When your spreadsheet contains a large amount of data that can be categorised into broad groups, you can use the subtotal feature of OpenOffice.org's Calc application to analyse your data. The subtotals feature breaks your data into logical groups -- such as sales to a particular company -- and calculates subtotals for each subset of data. Subtotals allow you to quickly analyse large sets of data for specific information without having to perform tedious sorts and filters to collect a subset of information.
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Things you need
Open the spreadsheet you want to calculate subtotals for in OpenOffice.org Calc. Calc handles all spreadsheet and data table functions in OpenOffice.org.
Verify that all the columns in your spreadsheet have column headers. Without headers, the subtotal function cannot determine how to divide the data contained in the spreadsheet.
Highlight the data you want to subtotal. Make sure to select the column headers when choosing your data set.
Select "Subtotals" from the "Data" menu to open the "Subtotals" dialogue.
Choose a column header from the "Group By" drop-down list to specify how the Subtotal function should group your data. For example, if you want to determine how many widgets you've sold to each of your customers, you would select the "Customers" column from the "Group By" list to sort your data into groups by customer.
Check the boxes next to the columns you want subtotalled in the "Calculate Subtotals For" menu list. For example, if you want to determine how many widgets you sold to each of your customers, you would check the "Widgets Sold" option in "Calculate Subtotals For." You can check and calculate subtotals for multiple columns.
Tell Calc how to calculate your subtotals by choosing a function from the "Use Function" menu for each column selected in step 6. For example, you would choose the "Sum" function to calculate the total number of "Widgets Sold" to each customer.
Click "OK" to apply the calculations. Calc will analyse your data and present you with a subtotalled spreadsheet.
Tips and warnings
- You can create up to three groups of subtotals on a single spreadsheet. Create multiple subtotal groups when you can divide your data in two or more meaningful ways, such as by "Customer" or by "Product Type."
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