Microsoft Office Tutorials and References

In Depth Information

**Ordering Up Your Results**

Figure 3–14.
Adding two ranges-here the two sets of values are treated as two distinct ranges.

Then press Enter.

You get the picture. The comma splices our cell selections into two distinct ranges, thus

leapfrogging the D14:D16 cells.

We’ve now learned a deeper truth about SUM, one that can be projected to all functions: you can

identify
any
cell or range(s) you want in
any
formula, and place your formulas in
any
cell in the

worksheet (so long as the formula isn’t dropped into the very range you’re referencing in the formula).

Remember that AutoSum was devised in order to execute a simplest-case scenario, the spreadsheet

equivalent of a hanging curveball—that classic, add-one-row-or-one-column chore, where the row or

column to be added consists of a range, all of whose cells are filled with numbers. But your formula

requirements may be more nuanced, and the reality is that you can recruit cells and ranges from all

across the worksheet—and even beyond it, as remains to be seen.

Note as well that nothing whatever stops you from
typing
SUM if you’re so moved, or any other

function in Excel, for that matter. As long as you know the syntax, you’re free to tickle the keys as wish;

and as we’ll see, Excel offers you a number of ways to see to it that whatever you’re writing turns out

correct.

And here are some AutoSum shortcuts: The keyboard equivalent for calling up the command is

Alt+=. And if you’re working conventionally, and you know you want to add a standard range of

consecutive numbers in a column: just click in an empty cell at the foot of the column and
double-click

the AutoSum button (as it appears in either the Home or Formulas groups). Double-clicking cuts

immediately to the answer, without requiring you to make any additional range decisions.

And one more observation about AutoSum: if you rest your mouse over either of its buttons, the

resulting caption tells you that AutoSum helps you “Display the sum of the selected cells directly after

the selected cells”. But we know that isn’t quite true; as we saw earlier you can leave some space
between

the numbers (as long as these are consecutive) and the formula itself in that column or row and
still
get

AutoSum to work for you, though those empty cells will also be referenced in the formula.

Now, you’ll note that both AutoSum buttons on either tab are accompanied by one of those

dropdown arrows we alerted you to a good many pages ago (Figure 3–15):