Stop Entering Excel Formulas and Start Using the Status Bar Instead

It doesn’t matter how experienced your advanced you are in Excel, and it doesn’t matter how complex your work is.  Everyone needs to perform simple, straightforward calculations such as SUM(), COUNT() and AVERAGE().

I’ve seen people needlessly enter in Excel formulas to sum up relatively small ranges of 20-30 values, without realising that there’s a handy Excel feature that’s sitting right under their nose!

Even if you’re performing highly complex data analysis or financial modelling, you will still want to know how big your data is, or what the largest value is in the report you just exported from your accounting software.  Simple things like summing up the total purchases each department made from last month, or finding out who got the highest score for a given set of Chemistry results.

Fortunately, the status bar at the bottom of your Microsoft Excel window can give you plenty of useful information at a single glance, based on what data you have selected.

If you aren’t using the status bar to instantly answer your simple queries, then you’re wasting your time typing in Excel formulas, or manually counting your data yourself.

How it works

Whenever more than one cell is selected, the Status Bar will show a variety of basic calculations based on the current selection towards the right hand side.

Stop Entering Excel Formulas and Start Using the Status Bar Instead | ExcelEfficiency.com

When selecting cells, they don’t have to be part of a single range like the example above.  You can select individual cells by holding down Ctrl and clicking on the relevant cells that you want to calculate on.

Utilising the status bar is one of the sections in the FREE eBook “10 Simple Microsoft Excel Tips to Save You Time”.  Get the free eBook now!

By default, Excel will calculate the Average, Count and Sum of the selected data, but you can also choose to display the Minimum, Maximum and Numerical Count by right clicking on the status bar and choosing them from the menu that appears:

Stop Entering Excel Formulas and Start Using the Status Bar Instead | ExcelEfficiency.com

All of these are fairly obvious to understand apart from Numerical Count, which only counts cells which are in the number format (ie: not formatted as Text).  In the example below you can see that the cells on the left (which are formatted as Text) aren’t included in the Numerical Count calculation:

excel_status_bar_formulas_3

That’s all there is to it!  As long as you start getting into the habit of glancing down at the status bar whenever you need a quick answer on a count, sum or other basic piece of information, you’ll save yourself the pain of unnecessary formula entry.  Let Excel take care of the heavy lifting for you!

Want more Excel options content?  Try taking the 5-Step Microsoft Excel Option Healthcheck to set up your Excel program just the way you like it.

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