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Weekly Computer Tip # 26
10 August 2003

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using AutoCalculate to compute summary and statistical information in a worksheet (Microsoft Excel)

Whether it's automatically displaying the total (sum) of selected cells at the right side of the status bar near the bottom of the screen as we discussed two weeks ago (you have tried it, haven't you?!) or finding the average of or the minimum or maximum value in the selected range without entering it into your workbook, Excel's "AutoCalculate" feature can perform all types of calculations for you.

Here's how:

  1. Select the range of cells you want to perform a calculation on and look at the right side of the status bar near the bottom of the screen. By default, this AutoCalculate area displays the total (sum) of the numeric entries in the currently-selected cells and displays that total on the Status Bar.
  2. If the Status Bar is not displayed, click Status Bar on the View menu.
  3. Make sure that the range of cells is still selected. Point to the AutoCalculate display, and right-click the mouse button. A list of available functions is displayed.
  4. Click "Average", "Max" or "Min" to compute the average, highest or lowest value in the same range. If you click "Count Nums", AutoCalculate counts the cells that contain numbers. If you click "Count", AutoCalculate counts the number of filled cells.

Whenever you start Excel, AutoCalculate resets to the SUM function.

Until next week.

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August 2003