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Two of the most widely used calculating tools we need in Excel are totaling and averaging and we've got functions for those. Reminder, it's "Sum" for totals, "Average" for averaging. In cell G3, we need a total here, but rather than using the Sum function, let's use something called the AutoSum tool. It's found two places in the ribbon. On the Home Tab, you'll find it way off to the right, right here in the Editing Group. It's also found, as you might expect, on the Formulas Tab in the ribbon.
Here it's off to the left-hand side. In both cases there's a little drop arrow associated with it as well. There is also a keystroke shortcut, Alt+=. If we want a total in cell G3 of the adjacent cells to the left, we can click the AutoSum button and see what the AutoSum tool is about to do. It's about to add up the cells to our left. That looks good. We'll press Enter. The AutoSum button is designed to look at data both upward and to the left to tabulate totals. Now, we can do this slightly faster though.
We don't have to pause each time we're looking at this. I'm going to press Ctrl+Z to undo. Another way to do this is to click "AutoSum pause", just like a half a second and click it again, something like that. It makes it a bit faster. A double-click doesn't quite work, but that was clicking twice, just a slight pause between the two clicks. If we want a total on this column, we could highlight the cells ahead of time and then press AutoSum once to get our total below. If we're in cell H7 and we want to add the data from above or maybe we want to add the data from the left.
What's Excel going to do? Because AutoSum is designed only to add from above or from the left, what does it do in a case like this? If we click AutoSum, AutoSum always looks upward for data first. Now, if we truly want to add those three cells to the left, we will intervene and simply click and drag across those cells and then press Enter. If we want totals right here in these cells, we can highlight them ahead of time and click AutoSum once; or similarly, if we wanted totals here, highlight these cells ahead of time, click AutoSum once.
Better yet, as I undo both of these, what if ahead of time we knew that we wanted totals on the right and below? Highlight both of these and then press AutoSum. Now, there could be times that you want to do more than just adding and averaging. Suppose instead of total here, you wanted to find the maximum. I'll just put in "Max" for now. AutoSum has a drop arrow, in either of its locations, click the drop arrow to the right of AutoSum in this location or below it in the other location, and this time we'll choose "Max", because it's in the list here--choose "Max"-- here we go, and Enter. So that's the maximum number in that range of cells.
We can get to those capabilities too. And sure enough we can do the same thing with "Minimum". So at different times, we can use different features available from the drop arrow associated with AutoSum. Going back to the data over here--as I delete this, and delete this--if we wanted averages on the perimeter here, we'd highlight the cells this way, then use the drop arrow for AutoSum and choose "Average", to get our averages on the perimeter here. This tool is extremely handy and there are so many times when you need to add data or average it; and in some cases, finding the minimum, finding the maximum--take advantage of the AutoSum button in either of its locations and this drop arrow to the right.
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