This statistics text utilizes OpenOffice.org Calc to make statistical calculations. This text also includes references to Microsoft Excel functions where they differ from OpenOffice.org Calc functions. Screen shots, however, are almost always from OpenOffice.org Calc. Gnumeric spreadsheet users can also use this text following the Microsoft Excel function formats.
The text does not use any add-ins, add-ons, statistical extensions, or separate dedicated statistical packages. This choice is very deliberate. Course alumni are most likely to encounter default installations of spreadsheet software without such additional software. The introduction to statistics alumni should not feel that they cannot "do" statistics because they lack a special add-in or dedicated package function that may require administrative privileges to install if even available. Given an "out-of-the-box" installation of a spreadsheet, alumni should be able to generate and use statistics.
Beginning with OpenOffice.org Calc on Ubuntu 9.04, calc formulas switched from using a semi-colon (;) to using a comma (0). Ubuntu 9.10 and 10.04 have continued to use a build of OpenOffice.org that uses commas in formulas with multiple arguments. OpenOffice.org on Windows has retained the use of a semi-colon. Many of the screenshots in this text were produced either on pre-9.04 Ubuntu machines or Windows based computers. These screenshots often show the use of a semi-colon. On Ubuntu versions after 9.04 the semi-colon must be replaced by a comma.
The Gnome spreadsheet Gnumeric and Excel both use commas in their multi-argument functions.
If a comma does not work in a formula, try a semi-colon. If a semi-colon does not work in a formula, try a comma. The use of commas and semi-colons in formula is not a set international standard and never can be. The way in which commas, semi-colons, and periods are used in numeric systems around the globe differs, impacting which can be used in formulas.