LibreOffice spreadsheet question, can cells expand as you type?

Chris Green cl at
Wed Feb 1 15:30:28 UTC 2012

On Wed, Feb 01, 2012 at 03:00:44PM +0000, Steve Flynn wrote:
> On 1 February 2012 14:40, Chris Green <cl at> wrote:
> > Maybe this just isn't how spreadsheets work but here's hoping.
> >
> > Is there a setting somewhere in LibreOffice spreadsheet that makes cells
> > expand as you enter characters?  By that I mean can you make the whole
> > column grow (and stay grown) rather than the default that grows just the
> > cell where you're entering text and then truncates the view when you
> > leave the cell.
> Does dragging on the rulers at the side/top of the not do what you
> want? Obviously making a column wider affects every cell in the column
> (and the same applies to making a row 'deeper' by dragging the ruler
> at the left side of the sheet, obviously).
> I'm not running LibreOffice here at work, but in Excel the closest I
> can come to replicating what I think you want is to select the cell
> you want to expand, format it and on the alignment tab, check "wrap
> text". I'd be surprised if LibreOffice doesn't have the equivalent.
I want it to grow as I enter text, not force me to do it manually after
it's overflowed.

> > ... and as a corollary to that is there a way to show only cells with
> > data in them rather then the default 'much larger than the window'
> > layout?
> Not unless you've gone to some length to arrange your data so that you
> can hide columns / rows which you've not populated.  You don't hide
> specific cells, but the entire column or row. Thus, you can't for
> example hide cell A1 and have data displayed in B1 or A2 as you'll
> have hidden the entire row or column.
> As I say, you can work around this if it's particularly important to
> you by carefully placing interesting cells on the same rows and
> columns and hiding everything else.
What I *really* want is a database with an easy route to entering data
in 'grid' mode, but there seems to be nothing available.

The closest to what I want in terms of data entry is a table in
libreOffice or Abiword but they provide no way to access the data easily
as rows/columns.

Chris Green

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