In LibreOffice Calc and OpenOffice Calc, there is often a need to quickly enter several rows of text that will not be part of any calculation area. This is often done to write notes relevant to the entire spreadsheet or a large section of it.

When writing text that is longer than the cell (most of the time it is, for these purposes), the grid lines are distracting. The normal technique is to write some text, then select all the columns it extends into, and merge those cells together. Then that process then has to be repeated for each row.

Is there a more efficient way to complete this procedure?

  • Once you have the cells on one row merged to the size you want to work with, you can copy the merged cell, select the starting cell in however many rows below you want to write in (so if you want two more rows - a total a three - you should have two cells selected), then paste.
    – Lyrl
    Aug 27, 2015 at 15:41

2 Answers 2


In LibreOffice, while selecting a cell, hit ctrl+alt+c. This will add a note to the cell, where you can type what you want, and it will add a red square in the top right corner of the cell. You can resize the comment and reposition it to a convenient location, if you want.

To view this comment/note again, simply select the cell, and hover your mouse over the red square. You can also right-click on the cell and select "show comment", which will keep that individual comment visible.

  • Thanks. I need the text to be more visible than that. But thank you for your response. Aug 22, 2015 at 8:08
  • @RockPaperLizard: You can set the comment to be actively displayed, resize it, and position it where you want.
    – fixer1234
    Sep 25, 2015 at 21:08
  • @fixer1234 Thanks for the tips. I was unaware that you could toggle visibility of individual comments. That's a good trick! Comments are not quite what I want, but your tips make them much more useful. Thank you! Sep 25, 2015 at 21:21
  • Update: After using LibreOffice Calc's comment feature, I discovered it is very buggy. The bugs are known, but have not been fixed. I'm going to switch to OpenOffice and see if they have a more reliable product than LibreOffice. Nov 1, 2015 at 6:12

1) Record a macro for merging a set of selected cells, or make the macro select a fixed set of cells and then merge them.

2) read "Assigning macros" under "Shortcut keys" in the help, and follow the instructions.

To assign a script to a key combination
1. Choose Tools - Customize - Keyboard.
2. In the Category list box, scroll down and open the "LibreOffice Macros" entry.
3. You see entries for "LibreOffice Macros" (scripts in the share directory of your LibreOffice installation), "My Macros" (scripts in the user directory), and the current document. Open any one of them to see the supported scripting languages.
4. Open any scripting language entry to see the available scripts. Select any script.
5. A list of the script functions will appear in the Commands list box. Select any function.
6. Click the option button for LibreOffice or Writer (or whichever application is currently open). 
Selecting the option button sets the scope of the new key combination to be applicable in all of LibreOffice or only in documents of the current module.
7. Select a key combination from the Shortcut keys list box and click Modify.

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