Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Selecting the Range You Need
Figure 4–5. Same range, different result: Excel adds the cells containing values, until it encounters a cell that’s
either blank or contains text.
What Excel does here is incorporate each cell directly above H8 into its formula, until it
lands upon a cell that’s vacant—in this case, H5. Thus, Excel here would plan to add
only the values in H6 and H7.
This is interesting, but it presents us with a problem—what do we do if we still want to
add all the values in the range H3:H7?
Selecting the Range You Need
To remedy this, instead of pressing Enter as in the previous example—which produced
the result 267—this time click and drag H3 through H7, as shown in Figure 4–6. Now the
expression in H8 should read as follows
=SUM(H3:H7)
, just as it did in our original case.
Then press Enter.
Figure 4–6. Selecting the entire range you want
What you should learn from this second case—the case of the missing value in cell H5—
is that the user can always override Excel’s decision about which cells are going to be
added with
SUM
. When you click AutoSum, Excel first displays the range it’s about to add,
as per the screenshots; and if you approve, just press Enter. But if you want to add the
cells in a different range—which can be anywhere in the worksheet—not just in the
same column—then click and drag across that range, and only then press Enter (see
Figure 4–7).
 
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