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Lightweight curses spreadsheet based on GNU oleo
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TR Updated TR08 (line count) Jan 7, 2020
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Lightweight curses spreadsheet based on GNU oleo.

If you are downloading the file from github, most people, especially distro packagers wanting to do typical configure && make && make install should download the file neoleo-X.Y.Z.tar.gz, rather than the source files.

Quick start

Here, C- means the Control character, M- is the mod key, which is either Alt or ESC.

Key Purpose
C-c copy cell formula to clipboard
C-g cancels current operation
C-l set cell alignment left
M-m menu
C-q quit
C-r set cell alignment right
C-s save document
C-v paste cell formula from clipboard

Other highly useful commands:

Key Purpose
C-o insert row above
C-k delete row
M-k delete column
M-o insert column to the left

Documents and examples

Documentation is available online. Neoleo installs examples in a shared directory, typically /usr/local/share/neoleo. The exact directory is determined by:

	neoleo --version | grep Datadir

You should explore that directory to see what is available.


  • Ncurses interface
  • Macro language
  • Sizeable library of expressions (but not statistical regressions)
  • Primitive file format conversions


Read INSTALL, which contains general instructions, plus specific instructions like compiling from git, as well as trouble-shooting. Platform-specific comments are contained in INSTALL-${platform} files. INSTALL-debian covers Debian-derived distros like Ubuntu and Mint.



A plot created using gnuplot, output to a dumb terminal (in examples/plot)

Getting fancy

Neoleo comes with a "headerless" mode, where you can interact via stdin/stdout, a la ed. One command that neoleo has is tbl, for example, which prints a sheet in groff-compatible form. So you can create your spreadsheet, and create a nice PDF with it, say by typing the following from the command line:

neoleo foo.oleo -H <<<tbl 2>/dev/null | groff -t -Tascii | text2pdf >foo.pdf

Technical Reports

Technical Reports, which is mostly of interest to developers, but may have some bearing on users, so they may be advised to read them.


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