Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Viewing and Editing Your Formula: Back to the Formula Bar
SUM
Quite a contrast! The value 267—the result of the
we carried out—appears in H8,
and of course that’s what we want to see on the screen. But the formula bar displays the
formula in H8 that gave rise to that 267. That’s an important difference, because it lets
you—or someone else—know that we didn’t merely type the value 267 in cell H8; rather
we performed a mathematical operation that brought about that total, and the formula
bar verifies that claim. So if you really want to know what’s going on in a cell, click in it
and look to the formula bar.
NOTE: Clicking the Formulas tab and then Formula Auditing Show Formulas displays
formulas in the cells in which they’ve been written, instead of the formula results you normally
see. To get back to the results, just click Show Formula again. This option is a useful way to see
all the formulas you’ve written, if you need to edit them.
And the formula bar provides an easy
place in which you can edit the formula,
too. For example, as in Figure 4–10, you
can edit the range in the formula bar to
add the cells in the range H3:I7 instead.
Just click in the bar containing a formula,
make the changes you need, and press
Enter or click the Enter check mark
alongside the formula bar.
Figure 4–10. Editing the formula
In a nutshell, that’s how to use AutoSum, a fast way to execute probably the most
important mathematical operation you’ll need to perform in a worksheet. But Excel has
many more functions in its bag of tricks (including some additional ones that appear
when you click the arrow alongside AutoSum), which calculate all sorts of things, most of
which you probably won’t need to know. It’s not likely, for example, that you’ll ever have
to calculate the inverse matrix for a matrix stored in an array—whatever that might
mean. But while you and I might not be concerned about that kind of capability, there
are people out there who are, and there’s probably a function in there that does just
what they’re looking for.
However, the more functions you know,
the better, and there are at least a few that
you should know about. If you click the
drop-down arrow alongside AutoSum you’ll
see the list shown in Figure 4–11.
Figure 4–11. Additional popular functions
 
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