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Microsoft Excel: Total Without Using a Formula

written by: Mr Excel•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 7/6/2011

Need to quickly and easily sum up a total in Excel? With this trick, you don't even need to enter a formula.

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    Problem: Your manager calls on the telephone and asks for the total sales of a particular product. You need to quickly find a total. Is there a faster way than entering a formula?

    Strategy: The QuickSum indicator in the status bar will show the total of the highlighted cells. With your manager on the phone, highlight the numbers in question, as shown in Fig. 240.

    Note: Click any image below to see a larger view of that figure.

    Result: As shown in Fig. 241, the QuickSum indicator in the status bar at the bottom of the screen will show that the total of those three cells is 691.

    Additional Information: It is possible that you have turned off the status bar. If the status bar is not visible at the bottom of your screen after selecting a range of numeric cells, select View – Status Bar from the menu, as shown in Fig. 242.

    In Excel 2007 and 2010, you can customize what appears on the status bar by right clicking the bar and selecting various options.

    Gotcha: If one of the values that you select is text, the status bar will show the total of just the numeric entries, as shown in Fig. 243.

    However, as shown in Fig. 244, if one of the highlighted cells is an error such as #N/A, then the status bar total will not appear.

    Summary: The QuickSum feature in the status bar will show the total of selected cells.

    Commands Discussed: View – Status Bar

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    Fig. 240Fig. 241Fig. 242Fig. 243Fig. 244
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    References and Additional Resources

    If you're looking for more tips and tutorials, check out 91 Tips for Calculating With Microsoft Excel. This collection of easy-to-follow guides shows how to customize charts and graphs, different ways to make complex spreadsheets easier to update, and even how to play games like Craps in Excel.

    Other Resources:

    Microsoft Excel Official Site,

    Bill Jelen, Microsoft Excel 2010 In Depth, Available from