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Spreadsheet troubles in OpenOffice

I am starting to use OO calc, and was very used to excel. Now I'm having trouble with previews, printing and special characters. Can you help?

I am starting to use OpenOffice calc, and was very used to Excel. For instance, I can't preview a printing of a part of the spreadsheet as I used to. I also can't use filters with characters, which is very important for me. Many thanks for your help.
You can select part of a spreadsheet, such as just columns A and B, and choose Format > Print Ranges > Define. Then only that part of the spreadsheet will print. You can verify it in File > Page Preview.

I'd like to hear more about the other part of the question; can you clarify and give an example?

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