Instant calculations in Excel

 Mar 09, 2015

The ability to create formulas in Excel using worksheet functions is one of the applications' most important features. However, for six of these functions, it’s possible to display the answers temporarily onscreen without having to create any formulas. This is handy for times when a permanent formula is not necessary and the result is needed quickly. These functions are: SUM, AVERAGE, COUNT, COUNTA, MAX and MIN.

The results appear on the status bar at the very bottom of the Excel window. To display them all you have to do is select some cells that contain data. If any of the cells selected contain numbers, Excel can show all six results. If there is only text then only a count of the cells containing the data is shown.

Instant calculations in Excel

By default, only three of the calculations are shown. The other three have to be added. To do this:

  1. Right click the status bar at the bottom of the Excel window.
  2. Click the three functions that are not ticked (i.e. Numerical Count, Minimum and Maximum).
  3. Click away from the menu to close it.

The following graphic shows an example of using these instant calculations. Six cells are selected but only two of them contain text and two contain numbers. Note that the “Count” shows the result 4, which is equivalent to the COUNTA function, whereas the “Numerical Count” shows the result 2 so is equivalent to the COUNT function.

Instant calculations in Excel

To find out more on creating formulas in Excel from basic to advanced, take a look at the New Horizons Excel training programs.

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About the Author:

Ben Kirk  

With over 16 years of experience working as a Desktop Applications specialist for a number of large education services providers, Ben is one of New Horizons most skilled and dynamic instructors. With his Advanced Diploma of Business Skills alongside his practical experience and expertise, Ben is able to provide insight and guidance to students at all skill levels across the entire Microsoft Office suite.

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