FAQ - Cell Calculations Without Formulas

How can I make calculations or changes to cells without using formulas?

If you want to do math with Excel, your only choice is to write formulas, right? Wrong! Get familiar with the Paste Function dialog box in Excel, and learn how to perform a variety of basic math operations without a single formula. Consider this scenario: Your company's product price list stored in a worksheet. Your boss informs you that, effective immediately, all prices must be increased by 5 percent.

You could create some formulas to do the math, and then convert the formulas to values, and then copy and paste the new prices over the old prices. Or, you could use this more efficient method:

Excel 2002-2003

  1. Enter 1.05 into any blank cell. This is the "multiplier" that will increase the prices by 5 percent.
  2. Select the cell you used in Step 1, and choose Edit, Copy or press Ctrl-C.
  3. Select the range of values to be changed, and choose Edit, Paste Special to display the Paste Special dialog box.
  4. Choose the Multiply option and click OK.

2007

  1. Enter 1.05 into any blank cell. This is the "multiplier" that will increase the prices by 5 percent.
  2. Select the cell you used in Step 1, click on the Copy button in the Clipboard box on the Home tab, or press Ctrl-C.
  3. Select the range of values to be changed, click on the Down Arrow below the Paste button in the Clipboard box on the Home tab.
  4. Select Paste Special...
  5. Choose the Multiply from Operation and click OK.

In Summation:

Voila! The values are changed in an instant. You can then delete the cell that contains the 1.05 multiplier.

Note that the Paste Special dialog box lets you carry out other mathematical operations--like add and subtract, for instance--so you can use this technique for a variety of other calculations.

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Category: Software     Platform: All Windows
Document #: 590     Author: Echo Schneider    
Last Modified by: Joshua Moor on 03/25/2008