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