How to Limit the Amount of Characters in OpenOffice

OpenOffice is a series of productivity programs designed for both casual and professional use of word processing documents, spreadsheets, presentations and digital drawings. OpenOffice functions similarly to other productivity suites, such as WordPerfect Office and Microsoft Office, but some of the operations are carried out a bit differently when compared to competing programs. When learning the OpenOffice interface, it may not be immediately obvious how to limit the number of characters. If you know how to properly navigate the menus, you can limit character count in OpenOffice's Calc spreadsheet software.

Start your OpenOffice Calc software.

Click "File."

Click "Open" to access a previously saved worksheet or click "New" to open a brand-new project.

Press and hold the "Ctrl" key and click on each cell to which you want to add a character limit. If you want to limit the characters for all cells in the file, click on the blank space in the upper-left corner of your workbook. Selected cells will be highlighted on your screen.

Click the "Data" menu, found at the top of the OpenOffice Calc window.

Click "Validity."

Click on the "Allow" drop-down box and select "Text Length" from the list of options.

Click on the "Data" drop-down box and select "Less Than or Equal To."

Type the character limit in the "Maximum" box. For example, if you want to limit each cell to 60 characters, type "60" in the box.

Click "OK" to save your changes. You have finished limiting the number of characters allowed for each of the selected cells.


You cannot set character limits directly in OpenOffice Writer, but you can click and drag worksheets from OpenOffice Calc into the Wrtier program. This workaround lets you create character limits in OpenOffice Calc for use in the Writer program.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Richard Kalinowski began writing professionally in 2006. He also works as a website programmer and graphic designer for several clients. Kalinowski holds a Master of Fine Arts from Goddard College and a Bachelor of Science in education from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.