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Creating a formula in Excel takes just a few seconds, but there might be times when you want to find the sum or average of a series of numbers without saving that result in your worksheet. If that's the case, you can select a group of cells and have Excel display a summary operation on the status bar at the bottom of the workbook window. When you click one more cells, Excel displays a summary calculation on the status bar. The status bar is here on the bottom edge of the program window, and right now it says, Sum = 0. That's because the active cell has no value in it.
If I were to click to cell directly above it, cell C17, you see that the sum has changed, and that it is now 203,654. If I select two cells, it updates the sum to be the total of those two cells. So, for example, if I wanted to find the sum of all the cells from C2 through C17, I could just select them. And if I only wanted to know the value and didn't need it in the formula, I can look here on the status bar and see that it's 8.9 million.
Basically, any way that you select a group of cells, you can use that to update the total on the status bar. So let's say that I wanted to find the total of revenue for 2006 and 2008. To do that, I can select cells C2 through C5, which represent 2006, and then hold down the Command key and select C10 through C13. When I do, you see that Excel has updated the total, and that's just over 4 million. So clear that. You're not limited to finding a sum, though; there are other calculations that you can use.
So, for example, let's go back and select all these values here, C2 through C17, and then click the status bar's arrow. When I click that, you'll see that there's a list of calculations that you can use: Average, Count, Count Num, Max, Min, and Sum. If you want, you can change it to Average, and Excel updates the Average to 561,000 and change. If you want no summary there, you can click the arrow and click None.
Summarizing the contents of the few cells on the status bar helps you answer questions about your data without going to the trouble of creating a formula. It's a great way to perform quick summaries without altering your workbook or disrupting your workflow too much.
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