
Excel Chapter 3A of 24: The Calculator The most simple yet very useful analytical tool in Excel is the Calculator. Here is a tip that 75% of Excel users ignore and that you will be using daily from now on. Select two or more cells with numbers in them and take a look at the bottom of your screen, you will see . It is the sum of the selected cells. If you right click on , you will see this:
you can select this functionality to show the sum, the count, the average.... or nothing at all. If you chose to count nonempty cells select any cells (numerical or not) and the result appears at the bottom of your screen. When will you use this tip?  You will first use the calculator to validate certain totals in a report before issuing it. You make sure that formulas work correctly.  You can rapidly calculate some significant totals in a set of data that doesn't show any totals. You can count the number of values or entries.  You will also use the calculator to calculate some totals that do not exist in the report that you are looking at. For example you can calculate quarterly subtotals from a report showing only monthly numbers and " Year to Date" .  When you discover the comparative analyses in lesson 2 you can look at a report and its raw data on the same screen. The raw data can be in the same workbook, in a different workbook or even in a different program. Showing the data and the report on a split screen you can validate the totals in the report using the calculator in both views.  You can use the calculator to analyse the data dynamically and then decide that such analysis is worthy of a special automated report and create it. The calculator then becomes a report designing tool. 
Next Chapter: Comparative Analysis with Excel 

The Calculator in Excel