How to create Calc table that behaves like Excel tables?


In the position I’m in, I occasionally need to scan devices to a spreadsheet. This usually includes an asset tag and serial number per device. My scanner is set to input a Tab after a scan, which moves to the next column.

In Excel, when you format a group of cells as a table, tabbing will stay within the column bounds of the table, so that at the last column, another tab will move to the first column of the next row.

In Calc, by default, tabbing will continue moving to the column, regardless of how any table is formatted. Protecting the other columns will keep the selected cell from moving to unwanted columns, but tabbing at that barrier keeps the same cell selected, instead of moving to the first column of the next row.

I would like to replicate the table behavior that Excel has in Calc. Is this even possible?

Press Enter instead of Tab when finishing the entry in the last column, then the cell cursor advances to the first column of the next row of the data block.

The issue is that our scanners automatically add a Tab after you scan something. The purpose is that we don’t have to keep going back over to our computer to press something, and can continue scanning. On Friday, I had a skid of items needing to be scanned, and not automatically moving to the next line about doubled my time to task.

If you mark the cells, where you want to put data in, then the movement by tab key is restricted to the marked range.

Great to know! Thanks!

Thanks! This works!

You may unprotect your table range, and then protect the sheet and disallow selection of protected cells.