Reading and Writing values to Ranges

Macros in LibreOffice Calc often need to read and write values from/to sheets. This help page describes the various approaches to accessing sheets and ranges to read or write their values.


All examples presented in this page can be implemented both in Basic and Python.

Accessing a Single Cell

The example below enters the numeric value 123 into cell "A1" of the current sheet.

    Dim oSheet as Object
    Dim oCell as Object
    oSheet = ThisComponent.CurrentController.getActiveSheet()
    oCell = oSheet.getCellRangeByName("A1")

The same can be accomplished with Python:

    doc = XSCRIPTCONTEXT.getDocument()
    sheet = doc.getCurrentController().getActiveSheet()
    cell = sheet.getCellRangeByName("A1")

Note that in the previous examples the cell is accessed using its range name "A1". It is also possible to access cells using indices as though the sheet were a matrix where columns and rows are indexed starting from zero.

This can be done using the getCellByPosition(colIndex, rowIndex) method, that takes in a column and a row index. The example below in Basic changes the text value in cell "C1" (column 2, row 0).

    oSheet = ThisComponent.CurrentController.getActiveSheet()
    oCell = oSheet.getCellByPosition(2, 0)

This example can also be implemented in Python as follows:

    doc = XSCRIPTCONTEXT.getDocument()
    sheet = doc.getCurrentController().getActiveSheet()
    cell = sheet.getCellByPosition(2, 0)

The main difference between Python and Basic scripts lies on how to get access to the sheet object by using the XSCRIPTCONTEXT context variable. After that, all methods and properties are identical in Basic and Python.

Values, Strings and Formulas

Calc cells can have three types of values: numeric, strings and formulas. Each type has its own set and get methods:


Get Method

Set Method











Dates and currency values are considered as numeric values in Calc.

The following example enters numeric values into cells "A1" and "A2" and inserts a formula in cell "A3" that returns the multiplication of these values.

    oSheet = ThisComponent.CurrentController.getActiveSheet()
    oCell = oSheet.getCellRangeByName("A1")
    oCell = oSheet.getCellRangeByName("A2")
    oCell = oSheet.getCellRangeByName("A3")

Accessing Ranges in Different Sheets

The previous examples used only the active sheet to perform operations. It is possible to access cell ranges in different sheets by their indices or names.

The example below enters a numeric value into cell "A1" of the sheet named "Sheet2".

    oSheet = ThisComponent.Sheets.getByName("Sheet2")
    oCell = oSheet.getCellRangeByName("A1")

This example can also be implemented in Python as follows:

    doc = XSCRIPTCONTEXT.getDocument()
    sheet = doc.Sheets["Sheet2"]
    cell = sheet.getCellRangeByName("A1")

Sheets can also be accessed using zero-based indices indicating which sheet considering the order they appear in the Calc file.

In Basic, instead of using the getByName method, use Sheets(sheetIndex) as shown next:

    oSheet = ThisComponent.Sheets(0)

This can be done in a similar fashion in Python:

    sheet = doc.Sheets[0]

Using the ScriptForge Library

The Calc service of the ScriptForge library can be used to get and set cell values as follows:


' Loads the ScriptForge library


' Gets access to the current Calc document

oDoc = CreateScriptService("Calc")

' Sets the value of cells A1 and A2

oDoc.setValue("A1", "Hello")

oDoc.setValue("A2", 123)


The setValue method can be used to set both numeric and text values. To set a cell formula, use the setFormula method.

With the Calc service, getting and setting cell values can be done with a single line of code. The example below gets the value from cell "A1" and shows it on a message box.

    Dim val as Variant, oDoc as Object
    oDoc = CreateScriptService("Calc")
    val = oDoc.getValue("A1")
    MsgBox val

The ScriptForge library also makes it simpler to access ranges in different sheets, as demonstrated in the example below:

    Dim val1, val2
    ' Gets cell "A1" from the sheet named "Sheet1"
    val1 = oDoc.getValue("Sheet1.A1")
    ' Gets cell "B3" from the sheet named "Sheet2"
    val2 = oDoc.getValue("Sheet2.B3")
    ' Places the result into cell "A1" of sheet "Report"
    Dim result : result = val1 * val2
    oDoc.setValue("Report.A1", result)

The examples above can also be implemented in Python as follows:

    from scriptforge import CreateScriptService
    doc = CreateScriptService("Calc")
    doc.setValue("A1", "Hello")

    doc = CreateScriptService("Calc")
    bas = CreateScriptService("Basic")
    val = doc.getValue("A1")

    first_val = doc.getValue("Sheet1.A1")
    second_val = doc.getValue("Sheet2.B3")
    result = first_val * second_val
    doc.setValue("Report.A1", result)

Please support us!