Libre Office 5 Calc Paste Column Bug

For the as yet uninitiated, Libre Office is a freely available alternative to the popular Microsoft Office suite.

Now if you’re looking for Sharepoint, you’re in the wrong place.  But if you want a good word processor or spreadsheet application at a infinitely cheaper price (i.e. free!) then look no further.

However, we have come across a teensy weensy bug that’s a little bit frustrating – so we’re giving you the heads up now so you can avoid it.

When using Calc, Libre Office’s answer to Excel, you’ll probably find now and then that you want to copy a whole column and paste it over on another column.  Calc has the look and feel of Excel, so just as you would do there, you click the cell letter heading:

Once selected, you can then press CTRL + C (or right click, copy) to copy the column.  After you’ve done this, you’ll notice the familiar dancing dashed line around the area (in this case the column) that you’ve copied:

Now there are two ways you could approach the next step.  First you might select the first cell of the column where you want to move the data to:

But another way that will be familiar to many spreadsheet users is selecting the column itself – just as we did before we copied the last column, by clicking on the column header letter and selecting the whole target column:

But whatever you do, don’t do it!  Well the select part is OK, but if you’ve selected the whole of the target column as in the image above, do not, under any circumstances press CTRL – V (or paste) now!  Doing so will almost immediately crash Libre Office 5 Calc.  If you leave it a little longer, it may well even crash your computer.

So just to be safe, when copying one column to the other, make sure you use the first cell selection method and not the column selection method.

It’s a little bug and it’s a bit annoying if you do it accidentally (which hopefully after this heads up you won’t do now!).  Hopefully, it’ll be fixed in Libre Office 6 – we’ll let you know when we find out!


Students – Grab Microsoft Office for Free!


microsoft-office-365Welcome student readers and academics – have you taken advantage of the offer to get free Microsoft Office throughout your student life?  If not, don’t fork out £100 or more for it – grab it for free (legally!).

Most students these days will have an Office 365 account setup at their institution linked to your student e-mail – i.e.

Figures from Microsoft show that 99.9% of UK universities have signed up for the institution-wide licenses that give free access to the Microsoft Office Suite for free.

How Do I Get It?

Simple – just follow these easy steps.

  • Head to the Microsoft Office website.
  • Enter your university e-mail address (they call it ‘school’ – how very American ;-).  Although to be fair, this does cover a lot of colleges and schools as well! ).
  • You’ll be redirected to a login page hosted by your University – this will ask you for your credentials to sign in – i.e. your email (or username) and password that you use for your University email account.
  • Upon successful sign in you’re redirected to a page allowing you to download the Microsoft Office suite for free.

Another important thing to note is that this is also available to teachers, lecturers and academics.

But I’m Not A Student / No Longer A Student… 🙁

Sad times, I know – but it couldn’t last forever now could it?

Fear not, the world does not end.  You can subscribe to Office 365 for about £8 / month, but in reality – for most people, a free alternative is just a useful and easy to use and in many ways, nearly every bit as powerful as the flagship Microsoft Product.

Our recommendation would be LibreOffice.  It’s Microsoft Office without the price tag.  I’ve personally been using it for years and despite a few niggly frustrations, it stands up to the test and the job.  It’s open source, regularly updated and has an equivalent product for most of the Microsoft Office suite – i.e. Word is Writer, Excel is Calc.

It’s available of Windows, OS X and Linux too – so no matter what your operating system, you can benefit from this truly fantastic piece of open source software!