Formulas in Word

I discovered this afternoon that you can insert simple formulas in Microsoft Word tables, at least in Word 2007. This is really pretty helpful when you just need to do something simple like sum a column or row and don’t want to build the table in Excel, copy it into Word, and then format it.

I had a table something like this:

 

Foo

Bar

Snafu

Total

X

Y

X

Y

X

Y

Day 1

.5

1.5

0

1

1.25

.5

 

Day 2

.5

1.5

0

1

1.25

.5

 

Day 3

.5

1.5

0

1

1.25

.5

 

Total

       

 

I needed to add totals for rows and columns so it would look like this:

In order to do this, click in one of the total cells, and then click the formula button on the Layout tab on the ribbon: .

You’ll get a dialog something like this – it defaults to the SUM formula, and automatically figures out whether you want “ABOVE” or perhaps “LEFT”. If you need a different function (like to take the average or something), use the Paste function combobox.

You’ll note if you look at the screenshot of my resulting table that the sums are highlighted in gray. This is because I have Field Shading enabled in Word. When you print they won’t actually be highlighted. One difference from Excel here is that the fields won’t automatically recompute if you update one of the cells. In order to do this, you need to right click and select Update Field:

Cool feature – enjoy.


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