected cells to be a percentage.

Thousands separator

Sets the format of the selected cells to use thousands separator.

Increase the displayed precision.

Increases the number of decimals shown in the currently selected cell.

Decrease the displayed precision.

Decreases the number of decimals in the currently selected cell.

Decrease the displayed indentation.

This button decreases the indentation of selected elements.

Increase the displayed indentation.

This button increases the indentation of selected elements.

Change the display borders.

This button and drop down menu can be used to set the borders of all the cells in the selection.

Set the Background Colour.

This button and drop down menu can be used to set the back ground colour.

Set the Text Colour

This can be used to change the colour of the text.

4.4.4. The Long Format Toolbar

The Long Format Toolbar

Figure 4-34The Long Format Toolbar

The Long Format Toolbar contains all buttons that the Format Toolbar (described in Section 4.4.3 ― The Format Toolbar) contains, except in a different order.

In addition, the Long Format Toolbar also contains the following buttons:

Subscript

Change the style of the current cell or the currently selected text to be subscripted.

Superscript

Change the style of the current cell or the currently selected text to be superscripted.

4.4.5. The Object Toolbar

Figure 4-35The Object Toolbar

The Object Toolbar.

Box

Insert a rectangular box containing optionally some text into the worksheet.

Ellipse

Insert an ellipse or a circle into the worksheet.

Insert a Frame.

This button allows a user to insert a frame into a worksheet.

Line

Draw a line on the worksheet.

Arrow

Draw a line with an arrow head at one end.

Insert a Checkbox.

This button allows a user to insert a check box.

Insert a radio button.

This button allows a user to insert a radio button.

Insert a button.

This button allows a user to insert a button.

Insert a Scrollbar.

This button allows a user to insert a scrollbar.

Insert a Spinbutton Box.

This button allows a user to insert a spinbutton box.

Insert a Slider.

This button allows a user to insert a slider.

Insert a List.

This button allows a user to insert a list.

Insert a Combo Box

This allows a user to insert a Combo Box.

4.5. Data Entry Area

Immediately above the grid of cells is the data entry area as shown in Figure 4-36.

Figure 4-36The Data Entry area.

This is a small area, which contains a current cell indicator, a cancel button, a confirm button, an entry button, and an entry area for detailed editing of the cell contents. These elements are explained individually below.

4.5.1. Current Cell Indicator

On the far left of the Data Entry area is the current cell indicator area. This area is shown in Figure 4-37

Figure 4-37The Current Cell Indicator.

The cell indicator will show the address for the cell at the top left of the selected region. This address is listed in the standard column:row notation. The alphabetic part indicates the column of this top leftmost cell and the numeric part indicates the row of this top left cell. For instance, the cell which is over three columns and down two rows is designated:

C2

This designation matches the column and row headers for this cell.

While a region is being selected, the current cell indicator will change to show the size of the region which is being selected. This information is presented in a row number by column number format. For instance, this designation:

15R x 6C

would indicate a selection area 15 rows high by 6 columns wide. Once the mouse is released at the end of the selection, the current cell indicator goes back to giving the address of the single top leftmost cell.

4.5.2. The Cancel Button

The Cancel button can be used to cancel the current edit and to restore the cell contents to the previous state. If a user decides in the middle of an edit that the data being entered into a cell is not what they want, the user can push this cancel button to cancel the current data and return the cell to the state it was at before.

The most common use of this button is when overwriting the contents of a cell with new data. If the user decided to revert the change before confirming it, the cancel button is the answer. Note that this button works just like typing the escape key on the keyboard.

4.5.3. The Confirm Button

The confirm button . can be used to finish the edit of a cell and enter the edit into the workbook. Note that this button works in the same way as the enter key.

4.5.4. The Equals Button

The equals button can be used to start a formula in the currently selected cell. If a user wanted to make cell D10 equal to cell B4, the user could simply click on cell D10, click this equals button, click on cell B4 and type the enter key. Note that this button works the same way as the equals key.

4.6. The Cell Grid

Most of the work done on a spreadsheet is done to the main Cell area, the large grid like part of the worksheet. This is where all the formulas and data are entered, and is the center of activity for the spreadsheet.

Figure 4-38The Cell Grid area, with cells of different sizes.

Figure 4-38 shows the cell grid area, the column and row headers on the top and left, the scrollbars on the right and bottom and the tab list at the very bottom.

The figure has a few and shows that cell B3 as being selected. In this figure, the columns and rows have been resized and therefore look uneven.

Each cell in this area is delimited by a light grey line by default. The current selection is indicated by a rectangular box with a little box on the lower right, this case cell J12. The view in this figure shows the middle portion of a worksheet which is evident in two ways. Firstly, the column and row headers do not start at column A and row 1. Secondly, the scroll thumbs are not at the top and left. The thumbs are the boxes within the scroll bars that are used to scroll. Note also that cell D19 has a comment within it which is shown by the little red triangle at the top right corner.

The size of a cell is determined by the width of the column and height of the row that the cell is in. The columns and rows can be resized by acting on the header relevant to the cell. The user must move the mouse pointer to the edge of the header which is either to the right or below the cell. With the mouse pointer in this position, the pointer will change to a set of opposite pointing arrows. The user must then drag this edge away from the top left corner. This takes a little practice.

The cell area is the core of Gnumeric. Therefore the manual explains the use of cells in much greater detail in a separate section. Interested users should read Chapter 5 ― Working with Data.

4.6.1. The Column and Row Headers

The sheet is bordered by column headers on the top and row headers to the left. Columns are labeled alphabetically running horizontally across the top of the sheet as shown in Figure 4-39.

Figure 4-39The column labels at the top of the worksheet.
Rows are labeled along the left side of the worksheet. Each label is a different integer increasing downward. This is shown in Figure 4-40.
Figure 4-40The row labels at the left side of the worksheet.

4.6.2. The Scrollbars

The cell grid area's scrollbars work like other scrollbars. In this case they let the user work on a worksheet which is much bigger than what could be shown at any given moment.

4.6.3. The Tabbed Sheet Indicator

At the bottom of Figure 4-38, Gnumeric has a tabbed sheet indicator. This is the boxes with the labels "Guppies", "Turtles", "Mermaids", "seahorses" and so on. In workbooks where there are more than one sheet, extra tabs are used to indicate how many sheets are there, and also allows the user to move to another sheet by clicking the proper tab. Each tab is a link to a separate worksheet within Gnumeric. In this figure, the "Turtles" tab has been selected. Gnumeric shows this by making the "Turtles" since the tab is a little bigger and making it overlap the two neighbouring tabs.

On the far right, the two arrows indicate that there are more sheets in the workbook and more tabs for those sheets. Unfortunately, there is not enough space to show them all so Gnumeric displays these arrows. If all the sheets are visible, these arrows will not be displayed. These arrows can be used to scroll the tabs and bring tabs that were hidden into view. This may be a little difficult to understand and work with but becomes easier quickly.

4.7. The Information Area

The section at the very bottom of the worksheet view is the information area as is shown in Figure 4-41.

Figure 4-41The Information Display Area.
The information area displays information depending on what is happening in Gnumeric.

4.7.1. The Menu Hint Area

The leftmost portion of the information display area, the part which reads: "Sort the selected cells" is a hint explaining what a menu does. In this case, the Data menu was opened and the pointer is hovering above the "sort" menu entry. Gnumeric is responding by giving a quick explanation of what that menu entry does.

4.7.2. The File Status Indicator

Whenever Gnumeric opens or saves a file, the file status indicator appears with a progress bar which grows as Gnumeric progresses. In Figure 4-41, Gnumeric was just over halfway done opening a file.

4.7.3. The Running Calculation Area

In the bottom right hand corner, is an info area that shows some constantly calculated values. The default set is to show the Sum of all the currently selected cells.

There is a right click option that includes a few more options. This can include Sum, Min, Max, Average, Count.

Figure 4-42The running calculation area.

4.8. The Mouse Pointers used by Gnumeric

The shape of the mouse pointer (the pointer which is movable by the mouse) changes in different contexts. This indicates that different functionality is available and that mouse clicks will have different results. The different mouse pointers and the actions they indicate are discussed below.

The left pointing arrow pointer:

The left hand pointing arrow pointer is the standard pointer used for most of the interaction with Gnumeric. This pointer is used to select menus and menu entries, toolbar buttons, columns or rows, the scrolling `thumbs' and various other elements.

The cell selection pointer:

This pointer appears over the cell grid area and can be used to select cells for editing.

The text editing pointer:

The text editing pointer is used to indicate the location in the text where new edits will appear. This cursor can be used to change the scale of the zoom, to change the name and size of the font currently used or to edit the cell contents in the cell entry area (the white area to the right of the equals (=) sign.

The cross hair pointer:

The cross hair pointer can be used to change the cell selection area. The pointer appears when the mouse pointer is placed over the handle box, the black square at the lower right hand side of the selection. When the cross hair pointer appear, the selection can be altered by clicking the left-hand mouse button and dragging the handle to a new position. The cross hair pointer can also be used to insert a graphic object, by clicking with the left hand mouse button to place one corner and releasing the button to place another of the corners.

The expansion pointers:

These pointers can be used to change the height of rows or the width of columns. These pointers appear in certain dialog windows to resize the different parts of the dialog. The pointers are also used to resize graphical objects as is explained below.

The sheet selection and hyperlink pointer:

This pointer appears above the sheet tabs and can be used, by left clicking, to change the currently selected sheet or, by right clicking, to obtain the sheet dialog box. This pointer also appears above cells which are hyperlinks. Left clicking on a hyperlink may change the view to a new location, or may open an external file.

The right pointing arrow pointer:

The right hand pointing arrow pointer is used to select graphical objects (such as drawing objects (e.g. arrows, ellipses) and graph objects (e.g. charts)).

The movement pointer:

The movement pointer can be used to move graphical objects around a worksheet without resizing the object.

The graphical object re-sizing pointers:

These pointers allow the resizing of graphical objects. If the mouse pointer is placed over one of the handle boxes of the graphical object, the handle box will turn green and the pointer will change to one of these forms. When these pointers appear, click dragging with the left mouse button will resize the graphical object either scaling or stretching the object.

The window resizing pointers:

These pointers are used to change the size of Gnumeric windows and dialogs.

5. Working with Data

This chapter explains the core functionality of Gnumeric including the basic types of data manipulated by Gnumeric, the methods of entering, manipulating and formatting data, and the basic tools for analysis of these data. More advanced analysis is described in Chapter 6 ― Advanced Analysis.

5.1. Data in Gnumeric Cells

The purpose of a spreadsheet is to manipulate data and perform calculations on those data. In order to understand how to use Gnumeric, it is necessary to understand what types of data are available and how these types can be manipulated.

Because all of the data which are entered into a Gnumeric workbook can eventually be stored in a file, the file contents define the kinds of data which can be entered into the spreadsheet. A file contains:

  • metadata about the file contents,
  • global data for the workbook,
  • the actual data contents of each worksheet in the workbook.
The metadata include a brief document summary describing the file contents and include the settings applicable to the data contents, such as the settings for the printing of each sheet and any settings for automatically saving the file. The global data for the workbook include any names which are defined by the user and attributes, such as the protected status of the workbook and sheets. The actual data contained in the worksheets include the contents of the cells, both data and formatting, and other objects such as drawing and charts.

This chapter describes the information which can be stored in spreadsheet cells. This includes the five types of data which cells can contain and the formatting which can be applied to each cell. The chapter first describes the five data types available, then describes the formatting which can be performed on each cell, then explains how data can be inserted into a spreadsheet and finally describes how to copy and move data around a worksheet along with the transformations which can be performed as the data are moved. This chapter does not describe other types of data which can be stored in a spreadsheet such as drawing elements and graphs used to chart data. These are explained in later chapters.

5.2. The Types of Cell Elements

Each cell in a Gnumeric worksheet can contain only a single data element. These elements will have one of five basic types: text, numbers, booleans, formulas, or errors. During data entry, Gnumeric assigns a default data type to the cell based on an analysis of the cell contents. This assignment can be changed later if Gnumeric makes the wrong assignment. For information on how to change the data type of a cell, see Section 5.10 ― Formatting Cells.

The five basic types of data which can be stored in a spreadsheet cell are:

Text

A text element can contain a series of letters, numbers or other contents. For example, the first cell in a worksheet might contain the characters —This worksheet describes the company's income — which Gnumeric would interpret to be text. In order to distinguish text elements from number or formula elements, the text element may start with a single quote. For instance, if a cell contained only the three digits 345, Gnumeric would consider that to be the number three hundred and forty five. If this cell is intended to be a string, Gnumeric will store the cell as '345. The newline character cannot be entered directly but must be entered as Alt+Enter. For more information on entering and formatting text elements, see Section 5.2.1 ― Text Data Elements.

Numbers

A number element can contain a series of digits (425) but may include specific text and formatting characters to indicate negative numbers (-345), decimal separator (34.0567), thousand separators (12,342), currency ($23), dates (21-10-1998), times (10:23) or scientific notation (2.3e12). Dates may include the names of months or their abbreviation. The currency, decimal separator and thousands separator symbols vary depending on the locale (the language and other location specific behaviour) to which Gnumeric has been set. See Section 13.5 ― Languages and Locales to understand how to change the locale. If you want a number to be displayed as a plain string without any number formatting, you can put a single quote (') before it. For more information on entering and formatting, numeric elements see Section 5.2.2 ― Number Data Elements.

Boolean

A boolean element can contain one of two values: TRUE and FALSE. These are useful as inputs or outputs from formulas and for boolean algebra. More information on boolean data elements is presented in Section 5.2.3 ― Boolean Data Elements.

Formulas

A formula is an instruction to Gnumeric which describes a calculation which should be performed automatically. These formulas can contain standard arithmetic elements but can also contain references to other cells. Calculations which depend on other cells are usually recalculated when the values of another cell changes. Formulas always begin with a special character — the equals sign (=). The commercial at symbol (@) can be used instead of the equals sign during data entry but Gnumeric will convert this to an equals sign. Alternatively, an entry which describes a calculation and which starts with either the plus (+) or minus symbol (-) will be converted to a formula starting with an equals sign. For a more complete explanation of formulas, see Section 5.2.4 ― Formula Elements.

A cell reference is the part of a formula which refers to another cell. For example, in the formula to add two cells =(A4+A1), both A4 and A1 are cell references. These references can be quite complex referring to cells in different worksheets or even in different files. See Section 5.2.4.3 ― Cell Referencing for a complete explanation of references.

Error

An error element describes the failure to calculate the result of a formula. These values are rarely entered directly by a user but usually are the display given when a formula cannot be correctly calculated. See Section 5.2.5 ― Error Elements for a complete list of error values and their explanation.

A cell may display a series of hash marks (######). This indicates that the result is too wide to display in the cell given the current font setting and the current column width. When this occurs, the value in the cell can be seen in two ways. If the cell is selected, the value will appear in the data entry area (to the right of the equals button directly above the cell grid). Alternatively, the column containing the cell can be widened until the data contents become visible: select the whole column (by clicking on the column header) and choose Format ▸ Column ▸ Auto fit selection.

5.2.1. Text Data Elements

Text elements consist of an arbitrary sequence of characters or numbers entered into a cell. Because Gnumeric automatically recognizes certain sequences as numbers or formulas, certain sequences of characters (such as sequences containing only digits or a text element which starts with an equals sign) must be treated specially to have them considered text. In order to force any sequence to be considered text, the sequence can be started with an apostrophe symbol ('). Alternatively, the 'number' format of the cell can be specified to be 'text' before entering the characters, as explained in Section 5.10.1 ― Number Formatting Tab. Text elements are the simplest elements to enter into spreadsheet cells.

An example of a spreadsheet cell grid with cells containing text is given in Figure 5-1.

Figure 5-1A Text Data Element in a Cell.

Valid text entries include simple words, whole sentences and even paragraphs.

To include a newline in a cell, a special key combination is required. A newline symbol can be inserted with the key combination of Alt+Enter.

5.2.2. Number Data Elements

Number data elements include a variety of data all of which are stored and manipulated by Gnumeric as numbers. This includes integers, decimal fractions, general fractions, numbers in scientific notation, dates, times, and currency values.

Data are recognized as numbers when they are entered, dependent on the format of the sequence of characters entered. Gnumeric attempts to intelligently guess the subtype of the data and match the data to an existing format for numbered data. If it matches a data format, Gnumeric will automatically assign the datum to a data type and associate an appropriate display format with the cell. The format recognition of Gnumeric includes a wide variety of data formats which are discussed in detail in Section 5.10.1 ― Number Formatting Tab.

Because Gnumeric automatically guesses the data type of a number being entered into a cell, this process may have to be over-ridden for certain types of data. For example, postal codes in the United States consist of a sequence of numbers which Gnumeric interprets as an integer. However, U.S. postal codes can start with a leading zero which Gnumeric discards by default. In order to override the default format, the number format of the cell must be specified before the entry of the data. This is explained in Section 5.10.1 ― Number Formatting Tab, below.

5.2.3. Boolean Data Elements

Cells can contain boolean data elements. These elements arise from Boolean logic which is a branch of mathematics. These elements are useful for manipulation of formulas.

Boolean values can be either "TRUE" or "FALSE". If these strings are entered into a cell, Gnumeric will recognize these as boolean values. These values can then be used in formulas. Certain formulas will also return boolean values.

5.2.4. Formula Elements

Formulas are the key to making a powerful spreadsheet. A formula instructs Gnumeric to perform calculations and display the results. These calculations are defined as a formula data elements. The power of these formulas arises because these formulas can include the contents of other cells and the results of the formulas are updated automatically when the contents of any cell included in the formula change. The contents of other cells are included using "cell references" which are explained below.

Any formula entered into a cell must follow a specific syntax so that Gnumeric can interpret the formula correctly. This syntax closely follows mathematical notation but also includes spreadsheet formulas, object names and cell references.

5.2.4.1. Syntax

Formulas are distinguished from regular data by starting with an equals sign (=) as the first character. Everything following this equals sign is evaluated as a formula.

Alternate Beginnings for Formulas

To accommodate those more familiar with Lotus spreadsheets, Gnumeric recognizes the commercial at symbol (@) as the beginning of a formula and substitutes an equals sign. The plus and minus characters (+ and -) may also start formulas that involve calculation, but when used in front of a single number only indicate the sign of the number.

The simplest formulas just use the standard math operator and symbols. Addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division are represented by +, -, *, and /, just as you would expect. +,- can be placed in front of numbers to indicate sign, as well.

Example 5-1Examples of standard operators
=5+5            returns 10.
	
=5-4            returns 1.
	
=-5             returns -5.
	
=5*5            returns 25.

=(5*5)+11       returns 36.
	
=(5*5)+(49/7)   returns 32.
        

Formulas can result in error values in several instances. If a formula is entered incorrectly, Gnumeric will display a warning and allow either the formula to be corrected or will save the formula as text for editing later. If a syntactically correct formula results in a nonsensical calculation (for instance, a division by zero), then an error value will be displayed indicating the error.

5.2.4.2. Using Functions

Formulas can also contain functions which denote the use of standard mathematical, business, statistical, and scientific calculations. These functions take the place of any data element in a formula and can therefore be combined with the standard arithmetic operators described above.

These functions have the form:

Example 5-2Basic Function syntax
FUNCTIONNAME(ARGUMENTS)
        
where FUNCTIONNAME indicates the name of a function and ARGUMENTS indicates one or more arguments to the function. The function arguments are separated by commas (,).

While the documentation generally refers to functions and to cells in capital letters, their use is not actually case sensitive.

Some examples of the use of functions are:

Example 5-3Some examples of function syntax
=SUM(A1,A2,A4,B5)
	    
=AVERAGE(A1:A16)
	    
=EXP(1)
	    
=PI()
	    
=3+4*MIN(A1,A2,B6)
	  
The arguments of the functions vary in number from none, as in the PI() function, to an unlimited number, as in the SUM() function, depending on the type of function.

5.2.4.3. Cell Referencing

Formulas can include the displayed data from other cells. These contents are described as `cell references' which are names indicating that the contents of other cells should be used in the calculation.

Each cell in a spreadsheet is named by its column and row labels. By default, the column labels are letters and the row labels are numbers. The first cell, therefore, is called A1. One column over and two rows down from cell A1 is the cell B3. In a worksheet of the default size, the right most and bottom most cell is cell IV65536 which is the cell in column IV and in row 65536. An alternative cell reference notation uses numbers for both row and column identification. See Section 5.2.4.3.2 ― References using R1C1 Notation below for details.

The value of a cell can be used in a formula simply by entering its name where a number value would otherwise occur. For example, to have the data in cell B1 appear in another cell, enter =B1 into that cell. Other more complex examples include:

Example 5-4Some examples of simple cell reference syntax
=A1+EXP(B1)-(C3/C4)
      
=COS(A2)*SIN(A2)
        

5.2.4.3.1. Absolute cell referencing

Cells can be referenced in the default way (relative referencing), or by using absolute referencing. Absolute referencing means that when the cell is copied, the cell reference does not change. Normally, auto-filling a cell range or moving a cell will change its cell reference so that it maintains a relation to the original cell. Absolute referencing prevents these changes.

When Does Relative Referencing Make a Difference?

The difference between absolute and relative cell references only matters if you are copying or moving cells that contain cell references. For cells that are going to remain in place, both the relative and absolute references have the same result.

Example 5-5Relative References

For example, if =A1 is the formula entered into cell B2, cell B2 will display the data in cell A1, which is one row up and one column left. Then, if you copy the contents of B2 to cell F6, cell F6 will contain the value from E5, which is also one row up and one column left.

For the copied cell to still refer to A1, specify absolute references using the $ character: $A$1 refers to cell A1, no matter where it is copied.

The format for absolute cell referencing is to use a '$' in front of the cell coordinate that you want to stay constant. The column, the row, or both can be held constant.

Example 5-6Cell referencing examples

What happens when a given formula is entered into cell B2, then copied to other cells?

=A1

=A1 is a normal, or relative, cell reference function. When =A1 is entered into cell B2, it refers to the value of data one cell up and one cell left from the cell with the reference. Therefore, if this formula were copied from cell B2 to cell C2, the value displayed in cell C2 will be the value of data in cell B1. Copied to cell R19, the formula will display the data in cell Q18.

=$A1

In this case, the column value is absolute, but the row value is relative. Therefore, if =$A1 is entered into cell B2, the formula refers to the data in column A that is one row up from the current location. Copied to cell C2, the formula will refer to the data in cell A1. Copied to cell R19, it will refer to the data in A18.

=A$1

This formula uses a relative column value and an absolute row value. In cell B2, it refers to cell A1 as the data in the cell one column left and in row 1. Copied to cell C3, the formula will display the data in cell B1.

=$A$1

No matter where this formula is copied, it will always refer to the data in cell A1.

5.2.4.3.2. References using R1C1 Notation

From the Format ▶ Sheet submenu you can select R1C1 notation for a worksheet. This causes all cell references on the sheet to be shown as “RrCc”, where r is the row number and c is the column number. When R1C1 notation is selected, the column headers show numbers rather than letters.

When r and c are positive integers, as in “R1C1”, the reference is absolute. To produce a relative reference, enclose a number in square brackets; if the number is zero, it can be omitted along with the brackets. For example, “RC[-2]” refers to the cell two columns to the left in the current row, while “R[1]C1” refers to the cell in the first column of the next row down from the referencing cell. The second example combines a relative row reference with an absolute column reference.

5.2.4.3.3. Referencing multiple cells

Many functions can take multiple cells as arguments. This can either be a comma separated list, an array, or any combination thereof.

5.2.4.3.3.1. Multiple individual cells

A comma separated list of cell references can be used to indicate cells that are discontinuous.

Example 5-7Some examples of function syntax
=SUM(A1,B2,C4)
	  
=MIN(A1,B2,C4,C5,D6)
	  
5.2.4.3.3.2. Referencing a continuous region of cells

For functions that take more than one argument, it is often easier to reference the cells as a group. This can include cells in sets horizontally, vertically, or in arrays.

The ':' operator is used to indicate a range of cells. The basic syntax is upper left corner:bottom right corner.

Example 5-8Referencing blocks of cells
=SUM(A1:E1)
	  
=AVERAGE(B4:E7)
	  
=MIN(A1:A5)            
	  
5.2.4.3.3.3. Referencing non-continuous regions

For referencing cells that are in non-continuous regions, you can use any combination of the above methods to get the needed cells.

Example 5-9Referencing blocks of cells
=SUM(A1:E1, B19, L14:L17)
	  
=AVERAGE(A1,A3, A5:C5)
	  
5.2.4.3.4. Referencing cells on other sheets

It is possible to reference cells which are not part of the current sheet. This is done using the SHEETNAME!CELLLIST syntax, where SHEETNAME is an identifier (usually a sheet name) and CELLLIST is a reference to a cell or range of cells as described in the previous sections. If SHEETNAME contains spaces or other special characters, you must quote the whole name to allow Gnumeric to recognize it as a single name. See the examples below.

When the reference is to a range of cells, the worksheet name only needs to be given with the first cell reference. The ending cell of the range is assumed to be on the same worksheet if an explicit sheet name is not specified. Note, however, that “Sheet1!A1:Sheet3!C5” is a legitimate cell range description. It identifies a range three columns wide and five rows deep on each of the worksheets from Sheet1 through Sheet3. The preferred form of such a reference is “Sheet1:Sheet3!A1:C5”, which is the form Gnumeric will display if you subsequently edit the contents of a cell containing such a reference.

Example 5-10Referencing cells in other sheets
='Sheet 0'!A1+'Sheet 3'!A5

=SUM(Sheet1!A1:A5)
        
5.2.4.3.5. Referencing cells on other files

It is possible to reference cells in other files. The canonical form for these references is [filename]SHEETNAME!CELLLIST. The square brackets serve to quote filename, so you should use quotation marks only if they are actually part of the file name. Note that the sheet name must be present in references of this form.

Example 5-11Referencing cells in other files
=[Name of the file]'Sheet 0'!A1

=CEIL( [First Version.gnumeric]'Sheet 1'!E20 )
        
5.2.4.4. Names

Names are labels which have a meaning defined in the spreadsheet or by Gnumeric. A name can refer to a numeric value, a string, a range of cells, or a formula. For details on defining and using names, see Section 5.17 ― Defining Names.

Example 5-12Examples of name usage

If myCellRange is defined as '$A$1:$B$500' and my_E_Constant is defined as 2.71828182845 then we can have:

=VLOOKUP(C1, "gnu", myCellRange, 2, 0)

=LN(my_E_Constant)

=SUM(myCellRange, my_E_Constant)
      
5.2.4.5. Array Formulas

It is periodically useful or necessary to have an expression return a matrix rather than a single value. The first example most people think of are matrix operations such as multiplication, transpose, and inverse. A less obvious usage is for data retrieval routines (databases, realtime data-feeds) or functions with vector results (yield curve calculations).

Example 5-13Entering an Array Formula

An array formula is currently entered by selecting the single range in which to store the result, entering the array formula, and hitting the key combination, Ctrl+Shift+Enter.

The result is displayed as:

={FUNCTION(ARGUMENTS)}(num_rows, num_cols)[row][column]
      
5.2.4.6. Database Formulas

Solely for compatibility with Excel and ODF files, Gnumeric supports various database functions: DAVERAGE , DCOUNT , DCOUNTA , DGET , DMAX , DMIN , DPRODUCT , DSTDEV , DSTDEVP , DSUM , DVAR and DVARP .

Since these functions are quite restrictive on the criteria that can be used, it is often easier to use array functions as described in Section 5.2.4.5 ― Array Formulas. Array functions are also useful in the case that a specific database function does not exist:

Example 5-14Simulating DMEDIAN with an Array Function

As shown in Figure 5-2, instead of using (the non-existing) function DMEDIAN one can use the alternative expression median(if(A1:A20="AA",B1:B20)) entered as an array function as described in Section 5.2.4.5 ― Array Formulas. Multiple conditions can be combined using multiplication to obtain AND and addition to obtain OR as in median(if((A1:A20="AA")+(C1:C20="BB"),B1:B20)). Using defined names as introduced in Section 5.2.4.4 ― Names for A1:A20 and B1:B20 can make this code very flexible and readable.

In this case we cannot use if(OR(A1:A20="AA",C1:C20="BB"),...) since the OR function would be applied to all 40 equality tests rather than each of the 20 pairs of equality tests.

Figure 5-2Calculating the MEDIAN of Some Data Values

5.2.5. Error Elements

Cells can display error values if the formula contained in the cell cannot be solved or if other anomalous conditions occur.

In Gnumeric all error values have names that start with #. 8 error values are standardized:

Table 5-1The standard error values of Gnumeric
Name Normal Use
#DIV/0! Division by zero occurred.
#N/A Not applicable. This is the result of the =NA() formula.
#NAME? An unknown function name or other name was encountered.
#NULL! The result of specifying an intersecting range that in fact does not intersect.
#NUM! A formula could not be evaluated because an invalid number was used as argument, for example =SQRT(-1)
#REF! An invalid cell address or reference was encountered.
#UNKNOWN! Usually the result of importing an unrecognized error from a different file format.
#VALUE! A formula could not be evaluated because the wrong type of argument was used.

5.3. Data Entry

There are several ways to add data into a spreadsheet. The simplest data entry technique involves typing the data into a spreadsheet by hand. This is usually necessary the first time that data are introduced into a computer. If the data already exist in a computer file of some kind, a simple way might exist to insert these data into a Gnumeric worksheet. If the data are in a text file, they can be inserted into a worksheet rapidly using the text conversion facilities. If data exist in a spreadsheet file of a different format, Gnumeric may be able to open the file and the data can then be copied where they are wanted.

This section explains how to enter data by hand into a spreadsheet. The techniques necessary to obtain data from other computer sources are explained in Chapter 14 ― Working with Files which deals with external data sources.

If the information being entered into Gnumeric cannot be interpreted correctly, Gnumeric will display an error message. The user may then be forced to edit the data before continuing. For example, a formula may be mathematically incorrect if the user has two operators in a row (e.g. =3+*4) and the dialog will give the user the chance to re-edit the entry or accept the entry as text rather than as a formula. When the formula is corrected, the leading apostrophe can be removed and Gnumeric will re-interpret the entry as a formula.

5.3.1. Data Entry by Editing Cells.

The simplest method to place data in a spreadsheet involves selecting the location for the data, typing the data on a keyboard and then typing the Enter key to finish the input.

Simple Data Entry
  1. Select the cell where you want to enter data by clicking on it with the white cross cursor. This will place the thick `selection' box around that cell.

  2. Type in the data or formula. The details of this step are presented below for each of the five types of data which can be entered.

  3. Press the Enter key. This will complete the input and move the selection box down one cell which will then be able to receive further input.

At any time while entering the data and before the Enter is pressed, the user can cancel the data entry by typing the Esc key. This will return the spreadsheet to the selection mode and restore the contents previously in the selected cell.

Instead of the Enter key, other keys can be used to input the data in the current cell. These other keys will move the selection box to other locations than does the Enter key. The Tab key inputs the entry in the currently selected cell and then moves the selection box one cell to the right of the current cell. The arrow keys input the entry into the currently selected cell and move one cell in the direction of the arrow. The Enter key can also be used in conjunction with other keys. Typing the Shift+Enter combination will move the selection upwards after entry. Typing the Ctrl+Enter combination will re-select the currently selected cell.

5.3.1.1. Advanced Editing Mode

After selecting the cell and initially entering the data, the user is in a limited editing mode. The main key for editing mistakes in this mode is the backspace key.

For a more complete set of editing options, especially for longer entries, there is an advanced editing mode. To enter the advanced editing mode, press the F2 function key or click on the editing region. The keyboard focus will then shift from the current cell to the editing region at the top of the worksheet. There, you can use cursor keys to position the cursor within the data in the cell, and have all of the capabilities of the data entry area available.

For example, you can use:

Backspace

Delete the character to the left of the cursor.

Cursor keys

Move the cursor appropriately.

Ctrl+K

Delete to the end of the line

See Section 5.3 ― Data Entry For more info on the data entry area.

All the normal key bindings for GNOME application entry boxes also apply in the data entry box.

After finishing the data entry, pressing the Enter key will input the data entry and move the selection box downward just like for the simple editing mode.

5.3.2. Entering Text Data

Text can be entered by selecting a cell, typing the text and then typing the Enter key. Anything that is not interpreted to be a number, boolean, formula or error will be treated as a text field. To prevent Gnumeric from interpreting an entry as one of these other elements, a leading apostrophe can be added to force the entry to be text. Any entry, no matter what the contents, which starts with a leading apostrophe (') will be considered to be text.

Postal codes in the United States are series of five integers. By default, Gnumeric interprets these to be numbers. This interpretation means that the leading zeros used in the postal codes of the northeastern region will be lost by default. To retain these leading zeros, either the code should be entered with a leading apostrophe (e.g. '02917) or the cells should be formatted as text before data entry (see Section 5.10 ― Formatting Cells for an explanation of formatting).

5.3.3. Entering Number Data

Numbers can be entered like other items. First the cell in which the number should be entered must be selected, then a valid number must be typed in and finally the entry must be inserted using the Enter key. The valid formats for numbers are presented in Section 5.2.2 ― Number Data Elements.

5.3.4. Entering Boolean Data

A boolean can be entered by selecting the cell, typing the boolean (either TRUE or FALSE) and then typing the Enter key.

5.3.5. Entering Formulas

Formulas can be entered simply by typing a syntactically correct formula in a cell. The correct syntax for formulas is explained in detail in Section 5.2.4 ― Formula Elements. Formulas begin with an equals sign (=) and contain arithmetic symbols, functions with their arguments and cell references.

To enter a formula, first the cell must be selected, then the correct formula must be typed, and finally the Enter key must be typed.

If the formula entered into Gnumeric cannot be interpreted correctly, Gnumeric will display an error message giving the user the choice of re-editing the formula or saving the formula as a text field to be edited later. For example, a formula may be mathematically incorrect if the user has two operators in a row (e.g. =3+*4). If the formula is saved as text, when the formula is corrected the leading apostrophe must be removed. Gnumeric will then re-interpret the entry as a formula.

5.3.5.1. Shortcuts for including cell references and ranges in formulas

Formulas often include cell references or references to ranges of cells as arguments to functions. These references and ranges can be entered into a formula simply by typing in the proper syntax (see Section 5.2.4.3 ― Cell Referencing for more details). But manually entering in cell ranges is slow and cumbersome. In order to speed up the entry of these cell ranges, the mouse and the keyboard arrow keys can be used to select these cell ranges quickly.

When editing a formula, if the cursor is at a point where a cell reference or range would be appropriate, the reference or range can be selected using the mouse. If the mouse is used to click on a cell, the reference of that cell will be entered into a formula. Alternatively, if the mouse is used to drag a selection over a range of cells, that cell range will become part of the formula. The selected range will be highlighted by a border of moving black dashes, commonly called the "marching ants" border.

Figure 5-3The highlighted selection
Using the mouse to enter cell references
  1. Begin entering a formula as you would normally. Stop at the point where a cell reference is appropriate. For example, example, type =exp(

  2. Click on the cell you want to reference. Its reference will be entered into the formula.

  3. To finish the formula, just type in the closing parenthesis. This will also "unselect" the region.

The mouse can be used to select a single cell, a continuous range of cells or several disjoint ranges of cells just like regular selections.

If entering lots of formulas or even just entering a few formulas, it is often quickest to use the keyboard to select cells and ranges of cells for use in formulas. Just as reaching a input point allows the user to select cells with the mouse, it is possible to use the keyboard to select cells. Just use the cursor keys and selection modifiers to create a selection.

Using the keyboard to enter cell references
  1. Select a cell to enter a formula into. For example A1.

  2. Enter a formula, but stop the cursor at a point where a cell reference is appropriate. For this example, =SUM(

  3. Move the selection around with the cursor keys. Move the selection cursor to cell B1 to start the selection.

  4. Hold down Shift and move the selection one cell over and one cell down. Cells B1,B2,C1,C2 should now be selected and the formula should show =sum(B1:C2

  5. To finish the function, close the parenthesis. The cell should now show =sum(B1:C2). Press enter and the formula is entered.

To select a range of cell, hold Shift and move over the desired area.

To stop entering a selection or to start over, press Shift+Backspace

5.3.5.2. Entering formulas using the function list

5.3.5.3. Entering formulas using the formula guru

5.3.6. Entering Errors

Errors are almost never entered directly into a spreadsheet but usually arise from problems which Gnumeric encounters during calculations. A list of errors with their meanings is presented in Section 5.2.5 ― Error Elements.

In an unusual case where it is needed, an error can be entered by hand like the entry of other elements. First the cell must be selected, then the error must be entered (e.g. #DIV/0!) and finally the Enter key must be pressed.

5.4. Advanced Data Entry

This section describes advanced methods for data entry in Gnumeric. This includes techniques useful when adding large amounts of data, methods to automatically catch mistakes during data entry, using pre-defined templates to format data input, obtaining data from external sources and generating sequences of random numbers with defined distributions.

5.4.1. Entering Large Quantities of Data

It is sometimes necessary to enter large amounts of data by hand into a spreadsheet. To facilitate this work, Gnumeric provides several techniques to facilitate the entry of large amounts of data.

If data are to be entered into a series of rows or columns, this region can be selected ahead of time thereby modifying the behaviour of the data entry keys (the Enter, Tab and arrow keys).

Data entry into a region
  1. Select the region with the mouse. For example, the region from cell C4 to cell E8 can be selected by clicking with the left mouse button on cell C4 and dragging the mouse cursor to cell E8. (More information on complex selections is presented below.)

  2. Enter data by typing the data and the Enter key. If this is done repeatedly, the fifth time the Enter key is pressed, the selection will not move to cell C9 but will jump up to cell D4.

The Tab key can also be used instead of the Enter key to move sequentially through the selection.

5.4.2. Entering a Regular Sequence

It is often necessary to enter a regular sequence of numbers or a repeated sequence of text. Gnumeric provides several ways to input series and sequences of this kind.

The simplest way to fill a series with the same element repeated involves entering the element once and dragging the selection box to fill that element repeatedly. For example, the text "employee:" could be input into cell C2. That cell could then be selected. The selection box is a thick white rectangle which surrounds the cell. This selection box has a small white square at the bottom right hand corner. If the mouse cursor is placed above this square box, it changes to a thin cross. If the left hand mouse button is clicked and held, and the mouse dragged to cell C10, Gnumeric will automatically fill all of the cells with the identical string.

An alternative way to enter data into a region involves first selecting the region, then typing the value and finally typing the Ctrl+Enter key combination. This will fill the whole region with the identical value which was originally entered.

A similar method is available to fill sequences of integers. If the example just given was altered so that cell C2 had the number 14 and the Ctrl key was held during the dragging of the selection, Gnumeric will automatically fill the cells C2 to C10 with the series 14,15,16,...,22.

More complex series and sequences of data can be entered with a similar mechanism.

To do an autofill:

  1. Enter a value into the first cell you wish to autofill. For example, the cell C2 could have the number "24" entered.

  2. Enter a second value into the second cell you wish to autofill. This must be adjacent to the first cell. This sets the increment to use when autofilling the rest of your cells. For example, the cell D2 could have the number "28" entered.

  3. Select both the cells just entered. At the bottom-right of the selection should be a small box. Your mouse cursor will change to a cross-hair when placed over the box. Press and hold on the box. Drag in the direction, either vertical or horizontal, you wish to increment and release when all the cells are filled. For example, selecting cells C2 and D2, then dragging the bottom right of the selection to cell I2 will fill the cells with the sequence from 24 to 48 with each increment being 4.

An alternative to the last step involves using the menus. Once the first two values have been input, the whole range to be filled can be selected using the mouse and then the Autofill selection can be made from the Edit and Fill. This will automatically complete the series in the selected region.

Gnumeric is able to increment several types of data beyond simple integers. The procedure is the same as described above but involves different starting values. Gnumeric can increment:

Integers

1, 2, 3, etc.

Natural Numbers

1.03, 2.05, 3.07, etc.

Weekday Names

Monday, Tuesday, etc.

Weekday Abbreviations

Mon, Tues, etc.

Month Names

January, February, etc.

Month Abbreviations

Jan, Feb, etc.

Strings with Numbers

Item1, Item2, etc

Dates

11/14/2001, 11/15/2001, etc.

Gnumeric supports incrementing the date by month, date, or year.

Note that, While Gnumeric will increment days of the month, if you do 11/14/2001 and 12/14/2001, it will recognize it as the same day of the month and increment the month so the next value would be to 1/14/2002 instead of the day difference.

Gnumeric can be explicitly told the cells to autofill as in the examples above, but it can also guess the number of cells to fill based on the length of an adjacent column or row. For example, if the cells B2 to B10 have information and cell C2 has the integer value "1", then selecting cell C2 and double clicking on the bottom rightmost box of the selection rectangle will fill the value "1" from cell C3 to cell C10.

5.4.3. Automatically Correcting Simple Mistakes

The entry of large amounts of data into a spreadsheet is tedious work which is prone to repeated mistakes. Gnumeric provides a tool to automatically correct commonly made simple mistakes. The corrections are configured and activated using the `AutoCorrect' dialog, available via Auto Correct in the Tools menu.

Figure 5-4The Auto Correct dialog.
5.4.3.1. Capitalize the Names of Days

If this correction rule is activated, the first letter of a name of a day is capitalized automatically. For example, if you type `monday', it is automatically replaced by `Monday'.

5.4.3.2. Correct TWo INitial CApitals

A common mistake is to hold down the shift key a little bit too long while typing initial letters. When it happens, you will get two initial capitals instead of one. If this correction rule is activated, the second letter of words beginning with two capital letters is automatically lowercased. For example, if you type `TOtal' into a cell it is replaced by `Total'. Note that if the word contains two capital letters only, it is not replaced.

It is possible to specify exceptions to this tool. For example, you do not want the tool to replace the word `PVbonds' when it is typed. To specify exceptions, type `PVbonds' into the ``Do not correct'' entry, and press ``Add'' button. Now the word should be included in the list of exceptions. To remove a word from the list, select the word and press the ``Remove'' button.

5.4.3.3. Capitalize the First Letter of Sentences

If this correction rule is activated, the first letter of a sentence typed into a cell is capitalized, if it is a lowercase letter in the first place. Only text that ends to a dot is considered a sentence.

It is possible to specify exceptions to this tool. For example, you do not want the tool to capitalize letters after acronym `i.g.'. To specify exceptions, type `i.g.' into the ``Do not capitalize after'' entry, and press ``Add'' button. Now the word should be included in the list of exceptions. To remove a word from the list, select the word and press the ``Remove'' button.

5.4.4. Using a Format Template

This section has not yet been written.

5.4.5. Generating Random Number Sequences

Figure 5-5Random Number Generation Tool Dialog

Use the random number generation tool to generate random numbers. This tool can generate random numbers from various probability distributions.

Specify the random distribution by selecting one of the items from the random distribution list. The following random distributions are supported: Discrete, Normal, Poisson, Exponential, Binomial, Negative Binomial, Bernoulli, and Uniform.

Specify the parameters of the selected distribution:

Discrete Random Distribution

Specify the value and probability input range in the Value and Probability Input Range: entry box. The value and probability input range is a table consisting of two columns and any number of rows. The first column specifies the discrete random values and the second column the probabilities for them. The discrete random values do not have to be numbers, for example, strings will do as well. The sum of the probabilities in the second column should be one. For example, if you have the values A, B, C, and D in A1:A4 and values 0.1, 0.4, 0.2, and 0.3 in B1:B4, you would specify the value and probability input range to be A1:B4.

If the probabilities do not add to 1, they will be automatically scaled.

Normal Random Distribution

Specify the mean and the standard deviation. The default values are 0 for the mean and 1 for the standard deviation.

Poisson Random Distribution

Specify the lambda in the Lambda entry. Lambda is the average number of events in a unit time interval.

Exponential Random Distribution

Specify b in the b Value entry.

Binomial Random Distribution

Specify the probability of success (p) in the p Value entry and the number of trials (n) in the Number of Trials entry. The Binomial distribution is a discrete distribution in which the experiment consists of n identical trials. Each trial is independent of other the trials and has two possible outcomes, a success or a failure. The probability of success p is constant from one trial to another. The mean of a random variable that has a Binomial distribution is E(X) = np, and the variance is var(X) = np(1-p).

Negative Binomial Distribution

Specify the probability of success p in the p Value entry and the number of failures r in the Number of Failures entry. Negative Binomial distribution is a discrete distribution in which the experiment consists of a sequence of independent trials. Each trial has two possible outcomes, a success or a failure. The probability of success p is constant from one trial to another. The experiment continues until r failures are observed, where r is fixed in advance. The mean of a random variable that has a Negative Binomial distribution is E(X) = r(1-p)/p, and the variance is var(X) = r(1-p)/p^2.

Bernoulli Random Distribution

Specify the probability of success (p) in the p Value entry. p is a probability value between 0 and 1. The Bernoulli distribution has two random values 0 and 1, and p is the probability to observe value 1. The mean of a random variable that has a Bernoulli distribution is E(X) = 1(p) + 0(1-p) = p, and the variance is var(X) = p(1-p).

Uniform Random Distribution

Specify the range of the continuous random variable with the Between: and And: entries. The default values for these entries are 0 and 1.

Specify the number of variables in the Number of Variables: entry on the `Options' Page. This determines the number of columns of random values to be produced.

Specify the number of random numbers for each variable in the Size of Sample: entry on the same page. This determines the number of rows of random values to be produced.

Figure 5-6Some Example Data for the Random Number Generation Tool
Example 5-15Using the Random Number Generation Tool

Figure 5-6 shows some example data and Figure 5-7 the corresponding output.

Figure 5-7Random Number Generation Tool Output

5.5. Obtaining Data from External Sources

Data are commonly obtained from external sources such as from other files, either in a spreadsheet format or in delimited text format, from other applications using the mouse to copy and paste data or from external applications such as databases or internet data streams.

5.5.1. Obtaining Data from External Files

Data which already exist in an external file can be imported into a workbook first by opening the file into a separate instance of Gnumeric and then by copying the relevant data into the desired worksheet.

Data contained in external files in the formats of several other spreadsheet applications can be opened by Gnumeric. Gnumeric can open files in Applix (TM) format, GNU Oleo format, Lotus 123 (TM) format, Microsoft Excel (TM) format, Multiplan (TM) format, OpenOffice Calc or StarOffice Calc (TM) format, Plan Perfect (TM) format, Quattro Pro (TM) format, sc and XSpread format or in the Xbase format.

Data contained in external text files which are formatted in well defined ways can also be opened by Gnumeric. Gnumeric can open files formatted in Data Interchange Format, formatted as HTML tables, or formatted in text formats such as comma separated values or tab delimited records. The opening of text format files is configurable by the user so that text files which contain data formatted in a wide variety of schemes can be imported correctly into Gnumeric. Obtaining data from these files is explained in detail in the section titled Section 14.3 ― Opening Files.

Data which are opened into a separate instance of Gnumeric can be copied and pasted into the current worksheet with the copy and paste commands as explained in Section 5.7.2 ― Cut, Copy and Paste.

5.5.2. Obtaining Data by Cut and Paste

Data can be obtained from other Gnumeric workbooks or other applications using the mouse to copy data and paste them into a worksheet. This is explained below in the section titled Section 5.7.4 ― Cut and Paste Between Gnumeric and Other Applications.

5.5.3. Getting Data from a Database

This has not yet been written.

5.5.4. Getting Data from an Internet Data Stream

Gnumeric has been connected to external data sources such as stock quotation service data streams using an experimental plugin. This requires the ability to write programming code. Information on extending Gnumeric by developing plugins can be found in the section called Section 18.4 ― Writing New Plugins and the actual computer source code can be found in the directory gnumeric/plugins/sample_datasource/ of either a distribution of Gnumeric or in a code checkout from the revision control repository.

5.6. Selecting Cells and Cell Ranges

By selecting multiple cells at once, common operations can be performed on all the cells which have been selected. These operations include data entry, copying the cells, and multiple other operations .

Some operations cannot be done on selections of arbitrary shape. For instance, Gnumeric could not correctly reshape a worksheet following the deletion of a discontinuous group of cells therefore such an operation is not allowed. If users attempt an operation which cannot be performed, a warning dialog will appear.

5.6.1. Simple Selections

The simplest selection involves a single cell. In most cases, simply clicking with the left hand mouse button while the mouse cursor is over a cell will cause that cell to become selected.

The selected cell is indicated by a dark double line with a small square in the bottom right corner. The selected cell is the one that is currently in focus and will take any input for the keyboard.

Figure 5-8A selected cell.

To make a cell become the selected cell, simply move the white-cross cursor over the cell and press the left mouse button. There is one exception: When on a cell that contains a hyperlink, the mouse cursor changes from the white cross to a hand and clicking the left mouse button activates the link. In that case the cell can be selected by clicking the middle mouse button.

Figure 5-9Selecting a cell with the mouse cursor.

5.6.2. Selecting Multiple Cells

Several cells can be selected at once. When multiple cells are selected, the selected cells are indicated with a light, "baby" blue colour. When a single block of cells is selected, a double black line will surround the selection, and all cells except the first one to be selected will be shown in light blue.

Figure 5-10A multi-cell selection
5.6.2.1. Continuous selections

To make a continuous selection of cells, move the white cross mouse cursor pointer to the cell at one corner of the block of continuous cells, click and hold the primary mouse pointer on that cell, drag the pointer to the opposite corner of the block of cells and then release the mouse button. The block of cells will now be selected.

The arrow keys can also be used to select a continuous block of cells. To add cells in this manner, first select the cell in one corner of the cell block with the primary mouse button, then hold the Shift key and use the arrow keys to expand the selection block.

Figure 5-11Multiple cells being selected with the cursor.
5.6.2.2. Discontinuous selections

A discontinuous group of cells can also be selected, by selecting cells or block of cells while holding down the Ctrl key. To select a discontinuous group of cells, first select a cell or a continuous group of cells as explained above, then click and hold down the Ctrl while selecting more cells. All of the cells which are selected while the Ctrl key is held down will be added to the selection. All selected cells will be displayed with a light blue colour. Cells can be added individually or as continuous blocks. This selection process is additive with each selected cell added only once so selecting cells twice or more simply adds those cells once to the selection.

Figure 5-12A discontinuous selection of cells.

5.6.3. Advanced methods of Selection

There are several ways to make selections using the keyboard keys directly. These may be quicker than using the mouse pointer. As explained above, the simplest of these uses the Shift and arrow keys to make a new selection.

To select an entire row of cells, press the combination of Shift+space keys. This is equivalent to pressing the row label button on the left side of the sheet.

Figure 5-13An entire row being selected.

To select an entire column of cells, press the combination of Ctrl+Space keys. This is equivalent to pressing the column label button on the top of the sheet.

Figure 5-14An entire column being selected.

To select the entire sheet, press the combination of Ctrl+A keys. This is equivalent to pressing the button in the top left corner of the sheet.

Figure 5-15The entire worksheet being selected.

The following list summaries keyboard shortcuts which can be used to select large cell blocks.

  • Shift+Arrow : Define selection with cursor keys.
  • Ctrl+Arrow : Jump to the end of the current region.
  • Alt+Space : Select current row.
  • Ctrl+Space : Select current column.
  • Ctrl+A : Select the entire sheet.
  • Ctrl+/ : Select the array formula around the current edit position.

5.7. Moving and Copying Data

Data which have been entered once into a spreadsheet can be moved to new locations and possibly duplicated. The simplest way to do this involves dragging the selection box. A more advanced way involves a formal cut or copy operation and then a paste operation in the new location. The latter approach allows the data to be modified as they are pasted which can be extremely important.

NOTE

Currently Gnumeric only supports copying, cutting and pasting of simple selections or continuous selections as described in Section 5.6 ― Selecting Cells and Cell Ranges. You cannot copy, cut or paste discontinuous selections.

It is frequently necessary to copy the results of complex calculations into a new location. This is done by selecting the data and using the As Value command from the Paste Special... dialog. This is explained in Section 5.7.3 ― Paste Special below.

5.7.1. Simple Copy and Move

The easiest way to move or copy a cell or a group of cells is by selecting the cell or cells to be moved or copied, then using the mouse to drag the selection box to a new location.

  1. Select a cell to move by clicking in it. You can also select a range of cells as described in Section 5.6 ― Selecting Cells and Cell Ranges.

  2. Click left mouse button on the border of the selection (anywhere except the autofill square in the bottom right corner). Use left mouse button to move cells or Ctrl+left mouse button to copy cells.

  3. Drag the selection to the new location.

  4. Release the mouse button.

The selected cells will be copied or moved to the new location. This will move both cells' content and formatting. When copying, relative cell references in all formulas will change as described in Section 5.2.4.3 ― Cell Referencing; when moving, relative cell references will remain unchanged.

5.7.2. Cut, Copy and Paste

Another, more flexible, way to copy or move a selection is to use cut, copy, and paste operations. These operations allow the user to copy or move selected cells to the clipboard buffer and then paste the contents of the clipboard buffer to a different location or a different workbook.

5.7.2.1. Cutting a Selection to the Clipboard

To cut a cell or a selection to the clipboard, you should select a cell or range of cells as described in Section 5.6 ― Selecting Cells and Cell Ranges and then use one of the following methods:

  • Use keyboard shortcut Ctrl+X.
  • Choose Cut from the Edit menu.
  • Click on Cut button in the toolbar.
  • Right-click on the selection and choose Cut from the context menu.
The selection will be copied to the clipboard buffer. To remind you of this, the border of the selection will be shown as "marching ants". The selection will be moved to a new location as soon as you choose Paste command as described below.

NOTE

Please note that the selection will remain in its current location until you paste it. If you want to delete a selection without pasting it to a new location, use Delete command instead.

5.7.2.2. Copying a Selection to the Clipboard

To copy a cell or a selection to the clipboard, you should select a cell or range of cells as described in Section 5.6 ― Selecting Cells and Cell Ranges and then use one of the following methods:

  • Use keyboard shortcut Ctrl+C.
  • Choose Copy from the Edit menu.
  • Click on Copy button in the toolbar.
  • Right-click on the selection and choose Copy from the context menu.
The selection will be copied to the clipboard buffer. To remind you of this, the selection will outlined by "marching ants" border. The selection will be copied to a new location as soon as you choose Paste command as described below.

5.7.2.3. Pasting the Clipboard

To paste the contents of the clipboard (i.e., previously cut or copied selection) to a new location, just click on a cell and use one of the following methods:

  • Use keyboard shortcut Ctrl+V.
  • Choose Paste from the Edit menu.
  • Click on Paste button in the toolbar.
  • Right-click on the cell and choose Paste from the context menu.
The contents of the clipboard will be pasted in the spreadsheet so that the selected cell becomes the top left corner of the selection. This will also copy the formatting of the original selection.

If you are pasting a selection which was copied to the clipboard buffer, all relative cell references in all formulas will change as described in Section 5.2.4.3 ― Cell Referencing. The selection remains in the clipboard buffer so that it can be pasted again. The original selection will remain outlined with "marching ants" border.

If you are pasting a selection which was cut to the clipboard buffer, all cell references in all formulas will remain unchanged. The original selection will be removed from the workbook and the clipboard buffer will be cleared.

5.7.3. Paste Special

All of the methods described above to move or copy data create identical copies of the original cells in the new location. This means that both the contents and the formatting of the original selection are copied to the new location and also means that any data present in the new location are deleted. It is frequently important either to alter the data before it is pasted or to merge the data in the new location with the data being pasted. The Paste Special... command enables this.

The Paste Special... command can act exactly like the Paste command or may selectively paste the cell contents, the cell formats, the calculated values of the original cells rather than their contents. described in the previous section copies both contents and formatting of the original selection. If you need more options, use Paste Special... command.

The Paste Special... command can be accessed, after a selection has been cut or copied as explained above, in one of two ways. First, the location where the pasting should happen must be selected. The easiest way to do this is to select the single cell which will be at the top left hand corner of the region of pasted cells. Alternatively, the exact region into which the cells will be copied can be selected. After the selection is made, the Paste Special... command can be chosen from the Edit menu or the context menu obtained by clicking with the right mouse button in the cell area of the spreadsheet.

The Paste Special... menu item opens a dialog with three categories. By default, Paste Special... acts as if it were the Paste menu item.

The first set of choices allow the user to control the data pasted.The user can chose to limit the pasting to only the cell contents (no cell formatting is copied) or the opposite only cell formats copied (no contents). Furthermore, the user can insert the selection while transforming all the contents into values only. Formulas will be replaced by their values.

A second set of choices allows the user to perform simple mathematical operations during the paste. These operations use the current contents of the cells in the paste range and the contents of the clipboard. For example, if you are pasting a cell containing number 5 to a cell that currently contains number 10 and choose option Divide, the result will be 10/5=2. Choosing option None will just replace the previous contents of the cells by the contents of the clipboard buffer (this is the default behavior).

The final choices contains the following options:

  • Transpose. This option will transpose the selection, i.e. interchange the rows and columns. Thus, a range with k rows and n columns will become a range with n rows and k columns, so that the firs row becomes the first column, and so on.
  • Skip Blanks. This option prevents Gnumeric from taking any action for the cells in the selection that are blank. For such cells, the existing contents of the cells in the paste range will be kept.

5.7.4. Cut and Paste Between Gnumeric and Other Applications

Cut and paste commands described above allow copying and moving selections from one location in a spreadsheet to another, or between different spreadsheets. However, you can also use cut and paste to exchange information between Gnumeric and other applications, using so-called X clipboard which is shared by all graphical applications.

Whenever you cut or copy a selection in Gnumeric, it is placed both in Gnumeric clipboard and in X clipboard. In X clipboard, it is placed as text, with formulas replaced by their values and contents of different cells separated by spaces.

To paste the selection from X clipboard to an application, click with middle mouse button (if you have two button mouse, you can emulate the middle mouse button by pressing left and right buttons simultaneously). Most applications also allow pasting from X clipboard by using keyboard shortcut (usually Ctrl+V) or by choosing Edit ▸ Paste.

To paste a selection from another application to Gnumeric, place this selection in the X clipboard. Usually it is done by just selecting it with the mouse; some applications also allow you to use keyboard shortcut Ctrl+C, or choose Edit ▸ Copy. After this, you can paste it in Gnumeric by using Paste command described above. This command will automatically paste the contents of X clipboard if Gnumeric's own clipboard is empty.

Pasting X clipboard in Gnumeric will automatically launch the Text Import druid which will assist you in importing the plain text contents of X clipboard into the spreadsheet. The Text Import druid is described in Section 14.4 ― Importing Text Files.

5.8. Deleting Data

This section needs to be written.

5.9. Inserting New Data Cells

This section needs to be written.

5.10. Formatting Cells

This section describes how to format the appearance of data in a cell. The section Section 5.11 ― Conditional Formatting of Cells describes a more advanced method of formatting where the depends on various conditions involving the current cell value and/or the values in other cells.

Cell formats allow you to only change the way cell data appears in the spreadsheet. It is important to keep in mind that it only alters the way the data is presented, and does not change the value of the data.

The formatting options allows for monetary units, scientific options, dates, times, fractions,and more. Positive and negative values can have different colors and formats for aiding in keeping track of values. There are also a large variety of date and time formats for virtually any time and date format one can think of. Formatting also allows you to set font, background color, and borders for selected cells.

Finally, advanced formatting options allow you to lock some of the cells so that their values cannot be changed, or restrict the range of values that can be entered in the selected cells.

To change the formatting of a cell or a selection, you can either use the Format Cells dialog which holds all of the formatting options or use specific formatting elements available as buttons on the Format Toolbar.

This dialog, shown in Figure 5-16, gives you access to all formatting options.

Figure 5-16Format Cells Dialog

To launch this dialog, select the cell or range of cells you want to format (see Section 5.6 ― Selecting Cells and Cell Ranges for details on selecting cells) and then use one of the following methods:

  • Use keyboard shortcut Ctrl+1 (this is number one, not letter l).
  • Choose Format ▸ Cells... in the menubar.
  • Click with the right mouse button on the cell grid area and choose Format Cells... from the context menu.

The Format Cells dialog contains tabs Number, Alignment, Font, Border, Background, Protection, and Validation. These tabs are described in detail in the subsequent sections.

To set one of formatting options, select the corresponding tab, choose the options you need, and click OK. This will apply the options you selected (in all tabs) and close Format Cells dialog. You can also click on Apply to apply the and keep the dialog open, or on Close to close the dialog without applying changes.

Some of the most commonly used formatting options, such as font, background, and alignment, can also be accessed by using the buttons in the Format Toolbar. This toolbar is described in detail in Section 4.4.3 ― The Format Toolbar,

5.10.1. Number Formatting Tab

This tab allows you to select the format for the cell's contents. You can select one of the many preset formatting styles which should be more than adequate for the vast majority of cases. If none of these meet the needs of the user, it is possible to create your own formats.

To use one of the preset formats, select the format category (such as Number or Date) by clicking on the corresponding radiobutton in the left side of the dialog. The right side of the dialog will show you how the selected cell would look with this format and give more options for the selected format.

The following is a list of all available format categories:

General

A Swiss army knife of a format. It will attempt to display a value it the 'best' way possible. The choice of format depends on the size of the cell and Gnumeric guess of what 'type' of value is being displayed (number, date, time ...).

Number

Displays numbers with 0-30 digits after the decimal place. Negatives can be displayed normally, within parentheses, or in red color. Optionally a delimiter can be added every third order of magnitude (thousand, million, ...). Both the decimal point and the thousands separator have internationalization support.

Currency

Similar to Number, with the addition of a currency symbol. Currently known symbols include $, ¥, £, ¤ and the three letter abbreviations of all major currencies. By default, Gnumeric will use currency symbol and placement (before or after the number) appropriate for your locale.

Accounting

A specialization of Currency which pays more attention to the alignment of negative numbers. It ensures that a small amount of space is prepended to positive numbers so that they align with negatives.

Date

This category contains various formats for presenting dates. By default, Gnumeric will use date format appropriate for your locale (country and language setting). You can also choose one of many possible date formats shown in the list in the right side of the dialog. The following is an explanation of codes used in these formats:

  • d: day of month (one or two digits). Example: 9.
  • dd: day of month (two digits). Example: 09.
  • ddd: day of week. Example: Wed.
  • m: month (number, one or two digits). Example: 3.
  • mm: month (number, two digits). Example: 03.
  • mmm: month (abbreviated name). Example: Mar.
  • mmmm: month (full name). Example: March.
  • mmmmm: month (first letter). Example: M.
  • yyyy: year (four digits). Example: 1967.
  • yy: last two digits of year. Example: 67.
Some date formats also include time using the codes explained below. Examples of date formatting are shown in Table 5-2.

Time

This category contains various formats for presenting time of day. You can choose one of many possible time formats shown in the list in the right side of the dialog. The following is an explanation of codes used in these formats:

  • h: hours.
  • mm: minutes.
  • ss: seconds.
Sometimes it is necessary to display more than 24 hours, or more that 60 minutes/seconds without the values incrementing the display unit of the next larger measure (e.g., 25 hours instead of 1 day + 1 hour). To achieve this, use codes '[h]', '[mm]', and '[ss]'. Examples of time formatting are shown in Table 5-3.

Percentage

Multiplies a value by 100 and appends a percent. Can be used with 0-30 digits after the decimal place.

Fractions

Approximate the value with a rational number with either a specific denominator or with a maximum number of digits in the denominator.

Scientific

Formats the value using scientific notation, e.g. 5.334 E 6 for 5,334,000. Allows up to 30 digits after the decimal place. No provision for controlling the exponent are provided at this time.

Text

Treats numeric values as text. This will show a number with as much precision as available and will lose knowledge of whether it represented a date, or time.

TIP

If your workbook contains serial numbers, ID numbers or other similar entries, choose Text format for them. If you choose General or Number format, Gnumeric will remove leading zeros, so that 01124 will be shown as 1124.

Custom

This category allows you to define your own format. This is only recommended for advanced users as it requires understanding of the codes internally used by Gnumeric for describing formats. To make it easier, this category provides a list of codes for all predefined formats so you can create our own format by modifying one of them rather than starting from scratch.

Table 5-2Examples of Date Formats
Format Sample
General 36068.755
m/d/yy d/m/yy 9/30/98 30/9/98
m/d/yyyy d/m/yyyy 9/30/1998 30/9/1998
d-mmm-yy mmm-d-yy 30-Sep-98 Sep-30-98
d-mmm-yyyy mmm-d-yyyy 30-Sep-1998 Sep-30-1998
d-mmm mmm-d 30-Sep Sep-30
d-mm mm-d 30-09 09-30
mmm/d d/mmm Sep/30 30/Sep
mm/d d/mm 09/30 30/09
mm/dd/yy dd/mm/yy 09/30/98 30/09/98
mm/dd/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy 09/30/1998 30/09/1998
mmm/dd/yy dd/mmm/yy Sep/30/98 30/Sep/98
mmm/dd/yyyy dd/mmm/yyyy Sep/30/1998 30/Sep/1998
mmm/ddd/yy ddd/mmm/yy Sep/Wed/98 Wed/Sep/98
mmm/ddd/yyyy ddd/mmm/yyyy Sep/Wed/1998 Wed/Sep/1998
mm/ddd/yy ddd/mm/yy 09/Wed/98 Wed/09/98
mm/ddd/yyyy ddd/mm/yyyy 09/Wed/1998 Wed/09/1998
mmm-yy Sep-98
mmm-yyyy Sep-1998
mmmm-yy September-98
mmmm-yyyy September-1998
d/m/yy h:mm m/d/yy h:mm 9/30/98 18:07 30/9/98 187:07
d/m/yyyy h:mm m/d/yyyy h:mm 9/30/1998 18:07 30/9/1998 187:07
yyyy/mm/d 1998/09/30
yyyy/mmm/d 1998/Sep/30
yyyy/mm/dd 1998/09/30
yyyy/mmm/dd 1998/Sep/30
yyyy-mm-d 1998-09-30
yyyy-mmm-d 1998-Sep-3
yyyy-mm-dd 1998-09-30
yyyy-mmm-d 1998-Sep-30
yy 98
yyyy 1998
Table 5-3Examples of Time Formats
Format Sample
General 36068.755
h:mm AM/PM 6:07 PM
h:mm:ss AM/PM 6:07:12 PM
h:mm 18:07
h:mm:ss 18:07:12
m/d/yy h:mm 9/30/98 18:07
d/m/yy h:mm 30/9/98 18:07
mm:ss 07:12
[h]:mm:ss 865650:07:12
[h]:mm 865650:07
[mm]:ss 51939007:12
[ss] 3116340432

5.10.2. Alignment, Font, Border, and Background Tabs

5.10.2.1. Alignment Tab

This tab allows you to set horizontal and vertical alignment and justification options.

Figure 5-17Alignment Tab
Horizontal justification options.
General

The standard default justification. Use right justification for numbers and formulas, and left justification for text strings.

Left

Left justify all cell contents.

Center

Center all cell contents.

Right

Right justify all cell contents.

Fill

Fill the cell with the contents. This will repeat the cell's contents as necessary to fill the width of the cell.

Justify

For text, wrap long lines of text and left justify. For other formats, same as Left.

Center across selection

Centers the cell's contents so the middle of each line is aligned with the middle of other lines. This only works with multiple cells.

Left and Right justification options also allow you to specify indent from left (respectively, right) side of the cell. Indent is measured in multiples of the current font size: for font size 10, indent 4 means 40 pts.

Vertical Justification Options
Top

Align the top of the cells contents with the top of the cell.

Center

Center the cells contents vertically. Equally space between the top and bottom.

Bottom

Align the contents of the cell with the bottom of the cell.

Justify

For text, wrap long lines and spread lines of text evenly to fill the cell. For other formats (or if the text contains no long lines), same as Bottom justification.

5.10.2.2. Font Tab

This tab allows you to change the font used for cells content.

Figure 5-18The Font Tab
To change cells font, select font family (such as Times, Helvetica, etc), style (Normal, Bold, ...) and size in points. You can also select font color and special effects such as underlining or strikethrough.

Gnumeric allows you to use any of the fonts known to GNOME printing system, gnome-print. The same fonts are used for screen display and for printing, assuring that the printed document will look identical to the one you see on screen. Advanced users can refer to documentation for gnome-print package to find out more about adding fonts and font management in GNOME.

TIP

A quicker way to change the selected cells' font is to use Format Toolbar.

5.10.2.3. Border Tab

This tab allows you to choose the border for the selected cells. You can select one of many border styles (none, single line, double line,...) and colors. You can also have different borders on different sides of the cell.

Figure 5-19Border Tab
To choose a border for a cell or a selection, select border style and color in the right side of the tab and click on the buttons corresponding to the sides of the cells in the left side of the tab. In addition to the buttons for left, right, top, and bottom sides, you also have buttons for drawing diagonal and reverse diagonal of the cell. (Strictly speaking, these cannot be called borders, but it is natural to put them in this tab.) The lowest row of buttons contains buttons None and Outline. Clicking on None removes all borders from the cell; clicking on Outline puts border on all sides of the cell or selection.

Please note that for a selection of cells, the buttons will put borders on one of the sides of selection, not of individual cells. For example, clicking on Bottom button will put the border along the bottom of the selection, so only the cells in the bottom row will be affected. In addition for selections you have three more buttons in the bottom row: Inside vertical, Inside, and Inside horizontal. Inside vertical puts borders on all inside vertical borders in the selection; Inside horizontal puts borders on all inside horizontal borders in the selection, and Inside puts borders on all inside borders in the selection, both vertical and horizontal.

To remove an existing border from one of the sides of a cell or selection, click on the corresponding button again.

5.10.2.4. Background Tab

This tab allows you to change the background of selected cells. You can choose solid color or patterned background. A preview of the selected background will be shown in the right part of the tab.

Figure 5-20Background Tab

To select a solid color background, select the color from Background Color drop-down box. You can use of the standard colors or define your own color by clicking on Custom Color button.

To select a patterned background, choose the background color in Background Color section. After this, choose the pattern color and type in Pattern section. Please note that the pattern type buttons use black pattern on white background, regardless of the colors you have chosen.

To remove pattern, choose Solid pattern type (top left button, looking like a white square).

5.10.3. Protection and Validation Tabs

These two tabs are used to control user's access to cells and restrict values of data allowed in a cell. Unlike other formatting options, these two tabs have no effect on a cells appearance. These options are mostly used for writing templates and forms to be filled by others.

5.10.3.1. Protection Tab

Figure 5-21Protection Tab
This tab allows you to see and change cell protection in imported Excel workbooks. Cell protection has no effect in Gnumeric: you can edit cells whether or not they are marked as protected. However, Gnumeric keeps the protection setting of imported Excel workbooks. If you later save your workbook in Excel format, Gnumeric will save the protection information too. For more information about cell protection in Excel, please refer to Excel documentation.

5.10.3.2. Validation Tab

This tab allows you to set restrictions on allowed values of data in the cells. If you (or someone else) attempts to enter a data that does not meet the set criteria, a warning (or an error message, depending on the options set in this tab) will be shown.

Figure 5-22Validation Tab

This tab consists of two part. The first part, Criteria is used to set the criteria for the cell values. The second part, Error Alert, is used to choose the action when data entered does not meet the criteria.

To set the criteria for cell values, follow these steps:

  1. Choose the type of data contained in the cells, using the Allow drop-down list.

  2. Choose a condition that must be satisfied by the cells value, using Condition drop-down list. In these conditions, val stands for the cells value (for text, val stands for the length of text string) and min, max, and bound are constants that you need to specify.

  3. Enter the values of constants used in condition. For example, if you chose condition min<=val<=max , you need to enter values of constants min and max.

After specifying the criteria, you need to specify how Gnumeric should respond to incorrect cell value. You can choose one of four possible actions from Action drop-down list:

None

Accept invalid value without any warning. Equivalent to having no validation.

Stop

Do not accept the invalid value. Show the user an error message which you need to specify (see below).

Warning

Show the user a warning dialog, giving him a choice whether to accept or reject the invalid value. You need to specify the message to use in the warning dialog (see below).

Information

Accept invalid values but show the user a warning dialog. You need to specify the message to use in the warning dialog (see below).

If you choose one of the options Stop, Warning, or Information, you must enter the message that will be show to the user in the error or warning dialog. Otherwise, the dialog will be empty so it will be completely useless. You need to enter the title (which will be used as the window title for the dialog window) and the message itself. For example, the values shown in Section 5.10.3.2 ― Validation Tab will produce the dialog shown in Figure 5-23.

Figure 5-23Warning dialog in response to invalid input

5.11. Conditional Formatting of Cells

This section needs to be written.

5.12. Filtering Data

With data filters you can select a subset of rows in the worksheet that meet the given criteria. You can, for example, copy rows of a table containing sales of departments whose profit has been exceptionally high into a new sheet simply using a filter.

5.12.1. Auto Filters

This section has not yet been written.

  • Alt+Down Open the AutoFilter in the current cell.
  • Down and Up Changes the selected item in an AutoFilter
  • Home Select the first item [All] in an AutoFilter
  • End Select the last item in an AutoFilter
  • Enter or Alt+Up Apply the current entry in an AutoFilter list, and close the combo-box.

5.12.2. Advanced Filter

To use advanced filter, you should have a few blank rows available in your worksheet to be used as a criteria range. These rows should not overlap with the rows in the table to be filtered.

Now copy all the column labels from the table you want to filter into the first blank row in the criteria range. Below the criteria labels, you can now type the conditions you want to match for the particular label. For example, under a label `Profit' you could type `>=1000'. The tool selects only rows that match all the criteria.

Figure 5-24Worksheet containing the table to be filtered and a simple criteria

It is possible to have many conditions for a single label. For example, you can select the departments whose profit is either very high or very low. To do this, type, for example, `<=0' below the `>=40000' condition.

Figure 5-25Criteria for selecting rows whose `Profit' column is between 0 and 40000.

To start the tool, select ``Advanced Filter'' from the ``Data'' menu. It brings you the advanced filter dialog. In the dialog, select the action you want to take.

Figure 5-26The Advanced Filter dialog.

``Filter in-place'' writes the new table in-place. Note that you will loose all the rows in the table that will not match the criteria. ``Copy to a new location'' copies the selected rows into the same sheet but into the specified cell range. Type the cell range into the ``Copy to'' entry if you want this action to happen. The other options let you to copy the selected rows into a new sheet or a new workbook.

You should then specify the cell range containing the table to be filtered in the ``List range'' entry. The cell range containing the criteria is specified in the ``Criteria range'' entry. If the original table contains duplicate rows, you may also want to specify the ``Unique records only''. If it is checked on, the filter removes all duplicates.

To start the tool, you can then click the ``OK'' button and you will get the new table.

5.13. Modifying Data

This section has not yet been written...

5.13.1. Searching for Data

This section has not yet been written...

5.13.2. Searching and Replacing Data

This section has not yet been written...

5.13.3. Sorting Data

This section has not yet been written...

5.13.4. Shuffling Data

With data shuffling tool you can shuffle data in a given cell range. The tool can be started by selecting ``Shuffle'' menu item in ``Data'' menu. In order to use the tool give the input range in which the data to be shuffled is stored. The tool is able to shuffle the contents of the whole cell range, or, also shuffle data according to rows or columns. The shuffling method is selected under the ``Input Range'' entry. For example, if your data is grouped by rows then select ``Shuffle Method'' ``Rows''.

The default output method is to shuffle in-place. The shuffled data can also be written into a new sheet, new workbook, or into an existing sheet by giving the output range. If you select the ``Autofit Columns'' option, the width of each output column is automatically fixed according to the size of data in it.

5.14. Generating Data

This section has not yet been written...

...

5.14.1. Creating a Tabulation of Dependencies

This section has not yet been written...

5.14.2. Creating Multiple Repeats of Standard Data

This section has not yet been written...

5.14.3. Consolidating a Result from Several Source Regions

This section has not yet been written...

5.15. Comments in Cells

Each cell in a worksheet can have an associated comment. Comments are not ordinarily visible. Cells having associated comments are marked with a red triangle in the top right corner of the cell. If you move the mouse cursor over the red triangle, the cursor changes to the left-pointing arrow. If the cursor remains over the triangle long enough, a pop-up window appears, displaying the author's name and the text of the comment. The pop-up window is removed when the mouse cursor is moved off the red triangle.

To add a comment to a cell, first select the cell. Next choose Comment... from the Section 4.2.6 ― Insert Menu to open the New Cell Comment dialog. If the cell already has an associated comment, Gnumeric instead opens the Edit Cell Comment dialog, which is shown below. The only difference is that the Edit Cell Comment dialog is initialized with the existing comment and it includes a line identifying the author of the existing comment.

Figure 5-27The Insert Comment dialog.

To change the appearance of the comment text, select the text to be formatted, then click on one of the character attribute selectors above the comment text box. You can select italics, strike-through, character weight, and underlining. The italics and strike-through selectors toggle the character attributes, based on the first character of the selected text. For example, if the first character is italic, clicking on the italics selector removes the italic attribute from all characters of the selected text.

The arrows next to the weight and underlining selectors open menus from which you can select a weight or underline style. Selecting a weight or underline style applies it to the selected text and makes it the meaning of the associated selector. For example, if you select Light from the weight menu, the selected text is made light. If you subsequently click on the weight selector, the text selected at that time is also made light. The weights may not all be visibly different, depending on the font in use.

"Wrap in properties window" controls word wrap in the comment editing box just above it. By default, lines are broken at spaces between words to prevent a line from exceeding the width of the text box. Click on the check-box to toggle word wrap. Line breaks occur in the comment pop-up only where you place them explicitly by pressing Enter. Turning off word wrap lets you see how the comment will be displayed in the pop-up.

5.16. Hyperlinks

Each cell can have an associated hyperlink. A hyperlink permits the user of a spreadsheet to go directly to a particular cell or group of cells, to access another file on the local computer or on the web, or to send an email message to an address built into the link.

To add a hyperlink to one or more cells, first select the cells. Next choose Hyperlink... from the Section 4.2.6 ― Insert Menu to open the HyperLink dialog.

Figure 5-28The HyperLink dialog.

If the selection includes a hyperlink, the dialog is initialized from the existing link. If there is more than one hyperlink in the selection, the cell in the first row that has a hyperlink, and the first such column of that row, is used to initialize the dialog.

When you click on OK, the information in the dialog is attached to each cell in the selection, replacing any previously defined links. For any empty cells in the selection, the text of the link is set as the contents of the cell. For all cells in the selection, the cell format is modified to give the contents a distinctive color, and the text is underlined.

If the link location text box is empty when you click on OK, no hyperlink is created. Instead, if any cells in the selection have existing hyperlinks, those hyperlinks are removed. The distinctive format applied to links is not removed. For that reason it might be preferable to choose Clear ▶ Formats & Hyperlinks from the Section 4.2.4 ― Edit Menu to remove existing hyperlinks.

Gnumeric supports four types of hyperlink. The first element of the HyperLink dialog, the Type menu, selects the type of hyperlink to be created. The HyperLink dialog varies slightly, depending on the selected hyperlink type:

  • Internal Link: The second element of the dialog is a text box labeled "Target Range". You can enter a single range, with or without a worksheet name. To select the range from the worksheet, click on the button at the end of the "Target Range" line. This collapses the dialog to a single line and makes it possible to interact with the cell grid. Select the desired sheet tab, if necessary, then select the desired cells. When the selection is complete, click on the button at the end of the Target Range input box to open the full HyperLink dialog again.

    When an internal link is activated by clicking on the cell, the range of cells given by the link address becomes the current selection. The cell closest to A1 in the new selection becomes the active cell.

  • External Link: The second element of the dialog is a text box labeled "File". Enter the path to a file. You can also enter a Universal Resource Locator (URL) here; the URL is accessed as described for Web Link below.

    When an external link is activated by clicking on the cell, Gnumeric launches an application to present the file, based on its apparent type. For example, "mypic.jpg" would be opened in an image viewer, while "myinfo.html" would be opened in a web browser.

  • Email Link: The dialog provides text boxes where you can enter the destination address and subject line for an e-mail message.

    When an email link is activated by clicking on the cell, Gnumeric launches an e-mail client to send a message. The message is initialized with the destination address and subject specified in the dialog.

  • Web Link: Enter a Universal Resource Locator (URL) in the Web Address text box.

    When the link is activated by clicking on the cell, Gnumeric launches an application to display the information at the specified URL, based on its apparent type. For a web address beginning with "http://" or "https://" the application is the default web browser.

When you move the mouse pointer to a hyperlink in the cell grid, a tool tip appears. The default tip shows the link address and instructions for activating the link or selecting the cell. To define a tip specific to the link, select the radio button next to "Tip", then enter the tip text in the text box. If the link-specific tip is selected and left blank, no tip is displayed when the mouse pointer is on the link.

5.17. Defining Names

Names are labels with a meaning defined in the spreadsheet or by Gnumeric. Names can be defined for a whole workbook or for just a single worksheet. A name can refer to a numeric value, a string, a range of cells, or a formula. A name can be used wherever its meaning could otherwise be used.

A name is a sequence of letters, digits, and underscore characters, beginning with a letter or underscore. A name cannot look like a cell identifier. For example, "D7" is not a permitted name, while "D_7" and "_D7" are permitted.

To define a name or modify the definition of an existing name:

  • If you wish to define or modify a name for use within a single worksheet and it is not the current worksheet, click on the appropriate worksheet tab at the bottom of the Gnumeric window.
  • Open the Define Names dialog by choosing Modify ▶ Names from the Section 4.2.4 ― Edit Menu.
  • Use the dialog to modify the defined names as desired. When your changes are complete, click on Close to close the dialog.
Figure 5-29The Define Names dialog

The Define Names dialog lists the names defined in the workbook, organized into two or more groups corresponding to the workbook, the active sheet, and the inactive sheets, if any. When the dialog is opened, only the names defined for the workbook and the active sheet are visible; the definitions for any inactive sheets are collapsed into a single line for each, identified by the sheet name. The definitions for the workbook or a sheet can be exposed or hidden by clicking on the arrow at the left end of the workbook or sheet line.

The second column of the Define Names dialog can show one of three icons. To define a new name, click on the plus sign in the row for the workbook or the active worksheet. Names defined under a worksheet name are visible only on that worksheet. Names defined for the workbook are visible to any worksheet that does not have its own definition of the name. Names are created as "<new-name>", which must be changed before the definition can be used. Click on the new line to select it, then click on the name field and type the new name, followed by the Enter key. When you press Enter, the name is fixed. Only its value can then be changed.

If the second column shows a minus sign, the line is for a user-defined name. Click on the minus sign to delete the definition of the name. If the second column shows a padlock icon, the definition is created automatically and cannot be modified from this dialog.

For user-defined names, the third column of the Define Names dialog contains a downward- or upward-pointing arrow. Click on the arrow to move the definition down to the worksheet or up to the workbook. This operation is not permitted if the moved definition would replace a name already defined for the destination. To do such a replacement, first delete the name in the destination, then move the definition.

The last column of the dialog shows the value defined for the name. When a new name is created, this field is initialized with an absolute reference to the currently selected cells. To modify a definition, click on the value field and edit it as desired, then press the Enter key. To define a string value, enclose it in quotation marks, for example, 'string one' or "string two". To specify a range of cells, use absolute references. Relative references change in meaning depending on the cell where they are used, which is unlikely to produce your intended result. You can define a name as a cell or range of cells by clearing its existing definition, if any, and then selecting the desired cell or cells on the cell grid. You can switch worksheets prior to selecting cells. The dialog continues to modify names defined for the workbook or the worksheet that was displayed when the dialog was opened. A reference created by selection in the Define Names dialog includes the worksheet name and uses absolute cell coordinates. That is, a selection would look like "Sheet1!$A$1:$B$24".

Below the display of defined names is a filter box. If the workbook or sheet contains many defined names, you can see a subset of the names by typing a partial name in the filter box and pressing Enter. All names that do not contain the entered string are omitted from the display. Differences of case are ignored. For example, if “real” were entered in the filter box, names such as "Real_Value" and "Surreal" would be displayed. When you press Enter in the filter box, contexts that contain no matching names are automatically collapsed. You may later need to manually expand the workbook line, for example, if the filter string is changed. If the line for the workbook or a worksheet begins with a right-pointing arrow, it contains names that pass the filter. Clicking on the arrow will change it to a downward-pointing arrow and make the names visible. To see all the defined names, clear the filter by clicking on the button at the right end of the filter box.

In addition to the names defined by the user, Gnumeric has some pre-defined names for useful elements:

  • Sheet_Title: The name of the current sheet.
  • Print_Area: The range of cells set as the sheet's print area; undefined if print area is not set.

6. Advanced Analysis

This chapter explains many of the advanced analytic tools available in Gnumeric including linear algebra calculations, the goal seek tool, simulation analysis, and scenarios.

6.1. Advanced Analysis in Gnumeric

There are several kinds of analysis which can be performed using the Gnumeric spreadsheet. These include statistical analysis and linear programming methods. These are described in this chapter.

6.2. Analysis using Complex Numbers

Complex numbers can be used in Gnumeric but, because they are not fundamental types, all the analysis must be done with functions.

6.3. Goal Seek Tool

Use Goal Seek Tool to search for a value of a single model variable that yields a given desired value of another single variable. For example, you can use the Goal Seek to find the break-even value for sales (the break-even is the amount of sales whose marginal revenue just covers the fixed costs and the profit is thus zero).

6.3.1. Using the Tool

First, select the ``Goal Seek...'' tool item from ``Tools'' menu. Specify the output variable cell (``Set Cell'') by typing the cell reference into the entry or by clicking the worksheet cell. If you are searching for the break-even point, for example, you should specify the cell reference of the profit calculation here.

Specify the desired result for the output variable cell into the ``To Value'' cell. In the search for the break-even, specify this to be zero.

Specify the input variable cell (``By changing cell'') by typing the cell reference into the entry or by clicking the worksheet cell. In the search for the break-even, specify the cell reference of the sales here. When you have done this, you may want to press the ``Apply'' button to start the tool.

6.3.2. Results

Gnumeric will systematically iterate the model by changing the input value to achieve the desired result, if possible. If goal seek was successful the tool displays the message ``Goal Seeking with cell __ found a solution''.

It is possible that Gnumeric does not find a solution that generates the desired result. There may not be such a solution for the model, or, it may be too difficult to find. For example, the mathematical function behind the calculation may have many non-continuous points.

6.3.3. Desired Value in a Given Range

If Gnumeric did not find a solution that generates the desired result, you may want to try to specify a range (minimum and maximum) in which the value of the output variable should be. To do this, specify the ``Minimum'' and ``Maximum'' entries.

6.4. Simulation Analysis

6.4.1. Introduction to simulation analysis

A simulation is the imitation of the operation of a real-world process or system.  The behavior of a system is studied by generating an artificial history of the system through the use of random numbers.  These numbers are used in the context of a simulation model, which is the mathematical, logical and symbolic representation of the relationships between the objects of interest of the system.  After the model has been validated, the effects of changes in the environment on the system, or the effects of changes in the system on system performance can be predicted using the simulation model. 2

Gnumeric includes a facility for performing Monte Carlo Simulation.  Monte Carlo simulation involves the sampling of random numbers to solve a problem where the passage of time plays no substantive role. 3  In other words, each sample is not effected by prior samples.  This is in contrast to discrete event simulation or continuous simulation where the results from earlier in the simulation can effect successive samples within a simulation experiment.  The Monte Carlo simulation will be enabled through the use of the Random Number functions as described in ??? and the results presented along with statistics for use in analysis. 4

6.4.2. Setting up the simulation model

The remainder of this chapter will illustrate use of the simulation tool using an example from Banks et. al. 5  A classic inventory problem is the newsvendor problem.  A newsvendor buys papers for 33 cents each and sells for 50 cents.  Newspapers not sold are sold as scrap (recycled) for 5 cents.  Newspapers are purchased by the paper seller in bundles of 10.  Demand for newspapers can be categorized as “good,” “fair,” or “poor” with probability 0.35, 0.45 and 0.20 respectively, with each day's demand being independent of prior days.  The problem for the newsvendor is to determine the optimal number of papers to purchase when the day's demand is not yet known.

The daily profit equation for the newsvendor is:

Profit = [(Sale revenue) - (Cost) - (Scrap value)]

To set up the model, this example will use two tabs in Gnumeric, a tab labeled 'Profit' to calculate profit, and a tab labeled 'Demand Tables' to store the various tables needed to calculate the demand for any given sampling.

For the Profit tab, set up the profit tab as in Figure 6-1.

At the top of the Profit' tab, the Profit table will be entered .  There are three variables: Sale revenue, Cost and Scrap value, and they take the per unit coefficients of 0.5, 0.33 and 0.05 respectively.  Enter the coefficients in cells B13 through D13.  In cells B12 through D12, enter the equations for sale revenue, cost and Scrap value that are in the list below. In cell E12, enter the equation for Profit

Next, we add the values for the decision variable, which is the amount purchased, and the amount sold.  

  • B12: =B13*min(B16,B20)
  • C12: =C13*B16
  • D12: =D13*max(0,B16-B20)
  • E12: =B12-C12+D12
  • B13: 0.5
  • C13: 0.33
  • D13: 0.05
  • B16: 50
Figure 6-1Profit table for newsvendor example
Using SIMTABLE for parameter values.

Sometimes, there is a need to try a number of different values for a single parameter. In Section 6.4.5 ― Using SIMTABLE the SIMTABLE function will be used to automate the use of a set of values for a parameter such as purchase quantity.  For now, set the purchase quantity to 50 in cell C16.

Next, create the demand tables from which the demand will be generated.  In the tab 'Demand Tables' enter the values of the probability in cells B4 through B6 (B4: 0.35; B5: 0.45; B6: 0.2).  In cells C4, C5 and C6 enter the cumulative probability values (C4: 0.35; C5: 0.8; C6: 1) as shown in Figure 6-2.

  • B4: 0.35
  • B5: 0.45
  • B6: 0.2
  • C4: 0.35
  • C5: 0.8
  • C6: 1.0
Figure 6-2Probability distribution for type of newsday

The next table is the daily demand for newspapers based on the type of news day.  The table Distribution of Newspapers Demanded is in cells A11 through D18 of the Demand Tables worksheet as shown in Table 6-1 and contains the daily demand distribution values.  The cumulative distribution tables in cells A21 through G29, shown in Table 6-2 are derived values from the Distribution of Newspapers Demanded using values in the top Distribution of Newspapers demanded table.

Table 6-1Daily newspaper demand distribution table in Demand Tables worksheet
A B C D
11 Demand Good Fair Poor
12 40 0.03 0.1 0.44
13 50 0.05 0.18 0.22
14 60 0.15 0.4 0.16
15 70 0.2 0.2 0.16
16 80 0.35 0.08 0.06
17 90 0.15 0.04 0
18 100 0.07 0 0
Table 6-2Cumulative demand distribution table in Demand Tables worksheet
A B C D E F G
21 Cumulative Distribution Values
22 Demand Good Fair Poor Good Fair Poor
23 40 0.03 0.1 0.44 0 0 0
24 50 0.08 0.28 0.66 0.03 0.1 0.44
25 60 0.23 0.68 0.82 0.08 0.28 0.66
26 70 0.43 0.88 0.94 0.23 0.68 0.82
27 80 0.78 0.96 1 0.43 0.88 0.94
28 90 0.93 1 0.78 0.96 1
29 100 1 0.93 1

When these values are entered, the final results will look like Figure 6-3.

Figure 6-3Completed probability distribution tables in Demand Tables worksheet

Finally, back in the Profit tab, the demand data will be filled in through the use of references to the Demand Tables tab as shown in Figure 6-4.

In the following cells, enter the equations below in the 'Profit' tab:

  • B17: =rand()
  • C17: =if(B17<'Demand Tables'!C4,"Good",if(C19<'Demand Tables'!C5,"Fair","Poor"))
  • B18: =rand()
  • B20: =lookup($C17,$B23:$D23,$B24:$D24)
  • B21: =E12
  • B24: =lookup(Profit!$B18,'Demand Tables'!E23:E29,'Demand Tables'!$A23:$A29)
  • C24: =lookup(Profit!$B18,'Demand Tables'!F23:F29,'Demand Tables'!$A23:$A29)
  • D24: =lookup(Profit!$B18,'Demand Tables'!G23:G29,'Demand Tables'!$A23:$A29)
Figure 6-4Profit table for newsvendor example

When done, the Profit spreadsheet will be setup with a profit equation, decision variables, and random events as shown in Figure 6-4.  The rand() functions in cells C17 and C18 return a random value between 0 and 1, which are used by the lookup() functions in cells B20, B24, C24 and D24 to calculate a randomly determined daily demand.  Next, this sheet will be used for analysis through the use of simulation.

6.4.3. Running the simulation

To run the simulation, from the Gnumeric toolbar, select Tools → Simulation.  In the Risk Simulation dialog box that appears, the first tab is the Variables tab.  There are two entries in the Variables tab:  Input variables and Output variables (Figure 6-5).

Figure 6-5Variables tab in simulation dialog box

Input variables are the cells which hold the functions based on random numbers of the type described in Section A.14.  In this case, they are the cells B17 and B18 in the Profit worksheet, which hold the rand() function.  Later, when the quantity purchased is a parameter set by the SIMTABLE function, cell B16 which holds the purchase quantity will be added to the range of input variables.

Output variables are the results of interest, or the dependent variable.  In this case, the dependent variables are the demand and the profit, which are in cells B20 and B21.

The next tab is the Options tab .  There are four settings in the options as shown in Figure 6-6.

Figure 6-6Options tab in Simulation dialog box for newsvendor simulation example

The second pair of options are the number of iterations and the Max time.  In a simulation, each iteration is the equivalent of a sample.  A sample from a random distribution is taken for each of the input values (as specified in the Variables tab) and the resulting output value(s).  The more iterations, the better the estimate of the output value.  However, this also takes more time to run.  A Max time value is specified in seconds where the simulation will end without output if an individual simulation takes longer then the Max time allotted.  If this occurs (see Figure 6-7), the options are to either increase the Max time value, or decrease the number of iterations.  A more drastic option is to change the model so that fewer calculations or samples of random numbers need to be made.

Figure 6-7Maximum time for simulation exceeded message box

The next tab is the Summary.  There are two boxes in this tab, the Simulation Summary and the Summary of results (see Figure 6-8).  In simulation summary, there is a description of the simulation parameters.

Due to the random nature of the simulation, the output may vary between simulation runs).

Figure 6-8Summary tab for simulation tool
  • Simulations:  Number of rounds as determined in the Simulation Options box.
  • Iterations:  Number of iterations in a single simulation round.
  • # input variables:  Number of random numbers sampled for each iteration.
  • # output variables: Number of outputs recorded for simulation
  • Runtime: Runtime of simulations in seconds.
  • Run on: Date and time simulation was run.

In the summary of results window, there are summary statistics for each round of the simulation.  If multiple rounds were done, the results of each round can be browsed by using the 'Prev. Sim.' and 'Next Sim.' buttons below the Summary of results box.  For each output and input variable, the summary shows the Min,  Average and the Max value across the iterations for that round of the simulation.  Note that for the input variables, this shows the random number that is the average, max and min.  If the statistics on intermediate values, such as a cost distribution, was desired, these intermediate values should be added to the list of output variables.

The last tab is labeled 'Output'.  This tab identifies the location where the output table will be generated.  There are two sets of options, first the Output Placement then Output Formatting as shown in Figure 6-9.

Figure 6-9Output options tab for simulation

The default output placement is 'New sheet'.  This will create a new sheet in the Gnumeric workbook labeled 'Simulation Report (1)', where '1' can be replaced with another number if a tab labeled 'Simulation Report (1)' already exists.  The option 'New workbook' creates a Gnumeric workbook named 'Book2.gnumeric' with a tab labeled 'Simulation Report.'

The third option is to embed the output table into an existing worksheet.  This is done by specifying the 'Output range'.  Note that the output range must be large enough to include the entire table, including heading information.  For a single round this requires 11 rows and 16 columns.  For example, the range Profit!A24:P35 would contain the statistics for one round with the three input variables and two output variables.  As input and output variables change, or the number of rounds of the simulation change, the number of rows required will change.

For output formatting, their are four options.

  • 'Autofit columns' automatically makes each column long enough to include the largest entry in that column. Note that column 'A' in the resulting spreadsheet used to save run information such as date and time and is kept narrow.
  • 'Clear output range' is in effect if the Output Placement option chosen is Output range. It clears the selected cells in the spreadsheet before putting the output table in its place.
  • 'Retain output range formatting' retains formatting for cells such as number formatting.
  • 'Retain output range comments' retains comments that have been placed in output cells. This is most useful when the input and output variables remained the same.

6.4.4. Simulation output

The simulation output provides statistics on the output and input variables for each round.  The statistics are calculated over the iterations in a single round of the simulation.  These statistics for each variable are:

  • Variable type and name - input variables are labeled as '(Input)'.
  • Min – Minimum value of variable among iterations of round.
  • Mean – Arithmetic mean of variable among iterations of round.
  • Max – Maximum value of variable among all iterations of round.
  • Median – Median of variable among iterations of round.
  • Mode – Mode value among iterations of round.  For the input variable, this will be “#N/A”.
  • Std. Dev. - Standard deviation of the variable.
  • Variance – Second moment of variable.
  • Skewness -  Third moment of variable.
  • Kurtosis – Fourth moment of variable.
  • Range – Difference between min and max of variable among iterations of the round.
  • Count – Number of iterations in round.
  • Confidence (95%) - 95% confidence interval of value, centered on mean.
  • Lower Limit (95%) - Lower limit of 95% confidence interval of the value, centered on the mean.
  • Upper Limit (95%) - Upper limit of 95% confidence interval of the value, centered on the mean.
Figure 6-10Simulation output example

The output will include a heading, then a table for each round of the simulation.  Judicious choice of output variables will also include any intermediate values of interest in the simulation in this table.  Each row of the output table has statistics of the values of a variable over the iterations of the simulation as shown in Figure 6-10.

The output will be of the input variables and the output variables that were variables tab of the Simulation window .  For the input variables, the output will be the statistics of the random variable used in modeling the input variables.  For the output variables, the statistics will be of the output variable.  These statistics, in particular the standard deviation and confidence interval, should be examined to ensure the simulation was at a precision adequate for the purpose.  Some notes on how to use these statistics for refining the simulation design can be found in Section 6.4.6 ― Determining the number of iterations.

6.4.5. Using SIMTABLE

The SIMTABLE function is intended to change a variable in the simulation so that each round of the simulation can be used to evaluate a different scenario.  This automates the use of simulation for what-if questions or to create a set of possible outcomes to a situation.

In this example, we will use the SIMTABLE function to find the optimal quantity of newspapers to buy.  For the purchase quantity in our spreadsheet, we will replace '50' with the following formula in Profit!B16:

    Profit!B16 = SIMTABLE(50,60,70,80,90)
    

Each entry in the list of the SIMTABLE arguments is a value that will be used for the purchased quantity.  Each entry corresponds to one round of simulation, as used in Figure 6-6.  In this example there are 5 entries to the SIMTABLE list, so '5' will be entered into the 'Last Round #' option in the Options tab of the Simulation dialog.

Figure 6-11Simulation output example using SIMTABLE and several rounds

When this simulation is run with 5 rounds, the summary of results will have one entry for each round, with each round using a different entry from the SIMTABLE function for the purchase quantity. The results for the various rounds can be previewed using the 'Prev. Sim.' and 'Next Sim.' buttons.  The output also has one table for each round of the simulation.

As seen in Figure 6-11, each value in the original SIMTABLE statement corresponds to a simulation round, with the Purchase Quantity taking on the value from the SIMTABLE list.  The analyst can then record the Profit statistics (mean, variance, skewness, kurtosis, 95% confidence intervals) and determine if the simulation results are of sufficient resolution for the analysts purposes.

The use of SIMTABLE to change parameters within the simulation provides a convenient method to do what-if analysis, and analyze the results as a whole.

6.4.6. Determining the number of iterations

In simulation, one major question is how many iterations are needed to reach a chosen level of precision in the results.  Simulation as a tool provides an approximation of the actual relationship between the input and output variables.  The precision of the approximation is based on the number of iterations of the simulation done.   More iterations in the sample lead to greater precision.  But the relationship between iterations and precision depends on the relationship between the variables in the precision.  In addition, the analyst must decide which output variable is the variable of interest, and what degree of precision is required.  The next step is to determine a sufficiently large number of iterations R be used to satisfy:

Where Θ-hat is the estimate of the mean, Θ is the actual mean, ε is the specified error, and (1-α) is the probability that the estimate is within ε of the actual value (i.e. the (1-α) confidence interval). Common values of (1-α) are 95% and 99%. The Simulation Report from Gnumeric includes values for the 95% confidence interval as shown in Figure 6-10.

The general procedure is as follows:6

  1. Run simulation for a sample of R0 iterations. The default value in Gnumeric is 1000, set in the options tab of the Simulation menu, Figure 6-6.
  2. Take the sample variance S02 from the simulation output spreadsheet and determine the sample standard deviation S0 (see Figure 6-10).
  3. Using zα/2 as the z-value of the (1-(α/2)) percentile of the standard normal distribution, set the initial estimate of the number of iterations required as the smallest integer R such that
    Iterations required for simulation
    . Note that if R0 is small, it would be more appropriate to use the student's t-distribution of tα/2, R0 instead of zα/2 .

In this example, to estimate the profit to within ε=0.05 , first run the simulation with 1000 iterations and a purchase quantity of 50 results in the following

Mean Variance Confidence (95%)
Demand QUANTITY 59.19 152.4 0.64
Profit QUANTITY 7.85 2.51 0.08

Taking the variance of the table, and setting ε=0.05 and α=0.05 , lookup zα/2 from a standard normal table. zα/2=1.96 so we have

.

Therefore, the minimum number of iterations is 3857.  The simulation can then be re-run with 3857 iterations to create a 95% c.i for profit where ε <=0.05 In this example with 3857 iterations, we get the following Simulation Report table:

Mean Variance Confidence (95%)
Demand QUANTITY 59.11 163.9 0.34
Profit QUANTITY 7.72 2.88 0.04

As expected, the 95% Confidence interval for Profit is less than 0.05. For the newsvendor example, the next step would be to look at the confidence intervals of the profit for all values of purchase quantity, and verify that this confidence interval is adequate for the decision to be made.  

6.5. Analysis using scenarios

6.5.1. Adding new scenarios

6.5.2. Viewing and managing scenarios

7. The Solver

This chapter explains the linear programming solver available from within Gnumeric.

7.1. Solver

With Gnumeric Solver you can solve linear programs.

7.1.1. Introduction to Linear Programming

A linear program (LP) is a problem that can be expressed as linear functions. As you probably already know, a linear function is the one whose graph is always a straight line. Thus each variable of it appears in a separate term with its coefficient. There must be no products or quotients of these variables. In addition, the exponent of each term must be one. No logarithmic, exponential, trigonometric terms are allowed. Especially note that functions like ABS, IF, MAX, and MIN are not linear. Here are a few examples of linear functions:

    3x + y - 5z
    -3.23x + 0.33y
    -0.3x + 4y - 2z + 1.2m
    

The linear problem has a so called objective function which is to be minimized or maximized and constraints. The objective function is the one whose value we would like to optimize. Typically, this function could determine the profit generated by the expected sales of the given model (maximization problem), or, the cost of the production in the given environment (minimization problem). Anyway, on purely mathematical point of view, we could examine the following objective function:

    Maximize 2x + 3y - z
    

In linear programming the variables of this functions are not allowed to take any values (otherwise the maximum of any objective function would be infinity). The problem also has constraints. The constraints are a set of linear functions and a set of their right hand side values (RHS). For example, for the previously defined objective function we have the following constraints:

    x + y <= 5           (#1)
    3x - y + z <= 9      (#2)
    x + y >= 1           (#3)
    x + y + z = 4        (#4)
    x, y, z >= 0         (non-negativity assumption)
    

This constraint set consists of three inequality constraints (#1-#3) and one equality constraint (#4). Their RHS values are 5, 9, 1, and 4. In addition, we also have the non-negativity assumption. That is, all the variables (x, y, and z) have to take only positive numbers. The idea is to find the optimal values for the variables (x, y, and z) but also to satisfy all the given constraints.

7.1.2. Spreadsheet Modeling

To solve optimization problems with Gnumeric you have to type in the problem into a sheet. A recommended way to start with is to allocate a separate column in the spreadsheet for each decision variable (in the previous example the x, y, and z) and a separate row for each constraint (the constraints #1-#4). The coefficients of these variables should be placed into the cells corresponding to the allocated row and the column. It is also recommended that you label the rows and the columns to make the sheet much more readable. The sheet for our maximization problem would look like this:

Figure 7-1Linear programming example

As you can see, we have put the model variables into cells B3:D3. They are currently all zeros. The cell E4 contains the objective function definition. The easiest way to define it is to use SUMPRODUCT build-in function. Thus in our model, we have the formula `=SUMPRODUCT(B3:D3,B4:D4)' in E3.

The constraints are defined in rows seven to ten. Since the coefficients of these functions are in columns B, C and D we will get the total sum of each of the constraint using the formula `SUMPRODUCT(B$3:D$3,Bn:Dn)' where n is the row number of the constraint. For example, in E7 we have `=SUMPRODUCT(B$3:D$3,B7:D7)', in E8 `=SUMPRODUCT(B$3:D$3,B8:D8)' and so on. The right hand side (RHS) values of the constraints are typed into cells G7:G10.

7.1.3. Using Solver

7.1.3.1. Solver Parameters

Now it is time to select `Solver...' from the `Tools' menu. After you have done it, the following dialog will appear:

Figure 7-2The empty Solver dialog.

Since we have the objective function in E3 type this into the `Set Target Cell:' entry. We are about to maximize this function, thus the radio button `Max' should be pressed on. By default, the problem is assumed to be maximization problem. The input variables (x, y, and z) were in cells B3:D3 so type the cell range into the `By Changing Cells:' entry.

The model to be optimized is a linear model. Thus, we should check that the check button `Linear (LP/MILP)' is pressed on the page `Model'. Also make sure that the assume non-negative button is on, otherwise, the input variables can also take negative values. There is also a check button `Assume Integer (Discrete)' which adds an integer constraint for all the input variables. The integer optimization is described, however, later.

A few additional options can be set too. If you want to limit the number of iterations the optimization algorithm is allowed to take you can set the maximum number in the `Max iterations' entry box on page `Options'. Similarly, you can limit the maximum time the optimization is allowed to take in the `Max time' entry box. If either one of these settings is exceeded during the optimization, the optimization is interrupted and an error dialog is displayed.

Some models can be better solved if the model is scaled into another form before the actual optimization. Gnumeric solver supports automatic scaling which can be checked on by using the check button on the bottom of the dialog. Note that the automatic scaling does not change the model since before checking out the results the model is scaled back to its original form.

7.1.3.2. Solver Constraints

Now we can add the constraints. Select the `Constraints' page from the top of the dialog and the following page should appear.

Figure 7-3Add constraint dialog.

In this page, you can see all constraints that have been defined in the `Subject to the Constraints:' window. Since none has been defined, this window should be empty. Now type in the constraints (#1-#4) one by one.

When adding constraints, the three entry boxes in the bottom of the dialog are used. Put a cell name of the total left hand side (LHS) cell into the `Left Hand Side:' entry box. In our example, this would be E7 for the constraint #1, E8 for constraint #2, and so on. The combo entry in the middle defines the type of the constraint. It can be `≤', `=', `≥' ,`Int' or `Bool'. We will explain the `Int' and `Bool' constraints later. In this example, you should select `≤' for constraints #1-#2, `≥' for #3, and `=' for constraint #4. The last entry on the right takes the right hand side values of the constraints. For constraints #1-#4 they should be G7 (5), G8 (9), G9 (1), and G10 (4) in this order.

After typing a constraint press Add button, and you will be able to define the next one. When you have typed in all the constraints, the Solver dialog should look like this:

Figure 7-4The solver dialog

The order of the constraints does not matter. If you want to change or delete a constraint click it and then press `Change' or `Delete' button.

Note that you can also type ranges into the LHS and RHS entries. For example, you could have typed D7:D8 and G7:G8 instead of the two separate constraints.

If the constraints have now been typed in correctly, we should check what reports we want to produce.

7.1.3.3. Solver Reporting

Select the `Reports' page from the top of the dialog and you will see a checkbox named `Program'. This report gives the model in its mathematical form. Program report is useful for checking out the correctness of the model. It can also be useful for educational purposes.

7.1.3.4. Optimization

After you have specified the parameters, the constraints and the reporting options it is time to press the Solve button. If everything went ok, you will see a dialog saying: `Solver found an optimal solution. All constraints and optimality conditions are satisfied.'. This means that the solver found an optimal solution and the optimal values are now stored into the input variables. For all models, this, however, does not happen.

If a feasible solution cannot be found, the solver reports that `A feasible solution could not be found. All specified constraints cannot be met simultaneously.'.

If the model is unbounded, the solver reports that `The Target Cell value specified does not converge! The program is unbounded.'.

If the maximum number of iterations specified in the options was exceeded, the solver reports that `The maximum number of iterations exceeded. The optimal value could not be found.'.

If the maximum time specified in the options was exceeded, the solver reports that `The maximum time exceeded. The optimal value could not be found in given time.'.

7.1.4. Integer Programming

You can use the Solver tool also for integer programming (IP) and more generally mixed integer programming. In integer programming some of the decision variables are required to take on integer values. To do so, just add a constraint whose type is `Int'.

8. Statistical Analysis

This chapter explains the various statistical analysis tools available within Gnumeric including tools to create descriptive statistics, as well as parametric and non-parametric hypotheses tests.

Gnumeric includes various tools for statistical data analysis and data sampling. To use these tools select them from the Statistics menu and its submenus. The tools are described below. In this description as well as in the Statistics menu these tools are classified into six categories.

Figure 8-1Statistical Analysis Tools

8.1. Overview

All tools have the same output options (see Figure 8-2). The results can be printed into a new sheet, into a new workbook, or into a given output range on a sheet of the current workbook. To select the output method select one of the radio buttons inside the Output frame. If you have chosen Output Range you must also enter a single range in the entry field.

Select the Autofit Columns option to automatically adjust the widths of the columns in the output range.

You will normally want to select the Clear Output Range option, since otherwise some of the cells with existing content will remain in the output range.

The Retain Output Range Formatting and Retain Output Range Comments options are useful if you have already preformatted the output range.

All analysis tools also provide a choice whether they will enter formulæ or just values in the cells. By default Gnumeric will usually enter formulæ. These formulæ will automatically reevaluate when the data change. For some tools, the formulæ also permit modification of certain parameters.

If the chosen output range is too small, some of the results will be lost.

The old data in the output range is deleted and cannot be recovered.

Figure 8-2Common output options of the data analysis tools

To enter a range into an entry field, you can either type the range specification into the text field, or click in the text field and then select the range on the sheet (see Figure 8-3).

Figure 8-3Specifying Ranges

Some entry fields accept lists of ranges. To enter these lists, select one range, type a comma, and then select the next range. At any time, you may switch to another sheet of the workbook.

8.2. Descriptive Statistics

8.2.1. Correlation Tool

Figure 8-4Correlation Tool Dialog

The correlation tool calculates the pairwise Pearson correlation coefficients of the given variables. Use this tool to calculate any number of correlation coefficients at the same time. The variables for which the correlations are calculated are specified by the Input Range: entry. The input range can consist of either a single range or a comma separated list of ranges. The given range or ranges can be grouped by columns, by rows, or by areas.

If the first row or column of the given ranges, or the first field of each area contains labels, the Labels option should be selected.

Figure 8-5Some Example Data
Example 8-1Using the Correlation Tool

For example, you want to calculate the correlation between three variables, one each in columns A, B, and C. Both variables have 10 values in rows 2 to 11 with labels in row 1 (see Figure 8-5).

  1. Enter A1:B11 in the Input Range: entry by typing this directly into the entry or clicking in the entry field and then selecting that range on the sheet. In the latter case the entry will also contain the sheet name.
  2. Select the Columns radio button next to Grouped By:, since each variable is in its own column.
  3. Select the Labels option since the first row contains labels. (see Figure 8-6).
  4. Specify the output options as described above.
  5. Press the OK button.

The calculated correlations are given in a table with each column and row labeled with the names of the variables. If the names are not given in the input range, Gnumeric generates them. In our example, the correlation between the variables in column A and B, can be found in the second column and third row of the results table (see Figure 8-7).

Figure 8-6Completed Correlation Dialog
Figure 8-7Correlation Tool Output

8.2.2. Covariance Tool

Figure 8-8Covariance Tool Dialog

The covariance tool calculates the pairwise covariance coefficients of the given variables. Use this tool to calculate any number of covariance coefficients at the same time. The variables for which the covariances are calculated are specified by the Input Range: entry. The input range can consist of either a single range or a comma separated list of ranges. The given range or ranges can be grouped by columns, by rows, or by areas.

If the first row or column of the given ranges, or the first field of each area contains labels, the Labels option should be selected.

Figure 8-9Some Example Data
Example 8-2Using The Covariance Tool

For example, you want to calculate the covariance between three variables, one each in columns A, B, and C. Both variables have 10 values in rows 2 to 11 with labels in row 1 (see Figure 8-9).

  1. Enter A1:B11 in the Input Range: entry by typing this directly into the entry or clicking in the entry field and then selecting that range on the sheet. In the latter case the entry will also contain the sheet name.
  2. Select the Columns radio button next to Grouped By:, since each variable is in its own column.
  3. Select the Labels option since the first row contains labels.
  4. Specify the output options as described above.
  5. Press the OK button.

The calculated covariances are given in a table with each column and row labeled with the names of the variables. If the names are not given in the input range, Gnumeric generates them. In our example, the covariance between the variables in column A and B, can be found in the second column and third row of the results table (see Figure 8-10).

Figure 8-10Covariance Tool Output

8.2.3. Descriptive Statistics Tool

Figure 8-11Descriptive Statistics Tool Dialog

The descriptive statistics tool calculates various statistics for the given variables and a confidence interval for the population mean. The variables are specified via the Input Range: entry. The given range or list of ranges can be grouped into variables by columns, rows, or areas.

This tool can produce four different kinds of statistical data.

  • If the Summary Statistics option is selected, this tool calculates the mean, standard error, median, mode, standard deviation, sample variance, kurtosis, skewness, range, minimum, maximum, sum, and count for each variable.

  • If the Confidence Interval for the Mean option is selected, the tool calculates confidence intervals for the population mean of each variable. Specify the confidence level in the entry box. The default confidence level is 95%.

    The interval given will usually be wider than the interval obtained using the CONFIDENCE function. The CONFIDENCE function assumes that the population standard deviation is known. This tool estimates the population standard deviation using the sample standard deviation.

  • If the Kth Largest: option is selected, the tool finds the kth largest value of each of the variables. Specify k in the entry box next to the option. The default is 1.

  • If the Kth Smallest: option is selected, the tool finds the kth smallest value of each of the variables. Specify k in the entry box next to the option. The default is 1.

If the first entry for each variable contains the label, select the Labels option.

Figure 8-12Some Example Data
Example 8-3Using the Descriptive Statistics Tool

Figure 8-12 shows some example data, Figure 8-13 the selected options, and Figure 8-14 the corresponding output.

Figure 8-13The Options Page For Descriptive Statistics
Figure 8-14Descriptive Statistics Tool Output

8.2.4. Frequency Tables

Gnumeric provides two types of frequencies tables:

  • The frequency table tools is primarily useful for non-numeric data (data of nominal and ordinal level of measurement). It allows to determine frequencies for given values.
  • The histogram tool is useful for numeric data that is supposed to be classified into a certain number of intervals. These intervals can be either specified or calculated.
8.2.4.1. Frequency Tables Tool
8.2.4.1.1. Introduction

The frequency tool can be used to create frequency tables for non-numerical data. It presents this table numerically as well as graphically.

If your data are numeric and you want to accumulate whole intervals of values into frequency counts then this tool is not appropriate. In that case you may want to use the histogram table tool described in section Section 8.2.4.2 ― Histogram Tool.

Figure 8-15Frequency Tool Dialog

As shown in Figure 8-15, the frequency table dialog has four tabs. We will introduce them in sequence.

8.2.4.1.2. The Input Tab

The Input tab shown in Figure 8-15 contains the field specifying the data to be used for the histogram.

The Input Range entry contains a single range or a list of ranges, that can be grouped into variables by rows, columns, or areas.

If the first row or column of the given input ranges, or the first field of each area contains labels, the Labels option should be selected. If the input is grouped by areas and the top left cell contains a label, the other cells in the first row are being ignored.

8.2.4.1.3. The Categories Tab

The Categories tab permits the specification of a range that contains the possible values that are supposed to be counted in the input range.

The Automatic categories option is disabled since it is not yet implemented.

Figure 8-16Frequency Tool Dialog Categories Tab
8.2.4.1.4. The Graphs & Options Tab

The Graphs & Options tab allows various options to be set. In the top half of the tab you can choose whether you would like a graph to be created. If you choose to have a graph created you can specify whether you would like to see a bar chart or a column chart.

In the bottom part of the tab you can select the percentages option. This option replaces the frequency counts with percentages.

If the categories range contains repeated values, then the percentages may add up to more than 100%. If the categories range does not contain all values that occur in the input range, the percentages may sum to less than 100%.

The Use exact comparisons checkbox determines how category values and input range values are compared. If it is checked then the function EXACT is used for the comparison. If it isn't checked then simple equality is used. In this latter case, empty cells and cells containing the numerical value 0 are considered equal. As a consequence you usually want that checkbox to be selected.

Figure 8-17Frequency Tool Dialog Graphs & Options Tab
8.2.4.1.5. Frequency Tool Results
Figure 8-18Frequency Tool Results
8.2.4.2. Histogram Tool
8.2.4.2.1. Introduction

The histogram tool can be used to create histograms or frequency tables for numerical data. Using this tool you can define intervals, or “bins”. The tool determines how many data points belong to each bin and presents this number numerically as well as graphically.

If your data are non-numeric this tool is not appropriate. In that case you may want to use the frequency table tool described in section Section 8.2.4.1 ― Frequency Tables Tool.

Figure 8-19Histogram Tool Dialog

As shown in Figure 8-19, the histogram dialog has five tabs. We will introduce them in sequence.

8.2.4.2.2. The Input Tab

The Input tab shown in Figure 8-19 contains the field specifying the data to be used for the histogram.

The Input Range entry contains a single range or a list of ranges, that can be grouped into variables by rows, columns, or areas.

If the first row or column of the given input ranges, or the first field of each area contains labels, the Labels option should be selected. If the input is grouped by areas and the top left cell contains a label, the other cells in the first row are being ignored.

8.2.4.2.3. The Cutoffs Tab
Figure 8-20Histogram Tool Dialog Cutoffs Tab

The cutoffs for the histogram can either be predetermined by data contained in your workbook or calculated by the histogram tool. These cutoffs determine bins as defined by the selection on the Bins tab.

Select the Predetermined Cutoffs option to specify data on your worksheet in the Cutoff Range: entry. The values in this range will be used as cutoffs c1, c2, and so on to cn.

Select the Calculated Cutoffs option to have the cutoffs determined by the tool. Enter the desired number of cutoffs in the Number of Cutoffs entry. It is strongly recommended (but optional) that you specify the minimum and maximum cutoffs in the Minimum cutoff and Maximum cutoff entries. If the minimum or maximum cutoff is not specified, the tool will use the minimum and/or maximum of the current data.

8.2.4.2.4. The Bins Tab
Figure 8-21Histogram Tool Dialog Bins Tab

The bins tab is used to determine how the cutoffs c1, c2, and so on to cn are translated into bins. Specifically, it has to be determined whether first and/or last bins reaching from −∞ to c1 and from cn to ∞ are added and whether data points that much cutoffs exactly are included in the bin to the right or the left.

For example the option [∙,∙),[∙,∙),⋯, [∙,∙),[∙,∞) indicates that the first bin starts at the first cutoff while the last bin ends at ∞. Moreover, each cutoff value belongs to the bin on its right.

8.2.4.2.5. The Graphs & Options Tab
Figure 8-22Histogram Tool Dialog Graphs & Options Tab

The options in the graphs and options tab specify any graph to be created and modify the appearance of the histogram:

  • The No chart option causes the chart to be omitted.

  • The Bar chart option causes a bar chart to be added to the histogram. For each bin, the bar chart shows a horizontal bar indicating the frequency.

    The Column chart option causes a column chart to be added to the histogram. For each bin, the column chart shows a vertical bar indicating the frequency.

    The Histogram chart option causes a histogram chart to be added to the histogram. For each bin, the histogram chart shows a vertical bar indicating the density (that is the frequency divided by the width of the bin).

  • The Percentages option causes the frequencies to be expressed as percentages.

  • The Cumulative answers option causes a cumulative frequency table (either with counts or with pecentages) to be created.

  • The Count numbers only option determines whether only numbers are counted. If also non-numbers are counted they are first converted into numbers, usually into 0.

8.2.4.2.6. The Output Tab

The Output tab contains the standard output options and fields described in Section 8.1 ― Overview.

8.2.4.2.7. A Histogram Example
Figure 8-23Some Example Data
Example 8-4Using the Histogram Tool

For example, you want to calculate a histogram for the number of successes in several sequences of trials. The numbers of successes are recorded in column A and the cutoffs of interest in column C (see Figure 8-23).

  1. Enter A1:A31 in the Input Range: entry of the Input tab by typing this directly into the entry or clicking in the entry field and then selecting that range on the sheet. In the latter case the entry may also contain the sheet name.
  2. Since you only have one variable select the Areas or Columns radio button next to Grouped By:.
  3. Select the Labels option since the first cell of the Input Range contains a label.
  4. Enter C2:C5 in the Cutoff Range: entry of the Cutoffs tab. The Predetermined Cutoffs option will now also be selected (see Figure 8-24).
  5. In the Bins tab select the second option since we want to add two bins reaching to ∓∞ and we want to count each cutoff value in the bin to its right (see Figure 8-25).
  6. Select the Percentage option of the Graphs &Options tab to have the frequencies expressed as percentages.
  7. Select the Column Chart option of the Graphs &Options tab to have a column chart added to the histogram (see Figure 8-26).
  8. In the Output tab, specify the output options as described in Section 8.1 ― Overview.
  9. Press the OK button.

The results are shown in Figure 8-27. Note that the graph will by default appear on top of the histogram table. It usually needs to be moved in to proper position. That has already been done here.

Figure 8-24Histogram Tool: Specifying Cutoffs
Figure 8-25Histogram Tool: Specifying Bins
Figure 8-26Histogram Tool: Specifying Options
Figure 8-27Histogram Tool Output

8.2.5. Rank and Percentile Tool

Figure 8-28Rank and Percentile Tool Dialog

Use this tool to rank given data and to calculate the percentiles of each data point.

Specify the datasets to use in the Input Range: entry. The given range can be grouped into datasets by columns, by rows, or by areas.

For each dataset, the tool creates three columns in the output table:

  1. The first column gives the indices of the ordered data from largest to smallest data value.
  2. The second column gives data values corresponding to the indices in the first column.
  3. The third column indicates the percentile of the data value in the second column.

If you have labels in the first cell of each data set, select the Labels option.

Figure 8-29Some Example Data for the Rank and Percentile Tool
Example 8-5Using the Rank and Percentile Tool

Figure 8-29 shows some example data and Figure 8-30 the corresponding output.

Figure 8-30Rank and Percentile Tool Output

In the case of ties, the rank calculated by this tool differs from the value of the RANK function for the same data. This tool calculates the rank as it is normally used in Statistics: If two values are tied, the assigned rank is the average rank for those entries. For example in Figure 8-29 the two values 10 are the second and third largest values. Since they are equal each receives the rank of 2.5, the average of 2 and 3. The rank function on the other hand assigns the rank as it is normally used to determine placements. The two values 10 would therefore each receive a rank of 2.

8.3. Sampling Tool

Figure 8-31Sampling Tool Dialog

Use the sampling tool to take a sample of a data set. This tool can take both a random sample of a given size or a periodic sample:

random sample

A random sample is a subset of the population such that every subset of that size has the same chance of being picked.

periodic sample

In a periodic sample every kth element in the population is selected.

To use this tool, first specify the data set or data sets by setting the Input Range: entry. The range or ranges given can be grouped into datasets by rows, by columns, or by areas.

If the first entry in each data set contains a variable, select the Labels option.

Select the sampling method which can be either periodic or random.

random sample

Specify the size of the random sample in the Size of Sample: entry.

periodic sample

Specify the period in the Period: entry.

Specify the number of samples you would like to obtain in the Number of Samples: entry.

Since the period uniquely determines a periodic sample, if you specify that you would like 2 samples you will be given the identical sample twice.

If the dataset for a periodic sample is a two dimensional range, Gnumeric will enumerate the data points by row first.

Figure 8-32Some Example Data for the Sampling Tool
Example 8-6Using the Sampling Tool

Figure 8-32 shows some example data and Figure 8-33 the corresponding output.

Figure 8-33Sampling Tool Output

8.4. Dependent Observations

8.4.1. Forecast Tools

8.4.1.1. Exponential Smoothing Tool
Figure 8-34Exponential Smoothing Tool Dialog

The Exponential Smoothing tool performs the exponential smoothing for the given set or sets of values. It provides the choice of 5 different exponential smoothing methods:

  • Simple exponential smoothing according to (Hunter, 1968).
  • Simple exponential smoothing according to (Roberts, 1959).
  • Holt's trend corrected exponential smoothing (occasionally also referred to as double exponential smoothing)
  • Additive Holt-Winters exponential smoothing
  • Multiplicative Holt-Winters exponential smoothing (occasionally also referred to as triple exponential smoothing)

Since the kind of options available depend on the type of exponential smoothing desired, you can choose the type on the Input page.

8.4.1.1.1. Common Options of the Exponential Smoothing Tool

Specify the cells containing the datasets in the Input Range entry. The entered range or ranges are grouped into datasets either by rows or by columns.

If you have labels in the first cell of each data set, select the Labels option.

If you select the Include chart option, Gnumeric will also create a chart showing both the data and corresponding smoothed values.

8.4.1.1.2. Exponential Smoothing According to Hunter

Each value in the smoothed set is predicted based on the forecast for the prior period. The formula is given in Figure 8-35. α is the value given as Damping factor. yt is the tth value in the original data set and lt the corresponding smoothed value.

Figure 8-35Exponential Smoothing Formula According To Hunter

For example, a value for α between 0.2 and 0.3 represents 20 to 30 percent error adjustment in the prior forecast.

If you choose to have the tool enter formulæ rather than values into the output region, then you can modify the damping factor α even after you executed the tool.

To have the standard errors output as well, check the Standard error check box. The formula used is given in Figure 8-36. The denominator can be adjusted by selecting the appropriate radio button. Since there are t−1 terms in the sum of the denominator, selecting n−1 means that the denominator will be t−2.

Figure 8-36The Standard Error Formula For Exponential Smoothing According To Hunter

If you check the Include chart check box, a line graph showing the observations yt and the predicted values lt will also be created.

Example 8-7Using the Exponential Smoothing Tool

Figure 8-37 shows some example data, Figure 8-38 the selected options and Figure 8-39 the corresponding output.

Figure 8-37Some Example Data for the Exponential Smoothing Tool
Figure 8-38The Options for the Exponential Smoothing Tool
Figure 8-39Exponential Smoothing Tool Output (Hunter)
8.4.1.1.3. Exponential Smoothing According to Roberts

The simple exponential smoothing method according to Roberts is used for forecasting a time series without a trend or seasonal pattern, but for which the level is nevertheless slowly changing over time. The predicted values are calculated according to the formula given in Figure 8-40. α is the value given as Damping factor. yt is the tth value in the original data set and lt the predicted value. l0 is the predicted value at time 0 and must be estimated. This tool uses the average value of the first 5 observations as estimate.

If you choose to have the tool enter formulæ rather than values into the output region, then you can modify the damping factor α and the estimated value at time 0 after executing the tool.

Figure 8-40Exponential Smoothing Formula According To Roberts

To have the standard errors output as well, check the Standard error check box. The formula used is given in Figure 8-41. The denominator can be adjusted by selecting the appropriate radio button.

Figure 8-41The Standard Error Formula For Exponential Smoothing According To Roberts

If you check the Include chart check box, a line graph showing the observations yt and the predicted values lt will also be created.

Example 8-8Using the Exponential Smoothing Tool

Figure 8-42 shows example output for the exponential smoothing tool using the formula according to Roberts. Cell A4 contains the estimated level at time 0. If you requested to have formulæ rather than values entered into the sheet, then changing the estimate in A4 and/or the value for α in A2 will result in an immediate change to the predicted values.

Figure 8-42Exponential Smoothing Tool Output (Roberts)
8.4.1.1.4. Holt's Trend Corrected Exponential Smoothing

Holt's trend corrected exponential smoothing is appropriate when both the level and the growth rate of a time series are changing. (If the time series has a fixed growth rate and therefore exhibits a linear trend, a linear regression model is more appropriate.)

yt is the true value at time t, lt is the estimated level at time t and bt is the estimated growth rate at time t. We use the two smoothing equations given in Figure 8-43 to update our estimates. α is the value given as Damping factor and γ is the value given as Growth damping factor.

This tool obtains initial (time 0) estimates for the level and growth rate by performing a linear regression using the first 5 data values.

Figure 8-43Formulae Of Holt's Trend Corrected Exponential Smoothing

If you choose to have the tool enter formulæ rather than values into the output region, then you can modify the damping factors α and γ as well as the estimated level and growth rate at time 0 after executing the tool.

To have the standard errors output as well, check the Standard error check box. The formula used is given in Figure 8-44. The denominator can be adjusted by selecting the appropriate radio button.

Figure 8-44The Standard Error Formula For Holt's Trend Corrected Exponential Smoothing

If you check the Include chart check box, a line graph showing the observations yt and the estimated level values lt will also be created.

Example 8-9Using the Exponential Smoothing Tool

Figure 8-45 shows example output for Holt's trend corrected exponential smoothing. Cell A4 contains the estimated level at time 0 and B4 the estimated growth rate at time 0. If you requested to have formulæ rather than values entered into the sheet, then changing the estimates in A4, B4, the values for α in A2 and/or for γ in B2 will result in an immediate change to the predicted values.

Figure 8-45Exponential Smoothing Tool Output (Holt's)
8.4.1.1.5. Additive Holt-Winters Method

The additive Holt-Winters method of exponential smoothing is appropriate when a time series with a linear trend has an additive seasonal pattern for which the level, the growth rate and the seasonal pattern may be changing. An additive seasonal pattern is a pattern in which the seasonal variation can be explained by the addition of a seasonal constant (although we allow for this constant to change slowly.)

yt is the true value at time t, lt is the estimated level at time t, bt is the estimated growth rate at time t and st is the estimated seasonal adjustment for time t. We use the three smoothing equations given in Figure 8-46 to update our estimates. α is the value given as Damping factor, γ is the value given as Growth damping factor and δ is the value given as Seasonal damping factor. L is the value given as Seasonal period. If your data consist of monthly values, then L should be 12, if it consist of quarterly values then L should be 4.

This tool obtains initial (time 0) estimates for the level and growth rate by performing a linear regression using all data values. It obtains estimates for the seasonal adjustments by averaging the appropriate seasonal differences from values predicted by linear regression alone.

Figure 8-46Exponential Smoothing Formulae Of The Additive Holt-Winters Method

If you choose to have the tool enter formulæ rather than values into the output region, then you can modify the damping factors α, γ and δ as well as all estimates after executing the tool.

To have the standard errors output as well, check the Standard error check box. The formula used is given in Figure 8-47. The denominator can be adjusted by selecting the appropriate radio button.

Figure 8-47The Standard Error Formula Of The Additive Holt-Winters Method

If you check the Include chart check box, a line graph showing the observations yt and the estimated level values lt will also be created.

Example 8-10Using the Exponential Smoothing Tool

Figure 8-48 shows the options' tab of the exponential smoothing tool for the additive Holt-Winters method. The data is expected to have a seasonal period of 4 (this would for example happen if we have a data value for each quarter of a year). Figure 8-49 shows the corresponding example output for the additive Holt-Winters method. Cell C7 contains the estimated level at time 0, D7 the estimated growth rate at time 0, and E4 to E7 the initial seasonal adjustments for each of the 4 seasons preceding our data time period. If you requested to have formulæ rather than values entered into the sheet, then changing any of these estimates, the values for α in A2, for γ in B2 and/or for δ in C2 will result in an immediate change to the estimated values.

Figure 8-48Exponential Smoothing Tool Options (Additive Holt-Winters))
Figure 8-49Exponential Smoothing Tool Output (Additive Holt-Winters)
8.4.1.1.6. Multiplicative Holt-Winters Method

The multiplicative Holt-Winters method of exponential smoothing is appropriate when a time series with a linear trend has a multiplicative seasonal pattern for which the level, the growth rate and the seasonal pattern may be changing. A multiplicative seasonal pattern is a pattern in which the seasonal variation can be explained by the multiplication of a seasonal constant (although we allow for this constant to change slowly.)

yt is the true value at time t, lt is the estimated level at time t, bt is the estimated growth rate at time t and st is the estimated seasonal adjustment for time t. We use the three smoothing equations given in Figure 8-50 to update our estimates. α is the value given as Damping factor, γ is the value given as Growth damping factor and δ is the value given as Seasonal damping factor. L is the value given as Seasonal period. If your data consist of monthly values, then L should be 12, if it consist of quarterly values then L should be 4.

This tool obtains initial (time 0) estimates for the level and growth rate by performing a linear regression using the data values of the first 4 seasonal periods. It obtains estimates for the seasonal adjustments by averaging the appropriate seasonal differences from values predicted by linear regression alone during the first 4 seasonal periods.

Figure 8-50Exponential Smoothing Formulae Of The Multiplicative Holt-Winters Method

If you choose to have the tool enter formulæ rather than values into the output region, then you can modify the damping factors α, γ and δ as well as all estimates after executing the tool.

To have the standard errors output as well, check the Standard error check box. The formula used is given in Figure 8-51. The denominator can be adjusted by selecting the appropriate radio button.

Figure 8-51The Standard Error Formula Of The Multiplicative Holt-Winters Method

If you check the Include chart check box, a line graph showing the observations yt and the estimated level values lt will also be created.

Example 8-11Using the Exponential Smoothing Tool

Figure 8-52 shows the example output for the multiplicative Holt-Winters method, assuming 4 seasons. Cell C7 contains the estimated level at time 0, D7 the estimated growth rate at time 0, and E4 to E7 the initial seasonal adjustments for each of the 4 seasons preceding our data time period. If you requested to have formulæ rather than values entered into the sheet, then changing any of these estimates, the values for α in A2, for γ in B2 and/or for δ in C2 will result in an immediate change to the estimated values.

Figure 8-52Exponential Smoothing Tool Output (Multiplicative Holt-Winters)
8.4.1.2. Moving Average Tool
Figure 8-53Moving Average Tool Dialog

Use the moving average tool to calculate moving averages of one or more data sets. A moving average provides useful trend information of the data that is lost in a simple average. In addition, moving averages can be used to eliminate random variance. For example, use this tool to create a smoother curve of a stock prize.

Specify the cells containing the datasets in the Input Range entry. The entered range or ranges are grouped into datasets either by rows or by columns.

If you have labels in the first cell of each data set, select the Labels option.

Choose the type of moving average you would like to calculate. The tool can determine 4 types of moving averages:

  1. Simple moving average
  2. Cumulative moving average
  3. Weighted moving average
  4. Spencer's 15 point moving average
Figure 8-54 Moving Average Tool Dialog: The Options Tab

Specify the Interval for the moving average. The interval i is the number of consecutive values to be included in each moving average. This options is only available for the simple and weighted moving averages.

Check the Standard errors checkbox if you would also like the standard error to be calculated. Since there is no general agreement on the denominator for the standard error you can choose the appropriate radio button.

In the case of the simple moving average, you can also choose between a prior moving average and a central moving average, or you may even specify any other desired offset.

  1. Prior moving average: Each average takes into account the current observation and the most recent prior observations for a total of i observations.
  2. Central moving average with i being odd: Each average takes into account the current observation and the same number of most recent prior observations and closest future observations for a total of i observations.
  3. Central moving average with i being even: This is calculated according to the formula given in Figure 8-55. at is the moving average at time t and yt is the observation at time t.
  4. Other offset: If the offset is 0, this is just the prior moving average. Otherwise the offset indicates the number of closest future observations to include in the average. Correspondingly, the number of most recent past observations is decreased.
Figure 8-55Formula For The Central Moving Average With Even Interval

The results are given in one column for each dataset (with a second column added if you have chosen standard errors to be calculated). Each row represents the moving average of the corresponding row or column in the input range. Depending on the type of average and the offset, the moving average cannot be calculated for the first rows in the input range.

8.4.1.2.1. Simple Moving Average

A simple moving average is the unweighted average of a collection of observations. Exactly which observations are included depends on whether a prior or central moving average is calculated.

8.4.1.2.2. Cumulative Moving Average

A cumulative moving average is a prior moving average in which the current and all prior observations are included.

8.4.1.2.3. Weighted Moving Average

A weighted moving average with an interval i is a prior moving average calculated according to formula Figure 8-55. at is the moving average at time t and yt is the observation at time t.

Figure 8-56Formula For The Weighted Moving Average With Interval i
8.4.1.2.4. Spencer's 15 Point Moving Average

Spencer's 15 point moving average is a central moving average calculated according to formula Figure 8-57. at is the moving average at time t and yt is the observation at time t.

Figure 8-57Formula For Spencer's 15 Point Moving Average
8.4.1.2.5. A Moving Average Example
Figure 8-58Some Example Data for the Moving Average Tool
Example 8-12Using the Moving Average Tool

Figure 8-58 shows some example data, Figure 8-59 shows the option settings, and Figure 8-60 the corresponding output.

Figure 8-59Moving Averages Tool Options
Figure 8-60Moving Averages Tool Output

8.4.2. Fourier Analysis Tool

Figure 8-61Fourier Analysis Tool Dialog

The Fourier Analysis tool normally performs a Fast Fourier Transform to obtain the discrete fourier transform Fs of the given sequence ft of real numbers according to the formula given in Figure 8-62.

Select the Inverse option to calculate the inverse discrete fourier transform ft of the given sequence Fs of real numbers

If the number of terms in the given sequence is not a power of 2 (i.e. 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, etc.), this tool will append zeros to reach such a power of 2!

Specify the cells containing the datasets in the Input Range entry. The entered range or ranges are grouped into sequences either by rows or by columns.

If you have labels in the first cell of each data set, select the Labels option.

Figure 8-62Fourier Analysis Formulae

Before using the numbers obtained by this tool, ensure that these are in fact the correct formulae for your discipline. In the physical sciences this fourier transform tends to be called the inverse fourier transform and vice versa. Moreover, frequently the scaling factor varies.

For example Mathematica uses the terms fourier transform and inverse fourier transform with the reversed meaning than Gnumeric and it uses a scaling factor of 1/SQRT(N) rather than 1/N.

8.4.3. Kaplan Meier Estimates Tool

8.4.3.1. The Input Tab

The Input tab shown in Figure 8-63 contains the fields specifying the data to be used for the Kaplan Meier Estimates. The time column contains the times or dates at which the subjects died or were censored. If any of the subjects were censored, the Permit censorship checkbox is checked and the Censor column contained the censorship marks. Censorship marks are typically 0s or 1s. The range of censor marks or labels can be set using the remaining two spinboxes.

Figure 8-63Kaplan-Meier Tool Dialog
8.4.3.2. The Groups Tab

If the subjects belong to several groups and the groups are supposed to be analyzed separately, the groups tab can be used.

Figure 8-64Kaplan-Meier Tool Dialog Groups Tab

The groups tab can be enabled via the Define multiple groups checkbox. The groups column entry contains the address of the column specifying the group membership. Groups can then be defined or deleted via the Add and Remove buttons.

8.4.3.3. The Options Tab

The options tab of the Kaplan-Meier tools dialog is used to set various options of the Kaplan-Meier tool.

Figure 8-65Kaplan-Meier Tool Dialog Options Tab
8.4.3.4. The Output Tab

The Output tab contains the standard output options and fields described in Section 8.1 ― Overview.

8.4.3.5. A Kaplan-Meier Example
Figure 8-66Kaplan-Meier Tool Example Input
Example 8-13Using the Kaplan-Meier Tool

Suppose you want to calculate Kaplan-Meier Estimates for the as given in Figure 8-66. Each row contains the data for one subject. Column A contains the survival time, i.e. the time until death or censure. Column B contains the group number, we are considering two groups of subjects. Column C indicates whether the subject died (0) or was censured (1).

We complete the fields of the Input tab as shown in Figure 8-66. The time column is A2:A21 and the censure column is C2:C21.

Since we have two groups of subjects, on the Groups tab we check the Define multiple groups check box and set up two groups with identifiers 1 and 2 in column B2:B21:

Figure 8-67Kaplan-Meier Tool Example Group Tab

On the Options tab all checkboxes are pre-checked and we leave them that way to obtain a maximum amount of information.

On the output tab we choose where we would like the output to be placed. For the purposes of this example we retain the New Sheet target. After clicking OK we get the output shown in Figure 8-68. Note that the graph initially always appears on top of the numerical result and was moved for the screen shot.

B1:F17 shows the results of the first group, G1 to K17 the results of the second group. The graph shows the Kaplan-Meier survival curves for both groups.

M4:N7 shows the result of the Mantel-Haenszel Log-Rank Test. In this case the p-value is larger than 0.3 and we would fail to reject the Null hypothesis. There is no evidence that the survival times differ.

Figure 8-68Kaplan-Meier Tool Example Output

8.4.4. Principal Component Analysis

Figure 8-69Principal Component Analysis Tool Dialog

Principal Component Analysis Tool performs a principal component analysis (PCA). PCA is a useful statistical technique with application in fields such as face recognition and image compression. It is a common technique for finding patterns in data of high dimension.

Specify the cells containing the datasets in the Input Range entry. The entered range or ranges are grouped into the factors either by rows or by columns.

If you have labels in the first cell of each factor, select the Labels option.

Figure 8-70Principal Component Analysis Example Data
Example 8-14Using the Principal Component Analysis Tool Tool

Suppose you want to perform a principal component analysis on the data given in Figure 8-70 having the two dimensions (factors) x and y.

  1. Enter Sheet1!$A$1:$B$11 (or just A1:B11) in the Input Range: entry by typing this directly into the entry or clicking in the entry field and then selecting the range on the sheet.
  2. Select the Labels option since the first row contains labels. (see Figure 8-69).
  3. Specify the output options as described above.
  4. Press the OK button.

The output of this principal component analysis is shown in Figure 8-75. The output shows the covariance matrix, the eigenvalues and corresponding eigenvectors. The principal component is the constructed factor with the highest percent of trace, ξ1.

Figure 8-71Principal Component Analysis Tool Output

8.4.5. Regression Tool

Figure 8-72Regression Tool Dialog

The regression tool performs a multiple regression analysis.

Enter a range or list of ranges containing the independent variables into the X Variables: entry.

Enter a single range containing the dependent variable into the Y Variable: entry.

If the ranges for the independent and dependent variables also contains labels in the first field of each row, column or area, select the Labels option.

Specify the confidence level in the Confidence Level: entry. The default is 95%.

To force the regression line or plane to pass through the origin, select the Force Intercept To Be Zero option.

Specify the output options as described above. If the output is directed into a specific output range, that range should contain at least seven columns and 17 rows more than there are independent variables.

Figure 8-73Regression Example Data
Example 8-15Using the Regression Tool

Suppose you want to perform a regression analysis on the data given in Figure 8-73 using v and y as independent variables and u as dependent variable.

  1. Enter B1:C11 in the X Variables: entry by typing this directly into the entry or clicking in the entry field and then selecting the range on the sheet.
  2. Enter A1:A11 in the Y Variable: entry.
  3. Select the Labels option since the first row contains labels. (see Figure 8-74).
  4. Specify the output options as described above.
  5. Press the OK button.

The output of this regression analysis is shown in Figure 8-75.

Figure 8-74Completed Regression Dialog
Figure 8-75Regression Tool Output

8.5. One Sample Tests

8.5.1. Normality Tests

The normality test tool provides for four tests of normality.

  1. Anderson Darling Test
  2. Cramér-von Mises Test
  3. Lilliefors (Kolmogorov-Smirnov) Test
  4. Shapiro-Francia Test
Figure 8-76Normality Test Dialog

The data range is specified via the Input Range: entry (see Figure 8-76). The given range or list of ranges can be grouped into separate data sets by columns, rows, or areas. The tool performs a separate test for each data set.

Figure 8-77Test Tab of the Normality Test Dialog

On the test tab one specifies which of the four tests to perform, the significance level for the test and whether to include a normal probability plot of the data (see Figure 8-77).

Figure 8-78Normality Test Example Data
Example 8-16Using the Normality Test Tool

Suppose you want to perform a Lilliefors (Kolmogorov-Smirnov) Test for Normality on the data given in Figure 8-78.

  1. Enter A1:A50 (or Sheet1!$A$1:$A$50) in the Input Range: entry by typing this directly into the entry or clicking in the entry field and then selecting the range on the sheet.
  2. Select the Labels option since the first row contains a label. (see Figure 8-79).
  3. On the test tab of the dialog (see Figure 8-80) select the Lilliefors (Kolmogorov-Smirnov) Test.
  4. Specify an appropriate significance level Alpha, say 0.05.
  5. Select the Create Normal Probability Plot option to include a normal probability plot in the output.
  6. Specify the output options as described above.
  7. Press the OK button.

The output of this normality test is shown in Figure 8-81. Note that the graph appears initially on top of the output data and needs to be moved to make the data visible.

Figure 8-79Completed Input Tab of the Normality Test Dialog
Figure 8-80Completed Test Tab of the Normality Test Dialog
Figure 8-81Normality Test Output

8.5.2. One Median

The One Median test tool provides two non-parametric tests that test the null hypothesis that the sample comes from a population with a given median:

  1. Sign Test
  2. Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test

Selecting the appropriate submenu item opens the dialog with the respective test preselected.

8.5.2.1. Sign Test

This section describes the one sample sign test to test the null hypothesis that the sample comes from a population with the given median. The tool to perform a sign test to test the null hypothesis that two paired samples come from populations with the same median is in section Section 8.6.2.1 ― Sign Test.

Figure 8-82One-Median Test Dialog

The Sign Test tool performs a one-sample sign test whether the sample comes from a population with a given median.

The sample data range is specified via the Input Range: entry (see Figure 8-82). The given range or list of ranges can be grouped into separate data sets by columns, rows, or areas. The tool performs a separate test for each data set.

On the Testtab of the dialog (see Figure 8-83) the predicted median as well as the significance level are specified.

Figure 8-83The Test Tab of the One-Median Test Dialog
Example 8-17Using the Sign Test Tool

Suppose you want to perform a Sign Test on the data given in Figure 8-82 to determine whether the sample comes from a population of mean 3.

  1. Enter A1:A19 (or Sheet1!$A$1:$A$19) in the Input Range: entry by typing this directly into the entry or clicking in the entry field and then selecting the range on the sheet.
  2. Select the Labels option since the first row contains a label. (see Figure 8-82).
  3. On the Test tab of the dialog (see Figure 8-83) select the Sign Test.
  4. Specify an appropriate significance level Alpha, say 0.05.
  5. Select thepecify the median of the null hypothesis (3) in the Predicted Median entry.
  6. Specify the output options as described above.
  7. Press the OK button.

The output of this sign test is shown in Figure 8-84.

Figure 8-84Output of a Sign Test
8.5.2.2. Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test

This section describes the one sample Wilcoxon signed rank test to test the null hypothesis that the sample comes from a population with the given median. The tool to perform a Wilcoxon signed rank test to test the null hypothesis that two paired samples come from populations with the same median is in section Section 8.6.2.2 ― Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test.

The Wilcoxon Signed Rank TTest tool performs a one-sample sign test whether the sample comes from a population with a given median.

The sample data range is specified via the Input Range: entry (see Figure 8-82). The given range or list of ranges can be grouped into separate data sets by columns, rows, or areas. The tool performs a separate test for each data set.

On the Testtab of the dialog (see Figure 8-83) the predicted median as well as the significance level are specified.

The p-values given by this tool are determined using a normal approximation. This approximation is only valid if the sample size is at least 12.

Example 8-18Using the Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test Tool

Suppose you want to perform a Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test on the data given in Figure 8-82 to determine whether the sample comes from a population of mean 3.

  1. Enter A1:A19 (or Sheet1!$A$1:$A$19) in the Input Range: entry by typing this directly into the entry or clicking in the entry field and then selecting the range on the sheet.
  2. Select the Labels option since the first row contains a label. (see Figure 8-82).
  3. On the Test tab of the dialog (see Figure 8-83) select the Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test.
  4. Specify an appropriate significance level Alpha, say 0.05.
  5. Select thepecify the median of the null hypothesis (3) in the Predicted Median entry.
  6. Specify the output options as described above.
  7. Press the OK button.

The output of this sign test is shown in Figure 8-85.

Figure 8-85Output of a Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test

8.6. Two Sample Tests

8.6.1. Comparing Means of Two Populations

Gnumeric provides four similar tools to test whether the difference of two population means is equal to a hypothesized value. These four tools use the same dialog (see Figure 8-86).

Figure 8-86t- and z-Test Tool Dialog

Depending on the options settings, the appropriate test will be performed. The entries in the Input, Test, and Output frames are independent from the specific test.

Enter the first variable in the Variable 1 Range entry and the second variable in the Variable 2 Range entry.

Enter the hypothesized difference between the population means in the Hypothesized Mean Difference entry, which has a default of 0. Enter the significance level in the Alpha entry, which has a default of 5 %.

Specify the output options as described above. If the output is printed into a range, it should have at least three columns and ten rows.

There are up to three possible options that can be selected:

Paired versus Unpaired

If the variables are dependent (or paired) select the Paired option.

Known versus Unknown

For unpaired or independent variables, the population variances may be known or unknown. In the latter case they will be estimated using the sample variances. Select the Known option if you in fact know the population variances prior to collecting the sample.

Equal versus Unequal

For paired variables with unknown population variances, we may either assume that the population variances are equal or not. If the population variances are assumed to be equal, Gnumeric will estimate the common variance by pooling the sample variances. Select the Equal option to assume that the population variances are equal.

8.6.1.1. t-Test: Paired Two Sample for Means Tool
Figure 8-87t-Test (Paired) Tool Dialog Options

For paired variables, when you click on OK, Gnumeric will test whether the mean of the difference between the paired variables is equal to the given hypothesized mean difference.

Example 8-19Using the t-Test (Paired) Tool

See Figure 8-88 for an example of a completed dialog and Figure 8-89 for the corresponding output.

Figure 8-88t-Test (Paired) Example Data
Figure 8-89Output from the t-Test (Paired) Tool
8.6.1.2. t-Test: Two-Sample Assuming Equal Variances Tool
Figure 8-90t-Test (Equal Variances) Tool Dialog Options

For unpaired variables with unknown but assumed equal population variances, when you click on OK, Gnumeric will test whether the mean of the difference between the paired variables is equal to the given hypothesized mean difference.

Example 8-20Using the t-Test (Unknown but Equal Variances) Tool

See Figure 8-91 for an example of a completed dialog and Figure 8-92 for the corresponding output.

Figure 8-91t-Test (Unknown but Equal Variances) Example Data
Figure 8-92Output from the t-Test (Unknown but Equal Variances) Tool
8.6.1.3. t-Test: Two-Sample Assuming Unequal Variances Tool
Figure 8-93t-Test (Unknown and Unequal Variances) Tool Dialog Options

For unpaired variables with unknown and assumed unequal population variances, when you click on OK, Gnumeric will test whether the mean of the difference between the paired variables is equal to the given hypothesized mean difference.

Example 8-21Using the t-Test (Unknown and Unequal Variances) Tool

See Figure 8-94 for an example of a completed dialog and Figure 8-95 for the corresponding output.

Figure 8-94t-Test (Unknown and Unequal Variances) Example Data
Figure 8-95Output from the t-Test (Unknown and Unequal Variances) Tool
8.6.1.4. z-Test: Two Samples for Means Tool
Figure 8-96z-Test Tool Dialog Options

For unpaired variables with known population variances, enter those variances in the Variable 1 Pop. Variance and Variable 2 Pop. Variance entries. When you click on OK, Gnumeric will test whether the mean of the difference between the paired variables is equal to the given hypothesized mean difference.

Example 8-22Using the z-Test Tool

See Figure 8-97 for an example of a completed dialog and Figure 8-98 for the corresponding output.

Figure 8-97z-Test Example Data
Figure 8-98Output from the z-Test Tool

8.6.2. Comparing Medians of Two Populations

Gnumeric provides three non-parametric tests to test the null hypothesis that the two samples come from populations with the same median. Two tests, performed through the same tool, apply in the case of paired samples:

  • Sign Test
  • Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test

One test applies in the case of unpaired samples:

  • Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney Test

8.6.2.1. Sign Test

This section describes the two sample (paired) sign test to test the null hypothesis that the two samples come from populations with the same median. The tool to perform a sign test to test the null hypothesis that the single sample comes from a population with a given median is in section Section 8.5.2.1 ― Sign Test.

This section needs to be written.

8.6.2.2. Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test

This section describes the two sample (paired) Wilcoxon signed rank test to test the null hypothesis that the two samples come from populations with the same median. The tool to perform a Wilcoxon signed rank test to test the null hypothesis that the single sample comes from a population with a given median is in section Section 8.5.2.2 ― Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test.

This section needs to be written.

8.6.2.3. Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney Test

This section needs to be written.

8.6.3. F-Test: Two-Sample for Variances Tool

Figure 8-99F-Test Tool Dialog

Use the F-Test tool to test whether two population variances are different against the null hypothesis that they are not.

Specify the variables in the Variable 1 Range: and Variable 2 Range: entries. The Alpha: entry contains the significance level which is by default 5%.

If the first field of each range contains labels, select the Labels option. The names of the variables will be included in the output table.

The results are given in a table. This table contains the mean, variance, count of observations and the degree of freedom for both variables. The output table also includes the F-value, the one-tailed probability for the F-value, and the F Critical value for one-tailed test and the corresponding values for a two tailed test. The one-tailed probability for the F-value (P(F≤f) one-tail” row) is the probability of making a Type I error in the one-tailed test. Similarly, the two-tailed probability for the F-value (P two-tail row) is the probability of making a Type I error in the two-tailed test. Since in the two-tailed F-Test both critical values are positive, the F Critical two-tail row contains two numbers.

If the output is directed into a specific output range, that range should contain at least three columns and eight rows.

Figure 8-100Some Example Data
Example 8-23Using the F-Test Tool

Figure 8-100 shows some example data and Figure 8-101 the corresponding output.

Figure 8-101F-Test Tool Output

8.7. Multiple Sample Tests

8.7.1. Analysis of Variance

8.7.1.1. ANOVA: Single Factor Tool

Use this tool to perform a single factor analysis of the variances of given variables. The variables are specified by the Input Range: entry. The given range can be grouped into the variables either by columns, by rows or by areas. The Alpha: entry specifies the significance level which is by default 5%.

If the first row or first column of the given range, or the first field of each area contains labels, select the Labels option. The names of the variables will be included in the output table.

The results of this analysis of variance are presented in a standard ANOVA table. The F critical value is the largest value of F that is statistically significant using the given significance level (Alpha).

This tool also calculates the count, sum, average, and the variance of each variable.

Figure 8-1021-factor ANOVA Dialog and Example Data
Example 8-24Using the single factor ANOVA

See Figure 8-102 for an example of a completed dialog and Figure 8-103 for the corresponding output.

Figure 8-103Output From a 1-factor ANOVA
8.7.1.2. ANOVA: Two-Factor Tool

Gnumeric can perform two factor fixed effects ANOVAs with and without replication. The same dialog is used and the appropriate tool is selected depending on whether the number of rows per sample is 1 or larger than 1.

8.7.1.2.1. ANOVA: Two-Factor Without Replication Tool

If the number of rows per sample is given as 1, Gnumeric performs a two factor fixed effects ANOVA without replication. Each column of the input range is interpreted as a level of the first factor while each row is interpreted as a level of the second factor.

The first row and column of the range may contain labels for these levels. In this case the Labels option should be selected.

The Alpha: entry specifies the significance level which is by default 5%.

Example 8-25Using the 2-factor ANOVA Without Replication Tool

See Figure 8-104 for an example of a completed dialog and Figure 8-105 for the corresponding output.

Figure 8-1042-factor ANOVA Without Replication Dialog
Figure 8-105Output From a 2-factor ANOVA Without Replication
8.7.1.2.2. ANOVA: Two-Factor With Replication Tool

If the number of rows per sample is larger than 1, Gnumeric performs a two factor fixed effects ANOVA with replication. Each column of the input range is interpreted as a level of the first factor while groups of rows (the number of rows in each group given by the number of rows per sample value) are interpreted as levels of the second factor.

The first row and column of the range may contain labels for these levels. In this case the Labels option should be selected.

The Alpha: entry specifies the significance level which is by default 5%.

See Figure 8-106 for an example of a completed dialog and Figure 8-107 for the corresponding output.

Figure 8-1062-factor ANOVA With Replication Dialog
Figure 8-107Output From a 2-factor ANOVA With Replication

Gnumeric will estimate missing values for each level combination as the mean of the existing values in that combination. The degrees of freedom are adjusted appropriately.

8.7.2. Tests for a Contingency Table

8.7.2.1. Test of Homogeneity

8.7.2.2. Test of Independence

9. Graphics: Images, Widgets, and Drawings

This chapter explains how to add graphical elements to a Gnumeric worksheet, including images from external files, graphical user interface widgets which interact with worksheet data, and simple drawing elements.

9.1. Overview

Gnumeric provides several types of graphical elements which can be added to a worksheet. The creation, manipulation and deletion of these elements all occur in similar ways. When these elements are part of a worksheet, they all "float" above the cell grid, possibly hiding data in the cells underneath.

Gnumeric currently displays four different types of graphical elements: data graphs, images, widgets, and drawings. Data graphs allow users to present worksheet data visually in charts containing several kinds of plots including pie plots, bar and column plots, and scatterplots. Images in many standard computer formats can be added to a worksheet. Graphical user interface widgets can also be added to a worksheet and connected to the values contained in worksheet cells. Drawings allow users to add simple graphical elements on top of a worksheet including lines, arrows and simple polygons.

Figure 9-1 The four types of graphical elements.

The four types of graphical elements which can be added to a worksheet: a data graph with a column plot, an image showing a map of France, a scrollbar which can be used to alter the value in cell "I6", and a red arrow drawing element.

The various graphical elements which can be added to a Gnumeric worksheet all behave in similar ways. The graphical elements all "float" above the cells in the cell grid and may obscure the contents of the cells behind, without affecting the contents of these hidden cells. All graphical elements are added in essentially the same way by selecting the element to add and then using the mouse, either with a simple click to place the element with a default size or with a click and drag to select the area of the worksheet to be covered by the element. These objects are moved or re-sized by clicking on the object with the primary mouse button and using the object body, border and "handles" (the small circles which appear at the corners and in the middle of each side) to manipulate the object. All of these objects will present a context menu through which to change the properties of the object, to save the object as an image, to change the stacking order (which graphical elements are in front of others), or to delete the object. Each of these operations will be summarized below and then explained in greater detail in the sections which follow.

9.1.1. Adding Graphical Elements

All graphical elements are added in similar ways which differ only in the original selection and configuration of the element. Data graphs are added using the Graph Guru, which is invoked either through the Insert menu or with the toolbar button, to define the properties of the graph. Images are added using the Insert menu Image... menu entry, selecting the name of the file with the appropriate image and clicking on the Open button. Widgets and drawing elements are added by selecting the appropriate button on the object toolbar.

After any of these steps, the mouse cursor will change into a thin cross-hair cursor, , when the mouse pointer is placed over the cell grid area.

The graphical element can be placed in the workbook by moving the cursor onto the worksheet and clicking once with the primary mouse button. The graphical element will appear at its default size with the top right hand corner defined by the position of the mouse cursor.

Alternatively, the graphical element can both be placed on the worksheet and have its size determined which is done by click-dragging with the mouse. When the cursor has changed to the thin cross-hair, the graphical element can be inserted by moving the pointer over the worksheet to determine one of the corners of the resulting element, clicking and holding the primary mouse button, dragging the pointer to the opposite corner, and releasing the mouse button. The graphical element will then appear between the place where the primary mouse button was pressed and the place the button was released.

9.1.2. Selecting Graphical Elements

Selecting the graphical element requires placing the mouse pointer over the element and then clicking the primary mouse button. Gnumeric indicates the element is selected by drawing eight 'grab handles' around the element; these are small circles at the four corners and in the middle of the four edges of a rectangle surrounding the graphical element.

Figure 9-2 A graphical element which has been selected.

The graphical column plot has been selected as evidenced by the eight small circular 'grab handles' at the corners and in the middle of each edge.

The mouse pointer will also change shape when placed over a selected element or over the element's 'grab handles'. When the pointer is placed over a selected element, the mouse pointer will change to the 'move' shape, ; when the pointer is placed over the element's 'grab handles' it will change to one of the resizing mouse pointer shapes, which are presented in Section 4.8 ― The Mouse Pointers used by Gnumeric.

Some elements, such as the widget scrollbars, may be difficult to select because they interact themselves with the primary mouse button. An alternative selection process, which involves first invoking the context menu and then dismissing it, can be used for these elements and will work with any graphical element. When the mouse pointer is anywhere over the graphical element, clicking with one of the secondary mouse buttons will cause the element to be selected and a context menu to appear. If the primary mouse button is then pressed while the pointer is anywhere over the desktop other than over the menu, the context menu will be dismissed but the element will stay selected.

9.1.3. Moving and Resizing Graphical Elements

Graphical elements can be moved from their original location on the worksheet or can be changed in size or shape. All of these operations first require selecting the graphical element with the primary mouse button and then using this mouse button and the mouse pointer to manipulate the element.

9.1.3.1. Moving elements with the mouse

Moving the graphical element can be performed by first selecting the graphical element, then placing the mouse pointer over the element which will change it to the 'move' mouse shape, , clicking and holding the primary mouse button and moving the mouse pointer to a new location. As the mouse is moved with the primary mouse button held down, the graphical element will move along with the mouse cursor. When the mouse button is released, the object will stay in its new location.

9.1.3.2. Moving elements with the arrow keys

Once they are selected, graphical elements can be moved with the arrow keys on the keyboard. The movement can be made in smaller increments if the Ctrl key is held simultaneously.

9.1.3.3. Resizing and reshaping elements

Changing the size or shape of the graphical element can be performed by selecting the graphical element, placing the mouse pointer over one of the 'grab handles' at the corners or edges of the rectangular box around the element, which will cause the mouse pointer to change shape to one of the resize pointers, clicking and holding with the primary mouse button, dragging the corner or edge to a new position, and releasing the mouse button. If one of the corner 'grab handles' is used, the graphical element can be altered into any new rectangular shape and size. If one of the edge handles is used, the element can only be reshaped perpendicular to the chosen edge.

9.1.4. Invoking the Context Menu for Graphical Elements

Many operations on graphical elements, including changing their internal properties, saving elements as images, modifying the stacking order of the elements, and deleting the elements, are performed through the context menu. The context menu appears when the mouse pointer is placed over the graphical element and one of the secondary mouse buttons is clicked. When the mouse pointer moves over a graphical element, it will change from the usual wide cross cursor to a right pointing arrow cursor. Clicking with the primary mouse button will select the graphical element but clicking with one of the other mouse buttons will open the context menu. The specific button that will trigger this menu depends on the specific hardware and configuration of the computer. By default it is usually the rightmost mouse button.

Figure 9-3 The context menu for graphical elements.

The context menu for graph elements is the most complete. It includes an entry to modify the internal properties of the graph, an entry to save the graph as an image, four entries to reorder the stacking of the graph in front or behind other graphs and one entry to delete the graph.

The context menu for graphical elements contains a sub-menu labelled Order which allows the user to change the presentation order for overlapping graphical objects.

Figure 9-4 The order submenu of graphical element context menus.

The order submenu of the context menu for graph elements allows the user to change the stacking order for the various graphs on the worksheet. This will affect which objects are visible in front of other objects when several objects overlap.

9.1.5. Modifying Graphical Elements

Many of the graphical elements have internal properties which can be changed. This includes the contents of a particular graph, the association of a widget and the contents of a spreadsheet cell, or the characteristics of a drawing element. These properties can be altered using the Properties... menu item in the context menu which appears when the mouse pointer is placed over the graphical element and one of the secondary mouse buttons is clicked. After the context menu appears, clicking on this menu item will open up a dialog allowing the user to alter the properties of the element. Since these properties are specific to each element, these dialogs will be discussed in each of the sections below.

9.1.6. Saving Graphical Elements as Images

Some of the graphical elements, the data graphs and the image elements, provide an item in the context menu which allows the element to be saved to a file containing only an image of that element. Graphical plots can be saved in Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG), Portable Network Graphics (PNG) or JPEG formats. Images can be saved to their original format, or to PNG and JPEG formats.

Elements which can be saved as images can be output to a file using an entry in the element's context menu. First the context menu must be invoked by placing the mouse pointer over the graphical element and clicking with one of the secondary mouse buttons. Next the Save as Image or the Save as menu items must be selected by placing the mouse pointer over that item and clicking with the primary mouse pointer. This will open up the Save As dialog which will allow the user to name the file which will be created, select where the file will be created, select the file type to use for the image and then generate the file.

9.1.7. Restacking Graphical Elements

Graphical elements can overlap when they are placed over the cell grid area. Conceptually, each graphical element occupies one layer in a stack of all the elements. By default, elements which have been created more recently will overlap in front of elements which were created earlier.

Figure 9-5 Stacked graphical elements.

The order of each element in the stack can be changed using the four menu items in the context menu. The Top will bring the selected element in front of all the other objects. The Up menu item will bring the selected element forward one layer. Conversely, the Down menu item will move the selected element one layer towards the back, and the Bottom menu item will palace the selected element at the very back of the stack of elements. Jointly, these menu items allow the user to specify exactly which order in which the graphical elements should appear.

The stacking of graphical elements in Gnumeric is currently not working correctly. Widget elements are always placed above the other elements and do not honor the same ordering scheme as the rest of the elements. A large amount of work will be required to fix this and a decision has been made to ignore this problem until the developers have the time to fix this problem correctly.

9.1.8. Deleting Graphical Elements

All of the graphical elements in Gnumeric can be deleted using the context menu. Deleting a graphical element will never alter the data contents of the cells in the workbooks.

Deleting a graphical element requires using the context menu. First the mouse pointer must be placed over the graphical element. Next, the context menu must be invoked by clicking with one of the secondary mouse buttons. Finally, the Delete menu item must be selected by placing the mouse pointer over this menu item and clicking with the primary mouse button. When this menu item is selected, the graphical element will disappear from the worksheet and will not be saved as part of the spreadsheet file the next time the file is saved.

9.2. Images

Images can be added, as floating graphical elements, to Gnumeric worksheets. These images will be saved as part of the file and therefore can be sent to others embedded within the spreadsheet file.

Images in several file formats can be added, but the specific list depends on the particular installation of the underlying software library, gdk-pixbuf. By default, the ANI, BMP, GIF, ICO, JPEG, PCX, PNG, PNM/PBM/PGM/PPM family, Sun raster (RAS), Targa (TGA), TIFF, WBMP, XBM, XPM image formats are supported, but extensions to the library can also support other formats such as the WMF Windows Metafile and SVG Scalable Vector Graphics formats.

A complete listing of the file formats supported by the local version of gdk-pixbuf can be generated with the

gdk-pixbuf-query-loaders
      
command-line application, if this is installed on the system.

9.2.1. Inserting Images

Inserting an image is performed like inserting any other graphical element using the menu entry to start the process, then selecting the file, and finally using the mouse to place the image above the worksheet.

Procedure to insert an image into a worksheet.
  1. Select the "Image" menu item in the "Insert" menu

    Inserting an image starts by selecting, in the Insert menu, the Image menu item using the mouse cursor and the primary mouse button. This will open a dialog in which the user can select the file which contains the desired image.

  2. Select the file containing the image

    In the dialog which appears the user must select the file which contains the desired image. The dialog will be specific to the particular operating system platform but should provide a way to navigate the filesystem to pick the folder that contains the file and have a way to select the file or type its name. When these choices have been made, the dialog can be dismissed by double clicking on the file or by clicking on the Open button. This will dismiss the dialog and expose the worksheet, with the mouse pointer now converted to a thin cross-hair.

  3. Place the image on the worksheet with the mouse pointer

    The image, which will float like other graphical elements above the worksheet, must be placed on the worksheet. The image can be placed with its default size by moving the thin cross-hair pointer above the worksheet and clicking with the primary mouse button. Alternatively, the image can be placed and sized by selecting two of the resulting corners. This is done by moving the thin cross-hair pointer over the worksheet, determining one corner by clicking and holding the primary mouse button, dragging the pointer to the opposite corner, and releasing the mouse button. The image will then appear between the place where the primary mouse button was pressed and the place the button was released.

9.2.2. Saving Images to New Files

Images in a Gnumeric worksheet can be saved to a new, separate file. The image can be saved either in its original format or in PNG or JPEG formats. The ability to save images to a new file is especially useful when a spreadsheet file has been transferred to a computer that does not have a copy of the original image.

Images above a worksheet can be saved by accessing the context menu, selecting the many entry and navigating the file saving dialog which appears.

Procedure to save a worksheet image.
  1. Open the context menu

    The context menu is opened by placing the mouse cursor over the image and clicking one of the secondary mouse buttons.

  2. Select the "Save As" menu item

    Once the context menu appears, the mouse cursor can be moved over the menu. As the cursor passes over each menu item, that item will be highlighted. When the Save As menu item is highlighted, clicking with the primary mouse button will select that entry, causing the context menu to disappear and the Save As dialog to appear.

  3. Select the file name and location

    The Save As dialog which opens will depend on the platform that the user is using but should be standard for that platform. The dialog should allow a user to define a name for the file, to select the folder (directory) in which a file will be saved, and to select the format for the saved file. When all these selections have been made, the Save can be pressed which will dismiss the dialog and save the file.

9.2.3. Deleting Images

An image element, floating above a worksheet, can be deleted from the worksheet and from the Gnumeric file using the context menu. The procedure for deleting all graphical elements is the same; this procedure is explained in Section 9.1.8 ― Deleting Graphical Elements.

9.3. GUI Widgets

A Gnumeric worksheet can graphical user interface (GUI) elements, commonly called 'widgets', which can be tied to the data contents of worksheet cells. For example, users can add a slider widget which, when the position of the slider moves, alters the numeric value in a worksheet cell.

Widgets are currently experimental!

The current implementation of these widgets is incomplete. Some of the obvious configuration settings for these widgets do not exist and much of the functionality that these widgets should exhibit has not been implemented. Future versions of Gnumeric will complete these widgets and make them functional.

Widgets do not currently stack properly on the worksheet

Widgets currently stay above all the other graphical elements because they use a different system to calculate their positions than the other graphical elements do. This will also be fixed in future updates.

Each of these elements can be added by selecting the appropriate icon on the object toolbar and using the thin cross-hair mouse pointer to place the element on the worksheet by clicking or by click-dragging with the primary mouse button. This process is explained in greater detail in Section 9.1.1 ― Adding Graphical Elements.

Each of these elements can be configured using the context menu and its Properties menu item, as explained in Section 9.1.5 ― Modifying Graphical Elements.

Each of these elements can be moved and resized on the worksheet, as explained in Section 9.1.3 ― Moving and Resizing Graphical Elements.

The stacking order, from the front to the back, which determines which widgets obscure each other, can be changed using the entries in the context menu, as explained in Section 9.1.7 ― Restacking Graphical Elements. However, as explained in the note above, the widgets do not currently stack under the other graphical elements.

Each of these elements can be deleted using the context menu and its Delete menu item, as explained in Section 9.1.8 ― Deleting Graphical Elements.

9.3.1. Labels.

Labels are intended to be small text elements which can be added to the worksheet. Since it is currently not possible to edit the text field, these widgets are not currently usable. The properties of the border and background of the widget can be changed but, because the word "Label" is always present, the rectangle drawing element, presented in Section 9.4.3 ― Drawing Rectangles. will be more useful.

Figure 9-6 A label widget.
9.3.1.1. Configuring the properties of the label

The properties of the label can be altered with the Properties menu item in the context menu which appears when the mouse cursor is placed over the label and one of the secondary mouse buttons is pressed.

The label outline color and width, as well as the background, "fill", color can be changed.

Figure 9-7 The configuration dialog for label properties.

The color of the label outline can be altered by moving the mouse pointer over the button with the icon of a small, black, downward pointing arrow and then clicking with the primary mouse button. This will open up a panel with a number of standard colors presented as small squares. Any of these colors can be selected by moving the mouse pointer over the desired color and pressing once with the primary mouse button. Alternatively, a custom color can be chosen by clicking on the button at the bottom of the panel. This will open up the color chooser dialog. In this dialog colors can be defined using the numeric boxes or can be selected using the color triangle. The color can be selected by Clicking on the outer circle while the darkness or lightness can be selected by clicking inside the triangle. Once the desired color has been configured, this color can be used for the label outline by clicking on the OK button.

The border width can be changed either by typing a new number into the text box or by using the up and down arrows to increment or decrement the width number.

The color of the background fill can be changed in the same way as the color of the outline border, which was explained above.

9.3.2. Frames.

Frames are intended to be transparent boxes with a title that can be placed around part of the worksheet to highlight that area. Because the format of the border of these widgets cannot be altered, they are less visible than they could be. A similar frame, without the title, can be made with the rectangle drawing element, which is presented in Section 9.4.3 ― Drawing Rectangles..

Figure 9-8 A frame widget.
9.3.2.1. Configuring the properties of the checkbox

The properties of the frame can be altered with the Properties menu item in the context menu which appears when the mouse cursor is placed over the frame and one of the secondary mouse buttons is pressed.

Currently, only the word that appears in the frame can be altered.

Figure 9-9 The configuration dialog for frame properties.

The word displayed in the frame can be altered by typing new text in the textbox next to the word "Label".

9.3.3. Checkboxes.

Checkboxes are widgets which allow a user to visually see the state of an entity, whether it is checked or not, and tie this state to the truth value of a Boolean cell, "TRUE" if the checkbox is checked and "FALSE" the checkbox is not. The check box can be used to alter the value of a cell, which will alter any other cells whose values are computed based on the dependent cell. This provides a simple way to alter a whole series of computations.

Figure 9-10 A checkbox widget.
9.3.3.1. Configuring the properties of the checkbox

The properties of the checkbox can be altered with the Properties menu item in the context menu which appears when the mouse cursor is placed over the checkbox and one of the secondary mouse buttons is pressed.

Checkboxes have two properties which can be configured: the worksheet cell whose value will be altered by clicking in the checkbox and the text displayed on the checkbox.

Figure 9-11 The configuration dialog for checkbox properties.

The "Link to:" field allows the user to select a cell that will be changed in response to changes in the state of the widget. A user can type the name of a cell in the text box or may click in the text box to activate it and then click on the worksheet to select the desired cell and Gnumeric will automatically add a reference to the cell.

The "Label" field accepts a text value which will appear next to the checkbox. This text can indicate what the checkbox field alters, for instance in Figure 9-10 the checkbox could be used to alter a series of calculations, between including interest or excluding it, from the computation.

9.3.4. Scrollbars.

Scrollbars are widgets that allow the changing of a numeric value by click-dragging with the mouse.

Figure 9-12 A scrollbar widget.

The scrollbar widget can be used in three ways: by dragging the 'thumb', by clicking on the arrows, or by clicking in the 'channel'. The 'thumb' is the small rectangular element between the two arrow buttons. The 'thumb' can be dragged by placing the mouse pointer over the thumb, clicking and holding with the primary mouse button and then dragging the mouse pointer up or down. Clicking on the arrow buttons will scroll the thumb in the direction of the arrow. The 'channel' is the area between the arrows that is not the 'thumb'. A mouse click with the primary mouse button when the mouse pointer is over the 'channel' will cause the scrollbar to move a 'page'. The motion of the 'thumb' will cause a numeric value to change based on the configuration of the widget, as is explained below.

9.3.4.1. Configuring the properties of the scrollbar

The properties of the scrollbar can be altered with the Properties menu item in the context menu which appears when the mouse cursor is placed over the scrollbar and one of the secondary mouse buttons is pressed.

Scrollbars have five properties which can be configured: the worksheet cell whose value will be altered by movement of the scrollbar 'thumb', the minimum value when the thumb is at the top of its channel, the maximum value reached when the thumb is at the bottom of its channel, the smallest increment of change which is the change caused by clicking on the arrows, and the page increment which is the change which occurs when the channel is clicked.

Figure 9-13 The configuration dialog for scrollbar properties.

The "Link to:" field allows the user to select a cell that will be changed in response to changes in the state of the widget. A user can type the name of a cell in the text box or may click in the text box to activate it and then click on the worksheet to select the desired cell and Gnumeric will automatically add a reference to the cell.

The other properties can be changed either by typing a new number into the text box or by using the up and down arrows to increment or decrement the width number.

9.3.5. Spinbuttons.

Spinbuttons, like sliders, are widgets that allow a user to change the numeric value in the cell by interacting with a widget. The value of spinbuttons can be changed either by typing a new number into the text box or by clicking on the arrow buttons. If the buttons are clicked and held, the numeric value will spin, incrementing or decrementing depending on the arrow being held.

Figure 9-14 A spinbutton widget.
9.3.5.1. Configuring the properties of the spinbutton

The properties of the spinbutton can be altered with the Properties menu item in the context menu which appears when the mouse cursor is placed over the spinbutton and one of the secondary mouse buttons is pressed.

Spinbuttons have five properties which can be configured: the worksheet cell whose value will be altered by the spinbutton, the minimum value when the thumb is at the top of its channel, the maximum value reached when the thumb is at the bottom of its channel, the smallest increment of change which is the change caused by clicking on the arrows, and the page increment which is the change which occurs when the channel is clicked.

Figure 9-15 The configuration dialog for spinbutton properties.

The "Link to:" field allows the user to select a cell that will be changed in response to changes in the state of the widget. A user can type the name of a cell in the text box or may click in the text box to activate it and then click on the worksheet to select the desired cell and Gnumeric will automatically add a reference to the cell.

The other properties can be changed either by typing a new number into the text box or by using the up and down arrows to increment or decrement the width number.

9.3.6. Sliders.

Sliders, like scrollbars and spinbuttons, allow a cell value to be changed based on user interaction with a widget on the screen.

Figure 9-16 A slider widget.

The slider widget can be used in two ways: by dragging the 'thumb' or by clicking in the 'channel'. The 'thumb' is the small rectangular element between the two arrow buttons. The 'thumb' can be dragged by placing the mouse pointer over the thumb, clicking and holding with the primary mouse button and then dragging the mouse pointer up or down. The 'channel' is the area between the arrows that is not the 'thumb'. A mouse click with the primary mouse button when the mouse pointer is over the 'channel' will cause the scrollbar to move a 'page'. The motion of the 'thumb' will cause a numeric value to change based on the configuration of the widget, as is explained below.

9.3.6.1. Configuring the properties of the slider

The properties of the slider can be altered with the Properties menu item in the context menu which appears when the mouse cursor is placed over the slider and one of the secondary mouse buttons is pressed.

Sliders have five properties which can be configured: the worksheet cell whose value will be altered by movement of the scrollbar 'thumb', the minimum value when the thumb is at the top of its channel, the maximum value reached when the thumb is at the bottom of its channel, the smallest increment of change, and the page increment which is the change which occurs when the channel is clicked.

Figure 9-17 The configuration dialog for slider properties.

The "Link to:" field allows the user to select a cell that will be changed in response to changes in the state of the widget. A user can type the name of a cell in the text box or may click in the text box to activate it and then click on the worksheet to select the desired cell and Gnumeric will automatically add a reference to the cell.

The other properties can be changed either by typing a new number into the text box or by using the up and down arrows to increment or decrement the width number.

9.3.7. Lists.

List widget elements are currently unusable because they cannot be configured.

Figure 9-18 A list widget.

9.3.8. Combination Boxes.

Combination box widgets are currently unusable because they cannot be configured.

Figure 9-19 A combination box widget.

9.4. Drawing Elements

A Gnumeric worksheet can contain graphical elements which are simple drawing shapes.

This implementation of the drawing objects is temporary and will eventually be replaced by a more complete implementation including more types of drawing objects and based on scalable vector graphics (SVG) format graphical elements.

Each of these elements can be added by selecting the appropriate icon on the object toolbar and using the thin cross-hair mouse pointer to place the element on the worksheet by clicking or by click-dragging with the primary mouse button. This process is explained in greater detail in Section 9.1.1 ― Adding Graphical Elements.

Each of these elements can be configured using the context menu and its Properties menu item, as explained in Section 9.1.5 ― Modifying Graphical Elements.

Each of these elements can be moved and resized on the worksheet, as explained in Section 9.1.3 ― Moving and Resizing Graphical Elements.

The stacking order, from the front to the back, which determines which widgets obscure each other, can be changed using the entries in the context menu, as explained in Section 9.1.7 ― Restacking Graphical Elements. However, as explained in the note above, the widgets do not currently stack under the other graphical elements.

Each of these elements can be deleted using the context menu and its Delete menu item, as explained in Section 9.1.8 ― Deleting Graphical Elements.

9.4.1. Drawing Lines.

Lines are simple drawing elements which can be added to a worksheet. Figure 9-20 shows a wide orange line element placed above the worksheet grid.

Figure 9-20 A line drawing element.
9.4.1.1. Configuring the properties of the line

The properties of the line can be altered with the Properties menu item in the context menu which appears when the mouse cursor is placed over the line and one of the secondary mouse buttons is pressed.

Lines have two properties, the color used for the line and the width of the line.

Figure 9-21 The configuration dialog for line properties.

The color of the line can be altered by moving the mouse pointer over the button with the icon of a small, black, downward pointing arrow and then clicking with the primary mouse button. This will open up a panel with a number of standard colors presented as small squares. Any of these colors can be selected by moving the mouse pointer over the desired color and pressing once with the primary mouse button. Alternatively, a custom color can be chosen by clicking on the button at the bottom of the panel. This will open up the color chooser dialog. In this dialog colors can be defined using the numeric boxes or can be selected using the color triangle. The color can be selected by Clicking on the outer circle while the darkness or lightness can be selected by clicking inside the triangle. Once the desired color has been configured, this color can be used for the label outline by clicking on the OK button.

The line width can be changed either by typing a new number into the text box or by using the up and down arrows to increment or decrement the width number.

9.4.2. Drawing Arrows.

Arrows are elements that can be used to point to values in a worksheet. Figure 9-22 shows a purple arrow floating over a worksheet

Figure 9-22 An arrow drawing element.
9.4.2.1. Configuring the properties of the arrow

The properties of the arrow can be altered with the Properties menu item in the context menu which appears when the mouse cursor is placed over the arrow and one of the secondary mouse buttons is pressed.

Arrows have five properties, the arrow color, the width of the line stem of the arrow, and tree dimensions for the arrow point which will be explained below.

Figure 9-23 The configuration dialog for arrow properties.

The dimensions of related to the arrow are presented in Figure 9-24.

Figure 9-24 The dimensions of the arrow point.

The 'Arrow Tip' is the distance from the point of the arrow to the base of the arrowhead where the shaft begins. The 'Arrow Length' is the distance from the arrow point to either of the outer side points of the arrow head, projected along the shaft of the arrow. The 'Arrow Width' is the distance between the two outer side points of the arrow head.

9.4.3. Drawing Rectangles.

Rectangles are areal drawing elements. Figure 9-25 shows a yellow rectangle with a blue border.

Rectangles have three properties which can be configured, the color and width of the border and the color of the interior of the rectangle.

Figure 9-25 A rectangle drawing element.
9.4.3.1. Configuring the properties of the rectangle

The properties of the rectangle can be altered with the Properties menu item in the context menu which appears when the mouse cursor is placed over the rectangle and one of the secondary mouse buttons is pressed.

Figure 9-26 The configuration dialog for rectangle properties.

The color of the outline border can be configured by selecting a new color from the color picker as was explained in Section 9.4.1 ― Drawing Lines. for the line drawing element. The width of the border can be configured by typing a new dimension in the text box or by clicking on the increment arrows, up to increase the width and down to decrease the width. The color of the interior of the rectangle, the 'fill' color, can be configured in the same way as the color of the outline border.

9.4.4. Drawing Ovals.

Ovals are areal drawing elements. Figure 9-27 shows a red oval with a transparent background, which is a useful way to circle important ranges in a workbook.

Ovals, like rectangles, can be configured in the color and width of the outline border, and the color of the fill.

Figure 9-27 An oval drawing element.
9.4.4.1. Configuring the properties of the oval

The properties of the oval can be altered with the Properties menu item in the context menu which appears when the mouse cursor is placed over the oval and one of the secondary mouse buttons is pressed.

Figure 9-28 The configuration dialog for oval properties.

The configuration of these properties is the same as the configuration of the rectangle properties explained above.

10. Graphs

Gnumeric includes a powerful mechanism to create graphical charts which present visually the data contained in a worksheet.

The first section of this chapter starts with an overview of graph creation, discusses terminology, and presents graph components and their organization. The next section explains the "Chart Guru" which is the tool used to configure graphs. The subsequent section presents the different types of plots which can be included in a graph and the final section explains how data can be pre-selected to speed up the process of graph creation.

Charts are exceedingly effective communication devices. Unfortunately, this means that one cannot determine, simply based on the data to be plotted, what type of plot will be the most effective. Instead users must familiarize themselves with the various types of plots which are available and decide for themselves which plot type is the most effective to communicate an idea. Section 10.1 ― Overview of Graphs contains a detailed explanation of the plot types available in Gnumeric.

This chapter explains how to add graphs to plot worksheet data.

10.1. Overview of Graphs

This overview will start with a brief summary of the process involved in creating a graph, then will discuss the terminology used in this document, will present the components of a graph, and present the hierarchy of the components used in to configure the graphs.

10.1.1. The Graph Creation Process

The process of graph creation involves several steps each of which requires the user to understand clearly what they intend to do. This outline is presented to help users understand the subsequent discussion in this document.

Outline of the procedure to create a graph.
  1. Data entry.

    Before a graph can be created, the data must be entered into a workbook.

  2. (Optional) Data pre-selection.

    As explained in Section 10.5 ― Pre-Selecting Data, it is possible to pre-select the data and have Gnumeric correctly assign the cell contents into series names, category labels and data values. This process can only be understood once the rest of the graph creation process has been mastered so the discussion of pre-selecting data is left until the end of this section.

  3. Opening the graph guru

    The Graph Guru can be opened in two ways. It can be opened by clicking on the Graph Guru button, , which is on the standard toolbar immediately to the left of the zoom box. Alternatively the Graph Guru can be opened by using, in the Insert menu, the Chart menu item.

  4. Configuring the graph

    The Graph Guru provides the user with a large number of options to configure the graph, its charts and the plots. The first panel provides a way to select the plot type, sub-type and, for some types, a style. The second panel allows the user to configure each element of the graph. When the configuration is complete, the guru is dismissed by clicking the OK button. This step will be explained in detail in Section 10.2.2 ― Navigating the graph guru, below.

  5. Inserting the graph

    Finally, the graph is inserted into the worksheet like any other graphical element, as was explained in Section 9.1.1 ― Adding Graphical Elements.

10.1.2. On Terminology

The terminology used for describing the components of data graphs is confusing because graphs use many components and the words are applied arbitrarily to each component. For example, the words "graph", "chart", and "plot" could be used interchangeably but in Gnumeric these words are used as explained below.

The term 'graph' will be used, in this documentation, to refer to the entire graphical element placed on the worksheet. A graph has an outline and a background, may have one or more titles, and will have at least one 'chart'.

The term 'chart' will be used to denote an intermediate level element which has an outline and a background, may have one or more titles, may have a legend and will have at least one 'plot'. To support the plot, the chart may have a 'grid' area behind the plotted data, and have one or more axes.

Each 'plot' will be defined to be of a particular type when it is created. Plots will have one or more 'series' of data values which will define the magnitude of the values of to be plotted and may define a number of other related values including errors in the x and y directions.

This terminology can be used to describe in detail the components of a graph in Gnumeric. Figure 10-1 presents the components of a graph.

10.1.3. The Components of Graphs

Figure 10-1The components of Gnumeric graphs

This screenshot presents several of the major components of Gnumeric graphs. These components will be presented next in their containment hierarchy. The hierarchy is used in the Graph Guru to organize the components so a user can change all the preferences.

10.1.4. The Graph Component Hierarchy

The components that make up a graph in Gnumeric are arranged in a hierarchy with all the configurable options of the graph assigned as properties to one of the components in the hierarchy.

Figure 10-2The hierarchy of components and their properties

The hierarchy of graph component elements and the associated properties. In this case, the element 'X-Axis2' is selected.

In Gnumeric, Graphs are the top level element containing all the other components. Graphs have two properties related to the style of the background rectangular panel, its fill and its outline. Graphs can hold one or more titles and one or more charts.

Titles have the same properties related to their background rectangular panel, the fill and outline, have properties related to the text, the font type, style, and size, and have the text data that will be the title itself.

Charts have the same properties related to the background rectangular panel and can contain a number of other components including their own titles, a legend, plot accessories and plots.

Legends have the same properties related to their background rectangular panel and also have the properties related to the font in which the name of each series will be added to the legend, the font type, style, and size.

Certain plot types require accessory components such as the elements related to the creation of a Cartesian coordinate system. Charts which include one or more plots of this kind will have a Grid and may have X (horizontal) and Y (vertical) axes.

Grids are the background of Cartesian plots and have the properties determining the fill of this area and the line pattern displayed behind the plotted series.

Axes have properties related to the outer bounds of the axis, the style of the line drawn for the axis, the font style of the markers along the axis, detail properties of the tics and other markers on the axis, and the number format of the axis markers.

Axis labels share the same properties related to the style of their background rectangular panel, including the fill and outline properties, have properties related to the style of the font used for the text, including the font type, style and size, and the data contents of the text used to label the axis.

The properties of each type of plot, and of the data series they contain, vary depending on the actual type of the plot. For instance, the values of a data series which are plotted as a pie plot will not have any associated error values, whereas values plotted as columns could be associated to Y-error values and values plotted as an XY scatterplot could be associated with error values in both the X and the Y direction. Obviously, these different plot types will require different options. The options associated with each specific plot type will be discussed below, in Section 10.4 ― Configuring Graph Element Properties.

10.2. The Graph Guru

All graphs in Gnumeric are created using the Graph Guru which is a complex dialog that allows for detailed customization of each graph.

10.2.1. The components of the Graph Guru

The Graph Guru consists of two panels which appear sequentially. The first panel allows the user to select the type of the plot, and possibly a sub-type and a style. The second panel provides a way to configure the style formats of each component of the final graph. Figure 10-3 shows the different areas of the two panels of the Graph Guru.

Figure 10-3The two panels of the Graph Guru

The different parts of each panel of the Graph Guru have been shaded with boxes of different colors and labeled with a letter in Figure 10-3. The purpose of each of these sections will be explained below:

The components of the two panels
A - The Plot Type Selection Area

This area lists the different types of plots which can be contained within the graph. The desired plot type can be selected simply by placing the mouse cursor over the desired type and clicking with the primary mouse button. The blue highlight indicates the currently selected type.

B - The Preview Area.

This area shows a preview of the currently selected plot type/sub type combination using the default settings for this type of plot.

C - The Plot Subtype Area.

This area presents a number of icons which change depending on the plot type that has been selected. Certain icons represent plot sub-types, for example, distinguishing plots with columns that are side by side from plots with stacked columns. Other icons represent different plot styles, for example distinguishing line plots in which each data point is labeled with a graphical symbol from line plots where data points do not have any symbol. The highlight box around one icon indicates which icon is currently chosen.

Hovering the mouse pointer over one of these icons causes a description of the plot type to be shown next to the icon.

D - The First Panel Navigation Buttons

These buttons enable the user to navigate through the Graph Guru.

The Help Button

The Help button should cause this section of the manual to open.

The Cancel Button

The Cancel button will dismiss the Graph Guru and return the user to the Gnumeric worksheet.

The Forward Button

The Forward button will dismiss the first panel of the Graph Guru and open up the second panel.

The Insert Button

The Insert button will dismiss the Graph Guru and allow users to insert the graph, as it is currently defined, into the worksheet. The resulting graph may not include any plots or data but it can be modified subsequently using the context menu's Properties menu entry.

E - The hierarchy tree of graph components

This area allows the user to navigate the hierarchy of graph components. The components are arranged in a tree with nodes indicated by arrowheads. Components can be selected by clicking on the component name with the mouse pointer and nodes can be expanded or collapsed by clicking on the arrowheads. The selection of different components in this area will cause different property options to be displayed in area J since each component in the hierarchy has its own specific properties.

Immediately below the hierarchy are buttons that allow a user to modify the hierarchy of components by adding components with the Add button or by removing components with the Delete button. The Order allows the user to change the stacking order of charts, moving them up or down, or of data series, moving them toward the front or back.

F - The preview area

This area shows a preview of the graph as it will look if the user clicks on the Insert or Apply at the bottom of the panel, in area H.

G - The component properties selection area.

This area allows the user to change the graph by modifying the properties of the component that is selected (highlighted in blue) in area E. For components which have multiple properties these may be grouped into related sets and placed on different tabs. By clicking on the tabs at the upper left, a user can access the properties in each set.

H - The second panel navigation buttons

If the guru is opened to create a new graph the buttons in this are act in the same way as the buttons in the first panel, in area D except that the Forward is now a Back and takes the user back to the first panel.

If the guru is opened to modify an existing graph the following buttons are shown (as in the screenshot Figure 10-3).

The Help Button

The Help button should cause this section of the manual to open.

The Cancel Button

The Cancel button will dismiss the Graph Guru and return the user to the Gnumeric worksheet, leaving the graph unchanged.

The Apply Button

The Apply button will dismiss the Graph Guru and apply the changes to the current graph.

K - The panel rearrangement handles

These triple dots in various places of the two panels of the graph guru indicate that the mouse can be used to change the size of the different areas. These handles can be used by placing the mouse pointer above a handle, clicking and holding with the primary mouse button, then dragging the handle to a new position, and then releasing the mouse button.

10.2.2. Navigating the graph guru

Graphs in Gnumeric are created using the Graph Guru. The process involved in using this 'guru' essentially follows the alphabetical labels presented in Figure 10-3.

The Graph Creation Process
  1. Data Pre-selection

    Advanced users generally start by pre-selecting at least some of the data they will use in their plots. However, this step requires a complete understanding graphs and this step is not described here. Section 10.5 ― Pre-Selecting Data will explain data preselection once the rest of the graphing process has been explained.

  2. Launching the Graph Guru

    The Graph guru can be started in two ways. One way to start the Graph Guru is to click, with the primary mouse button, on the toolbar graph button, . Another way is to select, from the Insert menu, the Chart... menu item. Both approaches will launch the Graph Guru.

  3. Selecting the plot type, sub-type, and style.

    The Graph guru opens to the first of two panels. The areas of this panel are shown in the left hand side of Figure 10-3. This panel enables the user to select the type of the first plot in the chart, and its sub-type and style. To make a graph with multiple plots, a user should start by selecting the first plot; subsequent plots can be added later.

    1. Picking the plot type

      The first area, area A, provides a list of the plot types. The user can pick one of the types by placing the mouse pointer on top of that appropriate entry in the list and clicking the primary mouse button. The blue highlight indicates which plot type has been chosen. The characteristics of the different plot types are explained extensively in Section 10.3 ― Plot Types.

    2. Picking the plot sub-type and style

      The second area of the first panel of the Graph Guru, labeled B in Figure 10-3, presents one or more icons. The icons presented in this area will change depending on what plot type is highlighted in area A. The icons provide a way to select a sub-type of plot, for example, the icons for the column plot type provide the choice between plotting columns of each data series side-by-side or plotting these columns stacked upon each other. These icons may also provide a way to quickly select different styles for the plot type, for example the icons for the line type provide a choice between plotting a simple line or placing markers at the points along the line. The sub-type cannot be changed in the next panel of the Graph Guru without deleting the plot and creating a new one. However, the style choices can be altered in the next panel. The meaning of each of these icons is explained in Section 10.3 ― Plot Types below grouped by plot type. If data has been pre-selected, clicking on the Show Sample will present a preview of the plot type in area B.

    3. Moving to the next panel

      Once a plot type has been chosen in area A and an icon selected in area B, the first panel has been completed. Clicking on the Forward button will dismiss the first panel of the Graph Guru and bring up the second panel.

  4. Configuring the plot

    The second panel of the Graph Guru enables users to configure the plot. This includes determining the values which will actually be plotted, adding titles to various components, labels to the data series, names to data categories, and changing the appearance of the different components.

    The simplest way both to learn the hierarchy of components in Gnumeric graphs and to understand the properties which can be changed for each component is to work sequentially through all of the components while both noting the components which can be added, listed in the drop down menu when the Add button is pressed, and observing the properties of the component which can be altered, shown in the lower part of the panel, the area labeled J in Figure 10-3. Each component in the hierarchy can be selected in turn using the complete tree of all the components presented in the top leftmost area, labeled F. Components can be selected by placing the mouse pointer over their name in this tree and then clicking with the primary mouse button. The currently selected component is indicated by the blue highlight on that line. Changing the selected component will also change the properties listed in area J. Tree nodes, indicated by arrowheads in front of the name of a component, can be expanded or collapsed with alternative mouse clicks.

    The second panel of the Graph Guru only allows two types of actions to be performed: the hierarchy of component elements can be modified or the properties of an element can be altered.

    Changing the component elements

    The component elements of the graph can be changed using the buttons in area G. Elements can be added, deleted or re-ordered.

    Adding component elements

    An element can be added by selecting the parent element in the hierarchy presented in area F and then clicking and holding the Add button. This action will reveal a drop down list including all the possible elements that can be added. By moving the mouse pointer onto the drop down list and releasing the mouse button while the pointer is over an element, that element will be added. To add a plot to a chart, it is necessary to navigate into the sub-menu to select the plot type and then into that sub-menu to select a plot sub-type or style in a process that mimics the process of selecting a plot discussed above.

    Deleting component elements

    An element can be deleted by selecting the element in the hierarchy presented in area F, and then clicking the Delete button below the hierarchy.

    Re-ordering component elements

    The order of some of the elements can be interchanged using the Order button below the element hierarchy. For example, if an element has two titles, the order of the titles could be swapped. Similarly the vertical order of charts can be interchanged. The effect on plots and series is different. For those elements, the order button changes the stacking order in the front to back dimension. For example, if a chart has a bar plot and a line plot, the order button will change which of the two plots is visible in front of the other.

    Configuring the properties of the Element

    The bottom area of the second panel, area J in Figure 10-3, allows the user to configure the properties of each element in the hierarchy. When there are many properties, they will be grouped into similar sets and placed on different tabs. The detailed explanation of how to configure each property of each element will be explained in Section 10.4 ― Configuring Graph Element Properties below.

    Once the plot is sufficiently configured, it can be placed on the worksheet to assess its appearance. The user can return to this panel of the Graph Guru using the context menu on the graph. The Graph Guru is dismissed by clicking on the OK button.

  5. Place the graph

    After exiting the Graph Guru, the user must place the graph on a worksheet. Immediately after exiting the Graph Guru, the mouse pointer will have changed to the thin cross-hair cursor. The user can place the graph by moving the pointer over the worksheet and clicking once with the primary mouse button. Alternatively, the user can place and size the graph by determining two of the corners of the graph. This is done by moving the pointer onto the worksheet to the first corner, clicking and holding the primary mouse button, dragging the mouse pointer to the opposite corner and releasing the mouse button.

  6. Modifying an existing graph

    A graph which has already been created can be modified by clicking on the graph with one of the secondary mouse buttons in order to invoke the context menu and then selecting the Properties menu entry. This will cause the second panel of the Graph Guru to appear which will enable the user to make any desired modifications. The use of the context menu was discussed in Section 9.1.4 ― Invoking the Context Menu for Graphical Elements.

  7. Deleting a graph

    A graph which has been made can be deleted by invoking the context menu and selecting the Delete menu item.

10.3. Plot Types

Gnumeric graphs can include any of the plot types presented below. The section for each type explains the overall concept of the plot, gives an example, explains the data required for the plot type, and explains the icons in the Graph Guru which allow setting the plot sub-type and style.

10.3.1.  Area Plots

Area plots present the numeric values of categorical data with the data values of each series connected by a line and the area below the line shaded. This type is directly analogous to the line plot type. Sequential data values are considered to belong to different categories and are plotted along the horizontal axis at equally spaced intervals. The data values from different series are assigned to these categories based on the position of the value in the series, for example, the second data value taken from each series all share one category. The data values are plotted along the vertical (Y) axis according to their numeric value and the particular sub-type chosen for the area plot.

Area plot sub-types provide three options for relating the values from different data series. The first sub-type plots each series independently with the data value determining the vertical distance between each point and the horizontal axis. The second sub-type plots the series stacked on each other in a cumulative fashion with the data value of each series determining the vertical distance from the point to the sum of the values in all the previous series. For example, if the first series starts with values {3.9, 4.2, ...}, the second series with values {1.2, 3.5, ...}, and the third series with values {3.1, 1.9, ...}, then the point value for the second element of the third series will be plotted at 9.6 (since 9.6=4.2+3.5+1.9) along the vertical axis. The third sub-type plots each series based on the proportional contribution of the value to the total of all values in that category. Using the example above, the three values would be plotted at 0.4375, 0.8020, and 1 because the intervals between zero and each of these numbers is 0.4375=4.2/(4.2+3.5+1.9) for the first, 0.3645...=3.5/(4.2+3.5+1.9) for the second, and 0.1979...=1.9/(4.2+3.5+1.9) for the third, although, by default, these numbers are presented as percentages on the vertical (Y) axis.

Area plots do not have any pre-defined styles.

Figure 10-4An example of area plots

This screenshot shows a table of data and three area plots. The data consist of three series organized by row and starting with the words "Widgets", "Gadgets", and "Lumpets". Each of these series has values in five categories. The three graphs illustrate the three sub-types of area plots, with the series plotted independently in the left plot, stacked in the middle plot, and proportionately stacked in the right plot.

Each series in area plots can include three main elements and two error elements, although only the value element is necessary. The series can have a 'Name' element, which is a single text entry used to identify the series, must have a 'Values' element, which is a sequence of numeric values, and may have a 'Label' element, which is a sequence of text entries used to identify the categories. All of these elements can be defined as references to a region of the worksheet, as literally defined entries, or as formula expressions which result in the correct type. The 'Label' element is shared by all of the series. The legend added to an area plot identifies the different series, by default using the entries of the 'Name' element of each series. The two error elements include a list for errors in the positive direction and one for errors in the negative direction.

Table 10-1The data in each area plot series
Element Type Example
Name A single textual element labeling the data series. These will be used in the legend which may be displayed with the area plot. {"Widgets"}
Value A series of numeric values. {1293, 2502, 3297, 1100, 2487}
Label A series of textual elements labeling each value. Generally, this series will have as many entries as there were in the "Value" series. These entries are shared by all the series in the area plot. {"North", "South", "Central", "East", "West"}
Error (+) A list of numeric values with as many elements as there were in the 'Value' list. These values can be in the same units as the numeric values in the 'Value' list, can be proportions or can be proportions multiplied by one hundred. {0.10, 0.12, 0.09, 0.11, 0.09}
Error (-) A list of numeric values with as many elements as there were in the 'Value' list. These values can be in the same units as the numeric values in the 'Value' list, can be proportions or can be proportions multiplied by one hundred. {0.08, 0.11, 0.10, 0.09, 0.11}

Area plots provide three icons to choose one of the three area plot sub-types.

Area plot sub-type and style options.

The icon for an area plot of the sub-type with independent, overlapping areas.

The icon for an area plot of the sub-type with stacked areas.

The icon for an area plot of the sub-type with stacked, proportionate areas.

10.3.2.  Bar Plots

Bar plots present the numeric values of categorical data with the data values of each series represented as a horizontal bar. Sequential data values are considered to belong to different categories and are plotted along the vertical axis at equally spaced intervals. The data values from different series are assigned to these categories based on the position of the value in the series, for example, the second data value taken from each series all share one category. The data values are plotted along the horizontal (X) axis as bars of different lengths and positions depending on the numeric content of the data value and the particular sub-type chosen for the bar plot.

Bar plot sub-types provide three options for relating the values from different data series. The first sub-type plots each series independently in adjacent bars, each of which is tied to the vertical axis and has its length determined by the numeric content of the data value. The second sub-type plots each series as a horizontally stacked set of bars with the horizontal length of each element determined by the numeric content of the data value and the position of the bar determined by the position of the element in the data series. For example, if the first series starts with values {3.9, 4.2, ...}, the second series with values {1.2, 3.5, ...}, and the third series with values {3.1, 1.9, ...}, then the third bar will be plotted ranging from 7.7 to 9.6, since 7.7=4.2+3.5 and 9.6=4.2+3.5+1.9. The third sub-type plots each series as a horizontally stacked set of bars scaled to the total all the numeric values in that category. Using the example above, the three bars would range from 0 to 0.4375, from 0.4375 to 0.8020, and from 0.8020 to 1 respectively because the intervals are the proportional contribution of each data value to the total, i.e. 0.4375=4.2/(4.2+3.5+1.9) for the first, 0.3645...=3.5/(4.2+3.5+1.9) for the second, and 0.1979...=1.9/(4.2+3.5+1.9) for the third. By default, these numbers are presented as percentages on the horizontal (X) axis.

Bar plots do not have any pre-defined styles.

Figure 10-5An example of bar plots

This screenshot shows a table of data and three bar plots. The data consist of three series organized by row and starting with the words "Widgets", "Gadgets", and "Lumpets". Each of these series has values in five categories. The three graphs illustrate the three sub-types of bar plots, with the series plotted independently in the left plot, stacked in the middle plot, and proportionately stacked in the right plot.

Each series in bar plots can include three main elements and two error elements, although only the value element is necessary. The series can have a 'Name' element, which is a single text entry used to identify the series, must have a 'Values' element, which is a sequence of numeric values, and may have a 'Label' element, which is a sequence of text entries used to identify the categories. All of these elements can be defined as references to a region of the worksheet, as literally defined entries, or as formula expressions which result in the correct type. The 'Label' element is shared by all of the series. The legend added to a bar plot identifies the different series, by default using the entries of the 'Name' element of each series. The two error elements include a list for errors in the positive direction and one for errors in the negative direction.

Table 10-2The data in each bar plot series
Element Type Example
Name A single textual element labeling the data series. These will be used in the legend which may be displayed with the bar plot. {"Widgets"}
Value A series of numeric values. {1293, 2502, 3297, 1100, 2487}
Label A series of textual elements labeling each value. Generally, this series will have as many entries as there were in the "Value" series. These entries are shared by all the series in the bar plot. {"North", "South", "Central", "East", "West"}
Error (+) A list of numeric values with as many elements as there were in the 'Value' list. These values can be in the same units as the numeric values in the 'Value' list, can be proportions or can be proportions multiplied by one hundred. {0.10, 0.12, 0.09, 0.11, 0.09}
Error (-) A list of numeric values with as many elements as there were in the 'Value' list. These values can be in the same units as the numeric values in the 'Value' list, can be proportions or can be proportions multiplied by one hundred. {0.08, 0.11, 0.10, 0.09, 0.11}

Bar plots provide three icons to choose one of the three bar plot sub-types.

Bar plot sub-type and style options.

The icon for a bar plot of the sub-type with independent, adjacent bars.

The icon for a bar plot of the sub-type with horizontally stacked bars.

The icon for a bar plot of the sub-type with horizontally stacked, proportionately scaled bars.

10.3.3.  Bubble Plots

The data values from three series of equal length are plotted on the Cartesian (X-Y) plane, the value from the first series determining the position of the plotted symbol center along the X axis, the value from the second series determining the position of the plotted symbol center along the Y axis, and the value of the third series determining the radius of the circle plotted. Each triplet of series can be plotted with different symbols but the data values of any series can be shared.

Figure 10-6An example of a bubble plot

This screenshot shows a worksheet with a table of data with two series, each with three lists of numeric values. The screenshot also shows a bubble plot made from these two series.

Each series in a bubble plot can include four main components and four optional error components. The series may have a name, a single text value which will identify the series in the graph guru and in any legend attached to the chart. The series must have two lists of quantitative values, a list of X values and a list of Y values, which must have an equal number of elements. The series must also have a list, with the same number of elements, whose values will determine the size of the circles drawn at each point. The series may have lists of error components for the X values or the Y values and for positive or negative errors.

Table 10-3The data in each bubble series
Element Type Example
Name A single textual element labeling the data series. {"Series1"}
X A list of numeric values, which will place the values along the horizontal axis. {14.5, 2.8, 11.8, 5.7, 8.2}
Y A second list of numeric values, which will place the values along the vertical axis. {154, 29, 63, 90, 107}
Bubble A series of numeric values, which will determine the size of each circle drawn at the points. {45, 54, 34, 23, 37}
X Error (+) A list of numeric values with as many elements as there were in the 'X' list. These values can be in the same units as the numeric values in the 'X' list, can be proportions or can be proportions multiplied by one hundred. {0.10, 0.12, 0.09, 0.11, 0.09}
X Error (-) A list of numeric values with as many elements as there were in the 'X' list. These values can be in the same units as the numeric values in the 'Value' list, can be proportions or can be proportions multiplied by one hundred. {0.08, 0.11, 0.10, 0.09, 0.11}
Y Error (+) A list of numeric values with as many elements as there were in the 'Y' list, and therefore in the 'X' list. These values can be in the same units as the numeric values in the 'Y' list, can be proportions or can be proportions multiplied by one hundred. {0.09, 0.11, 0.10, 0.12, 0.09}
Y Error (-) A list of numeric values with as many elements as there were in the 'Y' list, and therefore in the 'X' list. These values can be in the same units as the numeric values in the 'Y' list, can be proportions or can be proportions multiplied by one hundred. {0.10, 0.09, 0.08, 0.11, 0.11}

Bubble plots have a single icon for the plot style.

The icon for bubble plots

The icon for a bubble plot.

10.3.4.  Colored XY Plots

Work in Progress

10.3.5.  Column Plots

Column plots present the numeric values of categorical data with the data values of each series represented as a vertical column. Sequential data values are considered to belong to different categories and are plotted along the horizontal axis at equally spaced intervals. The data values from different series are assigned to these categories based on the position of the value in the series, for example, the second data value taken from each series all share one category. The data values are plotted along the vertical (Y) axis as columns of different heights and positions depending on the numeric content of the data value and the particular sub-type chosen for the column plot.

Column plot sub-types provide three options for relating the values from different data series. The first sub-type plots each series independently in adjacent bars, each of which is tied to the horizontal axis and has its height determined by the numeric content of the data value. The second sub-type plots each series as a vertically stacked set of columns with the vertical height of each element determined by the numeric content of the data value and the position of the column determined by the position of the element in the data series. For example, if the first series starts with values {3.9, 4.2, ...}, the second series with values {1.2, 3.5, ...}, and the third series with values {3.1, 1.9, ...}, then the third column will be plotted ranging from 7.7 to 9.6, since 7.7=4.2+3.5 and 9.6=4.2+3.5+1.9. The third sub-type plots each series as a vertically stacked set of columns scaled to the total all the numeric values in that category. Using the example above, the three columns would range from 0 to 0.4375, from 0.4375 to 0.8020, and from 0.8020 to 1 respectively because the intervals are the proportional contribution of each data value to the total, i.e. 0.4375=4.2/(4.2+3.5+1.9) for the first, 0.3645...=3.5/(4.2+3.5+1.9) for the second, and 0.1979...=1.9/(4.2+3.5+1.9) for the third. By default, these numbers are presented as percentages on the vertical (Y) axis.

Column plots do not have any pre-defined styles.

Figure 10-7An example of column plots

This screenshot shows a table of data and three column plots. The data consist of three series organized by row and starting with the words "Widgets", "Gadgets", and "Lumpets". Each of these series has values in five categories. The three graphs illustrate the three sub-types of column plots, with the series plotted independently in the left plot, stacked in the middle plot, and proportionately stacked in the right plot.

Each series in column plots can include three main elements and two error elements, although only the value element is necessary. The series can have a 'Name' element, which is a single text entry used to identify the series, must have a 'Values' element, which is a sequence of numeric values, and may have a 'Label' element, which is a sequence of text entries used to identify the categories. All of these elements can be defined as references to a region of the worksheet, as literally defined entries, or as formula expressions which result in the correct type. The 'Label' element is shared by all of the series. The legend added to a column plot identifies the different series, by default using the entries of the 'Name' element of each series. The two error elements include a list for errors in the positive direction and one for errors in the negative direction.

Table 10-4The data in each column plot series
Element Type Example
Name A single textual element labeling the data series. These will be used in the legend which may be displayed with the column plot. {"Widgets"}
Value A series of numeric values. {1293, 2502, 3297, ,1100, 2487}
Label A series of textual elements labeling each value. Generally, this series will have as many entries as there were in the "Value" series. These entries are shared by all the series in the column plot. {"North", "South", "Central", "East", "West"}
Error (+) A list of numeric values with as many elements as there were in the 'Value' list. These values can be in the same units as the numeric values in the 'Value' list, can be proportions or can be proportions multiplied by one hundred. {0.10, 0.12, 0.09, 0.11, 0.09}
Error (-) A list of numeric values with as many elements as there were in the 'Value' list. These values can be in the same units as the numeric values in the 'Value' list, can be proportions or can be proportions multiplied by one hundred. {0.08, 0.11, 0.10, 0.09, 0.11}

Column plots provide three icons to choose between three plot sub-types.

Column plot sub-type and style options.

The icon for pie plot of style with joint slices.

The icon for pie plot of style with joint slices.

The icon for pie plot of style with joint slices.

10.3.6.  Contour Plots

Work in Progress

10.3.7.  DropBar Plots

Work in Progress

10.3.8.  Line Plots

Line plots present the numeric values of categorical data with the data values of each series connected by a line. Sequential data values are considered to belong to different categories and are plotted along the horizontal (X) axis at equally spaced intervals. The data values from different series are assigned to these categories based on the position of the value in the series, for example, the second data value taken from each series all share one category. The data values are plotted along the vertical (Y) axis according to their numeric value and the particular sub-type chosen for the line plot.

Line plot sub-types provide three options for relating the values from different data series. The first sub-type plots each series independently with the data value determining the vertical distance between each point and the horizontal axis. The second sub-type plots the series stacked on each other in a cumulative fashion with the data value of each series determining the vertical distance from the point to the sum of the values in all the previous series. For example, if the first series starts with values {3.9, 4.2, ...}, the second series with values {1.2, 3.5, ...}, and the third series with values {3.1, 1.9, ...}, then the point value for the second element of the third series will be plotted at 9.6 (9.6=4.2+3.5+1.9) along the vertical axis. The third sub-type plots each series based on the proportional contribution of the value to the total of all values in that category. Using the example above, the three values would be plotted at 0.4375, 0.8020, and 1 because the intervals between zero and each of these numbers is 0.4375=4.2/(4.2+3.5+1.9) for the first, 0.3645...=3.5/(4.2+3.5+1.9) for the second, and 0.1979...=1.9/(4.2+3.5+1.9) for the third, although, by default, these numbers are presented as percentages on the vertical (Y) axis.

Two styles are available by default for line plots. In the first no markers are placed on the value of the point whereas in the second a point marker is added wherever the points are plotted.

Figure 10-8An example of line plots

This screenshot shows a table of data and three line plots. The data consist of three series organized by row and starting with the words "Widgets", "Gadgets", and "Lumpets". Each of these series has values in five categories. The three graphs illustrate the three sub-types of line plots, with the series plotted independently in the left plot, stacked in the middle plot, and proportionately stacked in the right plot.

Each series in line plots can include three main elements and two error elements, although only the value element is necessary. The series can have a 'Name' element, which is a single text entry used to identify the series, must have a 'Values' element, which is a sequence of numeric values, and may have a 'Label' element, which is a sequence of text entries used to identify the categories. All of these elements can be defined as references to a region of the worksheet, as literally defined entries, or as formula expressions which result in the correct type. The 'Label' element is shared by all of the series. The legend added to a line plot identifies the different series, by default using the entries of the 'Name' element of each series. The two error elements include a list for errors in the positive direction and one for errors in the negative direction.

Table 10-5The data in each line plot series
Element Type Example
Name A single textual entry labeling the data series. These will be used in the legend which may be displayed with the line plot. {"Widgets"}
Value A list of numeric values. {1293, 2502, 3297, 1100, 2487}
Label A list of textual entries labeling each value. Generally, this series will have as many entries as there were in the 'Value' series. These entries are shared by all the series in the line plot. {"North", "South", "Central", "East", "West"}
Error (+) A list of numeric values with as many elements as there were in the 'Value' list. These values can be in the same units as the numeric values in the 'Value' list, can be proportions or can be proportions multiplied by one hundred. {0.10, 0.12, 0.09, 0.11, 0.09}
Error (-) A list of numeric values with as many elements as there were in the 'Value' list. These values can be in the same units as the numeric values in the 'Value' list, can be proportions or can be proportions multiplied by one hundred. {0.08, 0.11, 0.10, 0.09, 0.11}

Line plots provide six icons to choose between three plot sub-types each with two different styles.

Line plot sub-type and style options.

The icon for a line plot of the sub-type with independent, overlapping lines and of the style without point markers.

The icon for a line plot of the sub-type with stacked lines and of the style without point markers.

The icon for a line plot of the sub-type with stacked proportion lines and of the style without point markers.

The icon for a line plot of the sub-type with overlapping lines and of the style with point markers.

The icon for a line plot of the sub-type with stacked lines and of the style with point markers.

The icon for a line plot of the sub-type with stacked proportion lines and of the style without point markers.

10.3.9.  Min-Max Plots

Work in Progress

10.3.10.  Pie Plots

Pie plots present the numeric values from a single series of categorical data as slices of a circular area, the angular arc of each slice determined by the proportional magnitude of each value compared to the overall sum of all the values. For example, if the series had values { 1.12, 4.48, 3.36, 1.68, 0.56}, the contribution of each slice to the total would be {0.10, 0.40, 0.330, 0.15, 0.0 5}, since 0.10= 1.12/(1.12+4.48+3.36+1.68+0.56), and the angular arcs of the wedges would be {36, 144, 108, 54, 18} degrees, since 36=0.10*360.

Pie plots do not have any sub-types.

Pie plot styles provide two choices for the rendering of the pie chart, either with all slices linked into one overall circle, or with gaps between the slices. The size of the gap is a property of the pie plot which can be changed.

Figure 10-9An example of a pie plot

This screenshot shows a table of data and a pie plot. The data consist of a single data series organized in a row and starting with the word "Widgets". The series has values in five categories. The legend includes the names of the different data categories.

Each pie plot contains a single series which can include three elements although only the value element is necessary. The series can have a 'Name' element, which is a single text entry used to identify the series, must have a 'Values' element, which is a sequence of numeric values, and may have a 'Label' element, which is a sequence of text entries used to identify the categories. All of these elements can be defined as references to a region of the worksheet, as literally defined entries, or as formula expressions which result in the correct type. The legend added to a pie plot identifies the different categories using the entries in the 'Label' element.

Table 10-6The data in each pie plot series
Element Type Example
Name A single textual entry labeling the data series. {"Widgets"}
Value A list of numeric values. {1293, 2502, 3297, 1100, 2487}
Label A list of textual entries labeling the category of each value. Generally, this series will have as many entries as there were in the 'Value' list. These will be used in the legend which may be displayed with the pie plot. {"North", "South", "Central", "East", "West"}

Pie plots do not have any sub-types but provide two icons to distinguish the style of the plot allowing a choice between pie plots which comprise a single circular area or plots with distinct pie slices separated by small gaps.

Line plot sub-type and style options.

The icon for a pie plot of the style with joint slices.

The icon for a pie plot of the style with separated slices.

10.3.11.  Polar Plots

Work in Progress

10.3.12.  Radar Plots

Radar plots present the numeric values of categorical data as a set of points plotted along a set of axes radiating from a central point, with as many axes as there are values in the series and with the points connected by a line, possibly with the interior of the shape filled in. Sequential data values are considered to belong to different categories and are plotted on separate axes which are not necessarily orthogonal and radiate from a central point. Sequential points are connected by a line with the final point connected back to the first to form a closed polygon. The data values from different series are assigned to categories based on the position of the value in the series, for example, the second data value taken from each series all share one category and will therefore all be plotted on the same axis. The data values are plotted along the axis of each class according to their numeric value.

Radar plots do not have any sub-types.

Radar plot styles provide three choices for the rendering of the chart. The first style presents the radar chart as only a polygon of lines. The second style also includes a marker where the data values are plotted on each axis. The third style plots the radar chart as a filled polygon.

Figure 10-10An example of radar plots

This screenshot shows a table of data and three radar plots. The data consist of three series organized by row and starting with the words "Widgets", "Gadgets", and "Lumpets". Each of these series has values in five categories. The three graphs illustrate the three sub-types of radar plots, with the top left plot including lines only, the top right plot including both lines and markers on the points, and the bottom middle plot using filled polygons.

Each series in radar plots can include three main elements and two error elements, although only the value element is necessary. The series can have a 'Name' element, which is a single text entry used to identify the series, must have a 'Values' element, which is a sequence of numeric values, and may have a 'Label' element, which is a sequence of text entries used to identify the categories. All of these elements can be defined as references to a region of the worksheet, as literally defined entries, or as formula expressions which result in the correct type. The 'Label' element is shared by all of the series. The legend added to a radar plot identifies the different series, by default using the entries of the 'Name' element of each series. The two error elements include a list for errors in the positive direction and one for errors in the negative direction.

Table 10-7The data in each radar plot series
Element Type Example
Name A single textual element labeling the data series. {"Widgets"}
Value A series of numeric values. {1293, 2502, 3297, 1100, 2487}
Label A series of textual elements labeling each value. Generally, this series will have as many entries as there were in the 'Value' series. {"North", "South", "Central", "East", "West"}
Error (+) A list of numeric values with as many elements as there were in the 'Value' list. These values can be in the same units as the numeric values in the 'Value' list, can be proportions or can be proportions multiplied by one hundred. {0.10, 0.12, 0.09, 0.11, 0.09}
Error (-) A list of numeric values with as many elements as there were in the 'Value' list. These values can be in the same units as the numeric values in the 'Value' list, can be proportions or can be proportions multiplied by one hundred. {0.08, 0.11, 0.10, 0.09, 0.11}

Radar plots provide three icons distinguishing the three different styles.

Radar plot sub-type and style options.

The icon for a radar plot with the style displaying simple lines only.

The icon for a radar plot with the style displaying both lines and point markers on the data values.

The icon for a radar plot with the style displaying a filled area.

10.3.13.  Ring Plots

Ring plots present the numeric values of categorical data as segments of circular rings. Sequential data values are considered to belong to different categories and are plotted with distinct patterns. The data values from different series are assigned to these categories based on the position of the value in the series, for example, the second data value taken from each series all share one category. The data values are used to determine the size of the arc based on the proportionate size of the data value to the sum of all data values in the series. For example, if the series had values { 1.12, 4.48, 3.36, 1.68, 0.56}, the contribution of each ring section to the total would be {0.10, 0.40, 0.330, 0.15, 0.0 5}, since 0.10= 1.12/(1.12+4.48+3.36+1.68+0.56), and the angular arcs of the sections would be {36, 144, 108, 54, 18} degrees, since 36=0.10*360.

Ring plots do not have any sub-types.

Ring plot styles provide two choices. Ring plots can be plotted with all segments linked into a single overall ring, with different series plotted immediately adjacent to one another in sequentially larger rings. Alternatively, the segments of the outermost ring can be split and float a certain distance away from the next ring.

Figure 10-11An example of ring plots

This screenshot shows a table of data and two ring plots. The data consist of a single data series organized in a row and starting with the word "Widgets". The data consist of three series organized by row and starting with the words "Widgets", "Gadgets", and "Lumpets". Each of these series has values in five categories. The two graphs illustrate the two sub-types of ring plots, the left most plot without any gaps and the right most plot having the outer plot with gaps.

Each series in ring plots can include three main elements and two error elements, although only the value element is necessary. The series can have a 'Name' element, which is a single text entry used to identify the series, must have a 'Values' element, which is a sequence of numeric values, and may have a 'Label' element, which is a sequence of text entries used to identify the categories. All of these elements can be defined as references to a region of the worksheet, as literally defined entries, or as formula expressions which result in the correct type. The 'Label' element is shared by all of the series. The legend added to a ring plot identifies the different series, by default using the entries of the 'Name' element of each series. The two error elements include a list for errors in the positive direction and one for errors in the negative direction.

Table 10-8The data in each ring plot series
Element Type Example
Name A single textual element labeling the data series. {"Widgets"}
Value A series of numeric values. {1293, 2502, 3297, 1100, 2487}
Label A series of textual elements labeling each value. Generally, this series will have as many entries as there were in the "Value" series. {"North", "South", "Central", "East", "West"}
Error (+) A list of numeric values with as many elements as there were in the 'Value' list. These values can be in the same units as the numeric values in the 'Value' list, can be proportions or can be proportions multiplied by one hundred. {0.10, 0.12, 0.09, 0.11, 0.09}
Error (-) A list of numeric values with as many elements as there were in the 'Value' list. These values can be in the same units as the numeric values in the 'Value' list, can be proportions or can be proportions multiplied by one hundred. {0.08, 0.11, 0.10, 0.09, 0.11}

Ring plots provide two icons distinguishing the two different styles.

Ring plot sub-type and style options.

The icon for a ring plot with the style of displaying series in contiguous rings.

The icon for a ring plot with the style of displaying the outermost series separated from the rest.

10.3.14.  Statistics Plots

Work in Progress

10.3.15.  Surface Plots

Surface plots are used to plot (x,y ,z) points in three-dimensional space as a surface where z is interpreted as the height above the xy-plane. A Gnumeric chart of course shows the projection of this surface in 3-space onto a 2-dimensional sheet.

Surface plot sub-types provide for 2 distinct ways of providing the data for a surface plot.

The first subtype uses an n by 1 or 1 by n range for the x-values, a second 1 by m or m by 1 range for the y-values and an m by n range for the z values. The plotted points are constructed from these three ranges in such a way that the z value in the ith column and jth row is combined with the ith x value and the jth y value. This subtype then uses an m by n grid for the surface.

Figure 10-12An example of a surface plot with rectangular data area

The second subtype uses a direct listing of the n points. The x values are specified with an n by 1 range, so are the y and z values. The ith z value is then combined with the ith x and ith y value to obtain the points to be plotted.It is not necessary to provide the same number of y coordinates for each x coordinate or vice versa. Gnumeric will interpolate missing values. For this purpose one needs to specify the number of (equidistant) rows and columns to be used for the surface grid. This grid need not align with the provided coordinates.

Figure 10-13An example of a surface plot with x,y, and z series

Surface plots do not have any pre-defined styles.

Table 10-9The data in each surface plot series with rectangular data area
Element Type Example
Name A single textual element labeling the data series. These will be used in the legend which may be displayed with the surface plot. {"Widgets"}
X An optional series of numeric values to be used for the x coordinates of the grid. This defaults to {1,2,…,n}. {1,3,5,6,8,9}
Y An optional series of numeric values to be used for the y coordinates of the grid. This defaults to {1,2,…,n}. {1,1.5,2,2.5}
Z A rectangular range of numbers where the number in jth row and ith column is the height of the (i,j) grid point. A2:J15
Table 10-10The data in each surface plot series with xyz series.
Element Type Example
Name A single textual element labeling the data series. These will be used in the legend which may be displayed with the surface plot. {"Widgets"}
X A series of numeric values to be used for the x coordinates of the grid. {1,1.5,2,2.5}
Y A series of numeric values to be used for the y coordinates of the grid. {1,1.5,2,2.5}
Z A series of numeric values to be used for the z coordinates of the grid. {1,1.5,2,2.5}

Surface plots provide two icons to choose one of the two surface plot sub-types.

Surface plot sub-type and style options.

The icon for an area plot of the sub-type with rectangular data area.

The icon for an area plot of the sub-type with xyz series.

10.3.16.  XY Scatterplots

The data values of two series of equal length are plotted on the Cartesian (X-Y) plane, the value from the first series determining the position of the plotted symbol along the X axis, and the value from the second series determining the position of the plotted symbol along the Y axis. Data can be plotted as points only, with each pair of data series having different symbols, or, alternatively, sequential data pairs can be connected by a line, or, finally, both symbols and a connecting line can be used.

Figure 10-14An example of an XY scatterplot

This screenshot shows a data table with two different series highlighted which are usable in a scatterplot. Each series is comprised of two lists of numeric values. The screenshot also shows the scatterplot made from these two data series.

Each series in a scatterplot can include three core components and four optional error components. The series may have a name, a single text value which will identify the series in the Graph Guru and in any legend attached to the chart. The series must have two lists of quantitative values, a list of X values and a list of Y values, which must have an equal number of elements. The series may also contain lists of error values for each of the X and Y lists with a positive and a negative component for each.

Table 10-11The data in each XY scatterplot series
Element Type Example
Name A single textual element labeling the data series. {"Series1"}
X A list of numeric values, which will place the values along the horizontal axis. {14.5, 2.8, 11.8, 5.7, 8.2}
Y A second list of numeric values, which will place the values along the vertical axis. {154, 29, 63, 90, 107}
X Error (+) A list of numeric values with as many elements as there were in the 'X' list. These values can be in the same units as the numeric values in the 'X' list, can be proportions or can be proportions multiplied by one hundred. {0.10, 0.12, 0.09, 0.11, 0.09}
X Error (-) A list of numeric values with as many elements as there were in the 'X' list. These values can be in the same units as the numeric values in the 'Value' list, can be proportions or can be proportions multiplied by one hundred. {0.08, 0.11, 0.10, 0.09, 0.11}
Y Error (+) A list of numeric values with as many elements as there were in the 'Y' list, and therefore in the 'X' list. These values can be in the same units as the numeric values in the 'Y' list, can be proportions or can be proportions multiplied by one hundred. {0.09, 0.11, 0.10, 0.12, 0.09}
Y Error (-) A list of numeric values with as many elements as there were in the 'Y' list, and therefore in the 'X' list. These values can be in the same units as the numeric values in the 'Y' list, can be proportions or can be proportions multiplied by one hundred. {0.10, 0.09, 0.08, 0.11, 0.11}

XY scatterplots provide three icons to select between different style options. The plots can be rendered with markers at each point, with markers at each point and a line joining adjacent values in the data lists, or with a line but no markers.

XY scatterplot style options.

The icon for scatterplot of style with only a marker at each point.

The icon for scatterplot of style with a marker at each point and a line between adjacent points in the value lists.

The icon for scatterplot of style with only a line between adjacent points in the value lists.

10.4. Configuring Graph Element Properties

Graphs in Gnumeric can be configured extensively using the Graph Guru. In this way, the user can determine the data used in the plots, the names and labels associated with the data, the numerical values of the axes and the stylistic presentation of all the graphical elements.

Graphs are configured element by element, first by selecting the element name in the top left area of the second panel of the Graph Guru, shown as area F in Figure 10-3, and, second, by altering the properties in the bottom area of the second panel of the Graph Guru, shown as area J. These changes will be applied to the graph only when the OK button is pressed.

A number of properties of the graph are configured using the Gnumeric entry box shown in Figure 10-15.

Figure 10-15The data entry box widget

The data entry box widget allows users to enter data as defined values (e.g. "A name", 123, or {12,32,14}), as references (e.g. 'Sheet1!A2:B4'), or as expressions (e.g. sin({11,16}) ).

Information can be inserted to the data entry box, first, by selecting the box with a mouse click and, then, either typing data on a keyboard or using the mouse to select a region of the worksheet.

10.4.1. Background Panels: Graphs & Charts

Several elements of the graph function as background panels for the other elements. These panels can be configured to display a visible background consisting of a solid color, a pattern, a gradient, or an image. Alternatively, the panel can be made transparent to show the underlying panel, if any. Where there are only transparent panels, the worksheet itself will be visible behind the graph.

Figure 10-16The background panel configuration.

This screenshot depicts the two elements of background panels which can be configured, the background fill and the outline.

The background panel Fill refers to the area which is behind the entire component. The Outline refers to a solid box which will be drawn around the edge of the component.

The Outline can be configured by selecting a color using the color picker widget and by choosing a size using the spin button box. A size of '-1' indicates that no line will be drawn, whereas sizes zero and above indicate the size of the line that will be drawn.

The Fill can be configured to be a pattern, which includes a solid color, a gradient or an image.

Figure 10-17The pattern background panel fill configuration.

This screenshot depicts the configuration properties for the pattern background panel fill.

The fill using a pattern enables the panel background to consist either of a solid color, or of a solid color overlain by a pattern. The top drop down button, labeled Pattern, allows the user to select the pattern overlay from a number of different standard patterns. The pattern in the top left corner is an empty pattern which allows the background color indicated in the third drop down button to fill the panel. The middle drop down button, labeled Foreground, allows the user to select the color of the overlay in the pattern. The bottom drop down button, labeled Background, allows the user to select the color of the underlay. If the pattern is empty, the color of the Background will be the color of the entire panel.

If all of these buttons appear black, change the color of the Background to white to see the pattern and foreground color.