Functions In A Word Table

Many times we find ourselves creating a Table in Word, which represents values, and at the end of the column or row we want to illustrate the overall value of the corresponding column or row. What most people do is to start the Calculator, perform the math there, and then input the result to the corresponding cell of the table.

What happens though when the values in our table changes? Do we use the Calculator all over again?

In Word we have the advantage of creating a Formula, which will execute all the calculations in the cell of the table.

To create a formula in a table we must be sure that our cursor is in the cell that we want the result to appear.


For example, the cursor is located in the last cell of the second column, and we want to sum the two cells that are located above of my cursor which involve data for Product A and Product B for the First Semester.

Since our cursor is located in the cell of the table, the Table Tools tab activates, where we select the Layout Tab. Then from the area of the ribbon named Data we select the command Formula as we can see in the image below.


The Formula window appears as we can see below. Word knows that our cursor is located in the last cell of the table, knows that there are values in the cells above, and assumes that we want to add the cells and that why it shows the formula =SUM(ABOVE).


If our cursor was located at the end of the row, it would had assumed that we want to add all the values from the left and would had shown the formula =SUM (LEFT), as we can see in the image below.


In the area of the Formula window named Number Format, if we expand the drop down menu at the right, we can select the sort of formatting that the result of the formula should have as shown in the image below.


In the area of the Formula window named Paste Function, we can define the sort of the formula that we want to use. The formulas that we can use in a Word Table are a few as we can see in the following images.




Since we have done all the adjustments, we press the OK button of the Formula window and the result appears straight away in the selected cell. Word inserts the field in the cell and executes the formula, in this case the sum and shows the result in the cell.

What happens though we change some values in our table?

Tables in Word may look like spreadsheets, but they don’t re-calculate the formulas when we edit the cells. We must update the fields every time we edit values in our table.

So this is what we must to in order to Update the Fields;

We must have our cursor inside the cell with the field by clicking on it, and then do a right click with our mouse in order for the shortcut menu to appear and from there to select the command Update Field as we can see in the image below. The field will be updated immediately.


We can also put our cursor inside the cell with the field and press the F9 button.

One way or the other the field will be updated according to the changes that have been made.


About officesmart

MVP: Honored with the MVP (Most Valuable Professional) for OFFICE SYSTEM title for the years 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 by Microsoft, for my contribution and commitment to the technical communities worldwide. Microsoft Master Specialist: This certification provides skill-verification tools that not only help assess a person's skills in using Microsoft Office programs but also the ability to quickly complete on-the-job tasks across multiple programs in the Microsoft Office system

Posted on January 19, 2012, in Microsoft Office 2010 English, Word 2010 English and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Functions In A Word Table.

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