Virtual Assistants, everything you know about sums is wrong.

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Virtual Assistants – Everything you know about sums is wrong

Sum in Excel

How did you learn to write a sum at school?

When you went to school you may have learned how to add up a sum like this :


Sum in Excel




And when it comes to putting that into an Excel spreadsheet, you assume it is the same. Excel will add up the numbers won’t it?

So you try it out. Type 12+3 into a cell and then see if you can make it add them up! You will find that you can’t. When you press Enter you will simply see 12+3 in the cell you just wrote them in.

So you might try starting with an = (equals) sign and then typing in 12+3 so it would look like this

=12+3 that will give you the right answer – 15 in the cell.

Will it update if the numbers change?

Here is the thing. Because you used actual hard coded numbers in your formula they are fixed. Hard coded. You typed

=12+3 didn’t you?

So what happens if the 12 or the 3 need to change? You would need to go through and rework all the formulas you had written like this.  Now I have just given you one example but in your spreadsheets its more than likely that you will have several formula throughout the worksheet. Then if the numbers need to change, you will need to locate each one and make the change to the numbers.


It doesn’t have to be like that

If you learn how to build a formula properly using Cell References in the sum rather than hard coded numbers, the result of the sum will change if the number in the cell changes.

So my formula above would look like =A1+A2 – when I press enter it will add up whatever is in A1 and A2 so if the numbers change the results will too.


Sum in Excel








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About the Author Shelley Fishel

I will help you be more productive and earn more money as a virtual assistant. As a trainer with 20 years experience, you'll love how you'll get between 4-8 hours a week back when you use Microsoft tools to their fullest potential. I'm also the author of several best-selling books on Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Outlook, published at . Subscribe and get more productive!

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