The nature of the values in a spread sheet document, explicit by default

Value Highlighting Displays cell contents in different colors, depending on type.

We have been looking for this feature for a long time. Thanks to the popup suggestions of libreoffice, we finally have the answers.

Text cells are formatted in black, formulas in green, number cells in blue, and protected cells are shown with light grey background, no matter how their display is formatted.

These colors can be customized in Tools – Options – LibreOffice – Application Colors.

If this function is active, colors that you define in the document will not be displayed. When you deactivate the function, the user-defined colors are displayed again.

Extracted from

Previously we had to create a manually workaround, that (let’s say for historical reasons) we present.

Example of different cell background color in a spreadsheet

The used spreadsheet color have different cell background color depending on the origin of the data:

  • White for text
  • Orange for fix data
  • Yellow for directional data
  • Pale Blue for computed data

In this way, at a glance, the user can understand what the value is about (something unchangeable, something that can be modify to obtain a different result etc)



the Value Highlighting output


The first part of the image above shows the mix result (both Value Highlighting and colored cell background), while the last part just the Value Highlighting.

Obviusly the automatich Value Highlighting can  not distinguis between fix or directional data (the Orange or the Yellow cells), but, we consider this a margina, side effect, that can be correct by using  colored cell background just for hte fix data (usually the less used ones).

Download for free the example file


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