Microsoft Office Tutorials and References

In Depth Information

**MAX and MIN—Recording Highs and Lows**

Figure 3–22.
Grade averages by student

Now look at the Formula Bar. I’ve clicked cell I10, the one bearing Alice’s exam average, and its

means of calculation—using AVERAGE, of course—--is recorded up there in that bar. By way of review,

we see that Alice’s grades occupy range D10:H10 and, by inserting that range reference between

AVERAGE’s parentheses, we determined her average grade was 83.0.

The point is this: What if I have 150 students in the class (and I’ve had more than that on occasion),

and I need to figure the test average for each and every one of them? Do I have to click the AutoSum

button 150 times in order to carry out that disagreeable task?

Yes, that sounds like a rhetorical question, and it is. The answer to it is no, because what we can do

instead is
copy
Alice’s AVERAGE formula down the I column for as many rows of students as I need.

Yes, this is a have-to-know, because copying a formula—which entails in essence copying
cell

references—
is something new—and vital—to the your understanding of how Excel works.

But in fact the
ways
of actually copying cell references are identical to the ones we described earlier

(and we’re going to learn an additional one soon); what’s different is what happens when you copy

them. And that preamble raises a larger point.
All
the cell copying we’ve discussed to date and will

continue to discuss in this chapter entail copying whatever we
enter
in a cell—as opposed to what we
see

in the cell. If I copy Alice’s AVERAGE elsewhere, I am most assuredly
not
copying her average of 83.

Rather, I’m copying what I typed in cell I10—the formula that calculated her 83.

The following table enumerates the relationship between the kinds of data I could enter in a cell and

what I would see in that cell. In every case, what I would
copy
is posted in the left column of Table 3–2

below:

Table 3–2.
Cell Entries and Cell Displays

Data Example (what you’ve typed in the cell,

which is what gets copied)

What you see in the cell

3

3

=4+5

9

=T3/7

The result of whatever number you enter in T3 divided

by 7

=AVERAGE(A4:G4)

The average of all the numbers you’ve entered in A4

through G4.