Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
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Tip 28: Learning Some AutoSum Tricks
Learning Some AutoSum Tricks
Just about every Excel user knows about the AutoSum button. This command is so popular that it’s
available in two Ribbon locations: in the Home➜Editing group and in the Formulas➜Function
Library group.
Just activate a cell and click the button, and Excel analyzes the data surrounding the active cell and
proposes a SUM formula. If the proposed range is correct, click the AutoSum button again (or press
Enter), and the formula is inserted. If you change your mind, press Esc.
Be careful if the range to be summed contains any blank cells. A blank cell will cause Excel to
misidentify the complete range. If Excel incorrectly guesses the range to be summed, just select the
correct range to be summed and press Enter.
You can also access AutoSum using your keyboard. Pressing Alt+= has exactly the same effect as
clicking the AutoSum button.
The AutoSum button can insert other types of formulas. Notice the little arrow on the right side of
that button? Click it, and you see four other functions: AVERAGE, COUNT, MAX, and MIN (see Figure
28-1). Click one of those items, and the appropriate formula is proposed. You also see a More
Functions item, which simply displays the Insert Function dialog box — the same one that appears
when you choose Formulas➜Function Library➜Insert Function (or click the fx button to the left of
the formula bar).
Figure 28-1: Using the AutoSum button to insert other functions.
In some situations (described next), AutoSum creates formulas automatically and
doesn’t give you an opportunity to review the range to be summed. Don’t assume that
Excel guessed the range correctly.
Note
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