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How to Enter, Display Fractions in LibreOffice Calc

This tutorial explains how to enter, display, manipulate, format various fractions in Calc.

Fractions can be sometimes tricky to manipulate in Calc. If you are unaware of certain tricks, it would be difficult for you to work on. Here is how to work with fractions and its basics in Calc.

Basic Fraction

To enter a fraction 5/8 (five eighths), you should type `0 5/8` [i.e. ZERO SPACE then 5/8]. If you do not put “0 “, Calc would assume you have entered a date!

To enter one and five eighths i.e. 1 5/8 – enter `1 5/8` [i.e ONE SPACE 5/8]. Calc would automatically convert the cell format and show the fraction as 1 5/8. The value of the fraction would be shown as below:

If you right-click and open the format cells dialog on B1 cell, you can see the fraction format is applied to the cell – `# ?/?`.

Formatting Fractions

Calc always reduces the fraction to its smallest denominator. For example, if you enter `0 2/8` in a cell, it would be converted to 1/4 and internal value is .25.

If you want to display the value as 2/8, select the below format from Formatting cells dialog.

After applying above format in same cell, Calc can show 2/8 instead of converting it 1/4. Note the internal value remains same as .25.

SEE ALSO:  SUMPRODUCT Function with Examples in LibreOffice Calc

Fractions with Multiple Denominator

Calc assumes single denominator for any fractions entered with preceding zero and applies default format # ?/?. For example if you enter 0 4/77 – this would look like this:

Though the internal value of 4/77=0.0519… correctly shown, but the A1 cell shows 0 though 4/77 entered. This is because Calc applied default format `# ?/?` on the fraction.

To correct this, go to formatting cells dialog and enter format code as `# ??/??`.

After applying above format, the cell A1 should look like this:

This completes the basics of Fractions and how to work with in LibreOffice Calc.

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