Microsoft Office Tutorials and References

In Depth Information

**Point-and-Click Formula Editing**

Formula Shortcuts

Another way to complete your edit is to click the checkmark that appears on the

formula bar, to the left of the current formula. Even experienced Excel fans get

frustrated with this step. If you click another cell before you press Enter, then

you won’t move to the cell—instead, Excel inserts the cell into your formula.

Tip:
You can use this technique with any formula. Just type in the operators, function names, and so on,

and use the mouse to select the cell references. If you need to select a range of cells, then just drag your

mouse to highlight the whole group of cells. You can practice this technique with the SUM() function. Start

by typing
=SUM(
into the cell, and then selecting the range of cells you want to add. Finish by adding a

final closing parenthesis, and then press Enter.

Point-and-Click Formula Editing

You can use a similar approach to edit formulas, although it’s slightly trickier.

1. Movetothecellthatcontainstheformulayouwanttoedit,andthenputitin

editmodebydouble-clickingitorpressingF2.

Excel highlights all the cells that this formula uses with a colored outline. Excel’s

even clever enough to use a helpful color-coding system. Each cell reference

uses the same color as the outline surrounding the cell it’s referring to. This can

help you pick out where each reference is.

2. Clicktheoutlineofthecellyouwanttochange.(Yourpointerchangesfrom

afatplussigntoafour-headedarrowwhenyou’reovertheoutline.)Withthe

mousebuttonstillhelddown,dragthisoutlineovertothenewcell(orcells)

youwanttouse.

Excel updates the formula automatically. You can also expand and shrink cell

range references. To do so, put the formula-holding cell into edit mode, and

then click any corner of the border that surrounds the range you want to change.

Next, drag the border to change the size of the range. If you want to move the

range, click any part of the range border, and then drag the outline in the same

way as you would with a cell reference.

3. PressEnterorclicktheformulabarcheckmarktoacceptyourchanges.

That’s it.

The Formulas Tab

The ribbon is stocked with a few buttons that make formula writing easier. To take a

look, click the Formulas tab.

The most important part of the Formulas tab is the Function Library section at the

left. It includes the indispensable Insert Function button, which you’ll take for a

spin in the next section. It also includes many more buttons that arrange Excel’s vast

catalog of functions into related categories for easier access. Figure 17-8 shows how

it works.