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USING FORMULAS IN TABLES

If you look on the Tables and Borders toolbar you will see the AutoSum icon which can be used to automatically sum a column of figures.  Here is a word table which has a formula at the bottom of the second column to total the cost of the items (37.98), this was placed there by clicking in the cell at the bottom of the fourth column and clicking the AutoSum icon:

If you press ALT+F9 you will see the field code representing the formula, press ALT+F9 again to turn off display of field codes.

One disadvantage of formulas in Word is that they do not recalculate automatically if you change a figure.  If we changed one of the Total values we would need to highlight the resulting total at the bottom of the column and press F9 to update the total.

Although the AutoSum is useful for simple sums it can be useful to perform more complicated calculations in a Word table.  If you use the Table -> Formula facility you can use other functions such as AVERAGE, MAX, MIN and also reference individual cells in a table.

When creating a formula you must leave the = sign at the start of the calculation in the Formula box.  By clicking on the drop-down arrow at the right-hand end of the Paste function box you can select a function to use in your calculation.  When you have selected the function you will need to make sure the 'arguments' in the brackets are completed.  As you can see from the SUM example above you can use expressions like SUM(ABOVE) in calculations.  You can also use SUM(LEFT) to refer to all the values to the left of the result cell.  However, sometimes using ABOVE and LEFT can cause problems, especially when the column headings in your table contain numbers (e.g. years).  To prevent Word selecting the wrong cells you can refer to your table cells using cell references, as you would in Excel.  We can enter a formula to calculate the total cost of the paint by using the formula =B2*C2 (note that * is used for multiplication).  If you need more help on creating formulas read the pages on using formulas in Excel.  When working out the cell references for your table, label the columns A, B, C, D, etc from left to right and the rows 1, 2, 3, 4, etc from top to bottom.  Here is our table showing field codes for all the formulae:

 To ensure that your formula's result is shown in the correct format you can se the format in the Table -> Formula window using the drop-down Number Format list.

It is possible to create the field codes for formulae by typing in the field code yourself.  However, if you want to do this you will have to press CTRL + F9 to create the curly brackets around the field code, typing the normal curly brackets {} on the keyboard will not create a functioning field code.  When you apply formatting to a field code some extra information is added to the field to define the format. Here is an example of the field code for one of the formatted numbers above:

{=B4*C4 \# "#,##0.00;(#,##0.00)"}

To update all the field codes in your document you can press CTRL + A to select the whole document and then press F9 to update all the field codes.