I came across this while working with a spreadsheet that was perhaps a little too fancy to come over from Excel to OpenOffice Calc. Let's say you keep a spreadsheet full of various numbers, and they fall into about five or six categories. You have a bunch of things that are categorizable as:
If you spend all day in spreadsheets, sooner or later you want something to help you spot what's important or different. The motion study expert Frank Gilbreth told factories to paint parts different colors to help factory workers spot the right pieces more quickly; Calc has roughly equivalent features to help point out the different types of data you're working with.
In earlier articles, I compared OpenOffice.org 2.3's and MS Office 2007's word processors and slide show programs. It seems appropriate to round off the comparison with a look at spreadsheets, the third of the core programs in any office application.