Weekly Computer Tip # 231
25 April 2008

calculate the totals for numeric entries in a table
(Word 2003-2007)

If you work with numbers in a table you can perform calculations such as add, subtract, multiply and divide. The most common table calculation, I feel, is calculating the total of numeric entries in a column or row.

Here's how:

  1. Click in the cell in the table where you want to put the total.
  2. On the Layout tab, in the Data group, click the Formula button. (Or, for those of you who are still using Word 2003 ... choose the Table, Formula command.)
  3. If applicable, choose an appropriate number format, such as pound sterling, from the Number Format drop-down list.
  4. Click the OK button.

So what if you have more columns or rows and want to repeat the calculation? Well, why not use the repeat key. Which makes me realise I've never told you about the repeat key, have I? So this is this week's bonus tip ... F4 is the repeat key in Word, Excel and PowerPoint and simply repeats the last action you performed. Whether you changed the font, centered the text or totalled the entries in the column of your table, F4 will repeat the action.

By the way, when you modify any of the numeric entries, the total isn't automatically updated, like in Excel. You'll have to select the out-of-date total and press F9, or right-click it and select Update Field.