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You can use Find & Replace to insert automatically the "=" in the relevant cells:

  • Select the cells
  • EditFind & Replace
  • Search For: .*
  • Replace With: =&
  • Unfold Other options
  • Check Current selection only & Regular expressions
  • Click Replace All

Explanations: check Regular expressions tells Calc to use .* and & as "codes". The first means "any character", whatever the number. The second means "same thing". So we replace the cell contents, whatever it is, with an equal sign followed by the original content.