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How can we improve Excel for Mac?

Just click individual cells to sum

Excel 2011 had the possibility to sum individual cells by typing "=", and then just clicking on individual cells across the workbook that you want to sum, and "return" when done. This functionality is no longer available in Excel 2016 (you have to type "=sum(", then clicking on the individual cells while holding down the command key, "return". I would be happy if the old functionality is brought to Excel 2016.

344 votes
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Saskia Aldershof shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

Update – thanks for the continued support of this feature. We’ll keep this request open for voting, but we’ll need to consider modifying the behavior slightly if it is to be brought back. For this suggestion, we would want to enable such behavior on both Mac and Windows, but we would need to do it in a way that does not cause problems for people who don’t want this behavior. For example, it may be that you would type =, then hold the CMD key as you click the cells to be added. Or perhaps you would need to enable a preference to get the old behavior. Please comment on these options or offer other ideas.

We’ve been working to make Excel more consistent between Mac and Windows, as can be seen by the updates over the past several months, which have satisfied several thousand votes on this forum (multi-thread calculation, PivotCharts, modern chart types, new functions, slicers for tables). I mention that to be clear that we are listening to the suggestions, comments and votes.

Steve K [MS Excel]

312 comments

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  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Looks like MS is not listening at all.
    What puzzles me is that anybody considered this not a worthwhile user-friendly feature.
    Plus, Mac users and PC users all know how to run their versions (and have for years), no problem any place.
    If anything this feature should be added to windows version if it didn't exist there.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    As with functions in other programs of the 2011 Suite, I fail to understand how something so simple, yet efficient is one, dropped from a newer version, and two, despite seemingly overwhelming support is still not corrected/returned.....I feel as if the road is running out.

    On one hand, I must gradually update the OS, and when I do, at some point, the 2011 MS Suite for Mac will cease to be compatible. And then I will be FORCED to move to a less capable, less user friendly software. This is somewhat akin to having the car dealership take my 2011 car and force me to purchase a Model T......

    I would challenge MS to, if the belief is that they have somehow included an equally efficient option, to then explain to us what exactly is the comparable operation . . . .

  • Phillip commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    "Or perhaps you would need to enable a preference to get the old behavior." - Great idea! Please bring it back!

  • eveningclouds commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Attention Microsoft Excel team. This discussion has been going on since September 2015 and there was a note from a Team member on March 28, 2018. Can anyone there confirm that you folks are watching this thread?

    Users are not only asking for this function, but they are stunned and astonished that you removed it in the first place!

    We'd like it back! If you want to make it an option, fine. What's the issue on your end?

  • KP commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    OMG! How could you remove this function? I held off for as long as I could to switch from Office 2008 a more current version (Office 2019 for Mac) and now I know why! You remove a function like this that is used constantly by everyday people, as demonstrated by the comments below. Thousands if not millions of others haven't gone online to complain like we are but trust me, they are out there. PUT BACK THIS FUNCTION. It's a horrible oversight on the part of Microsoft. If it doesn't return then I'm going to switch over to Pages on my MacBook Pro.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Please bring back the old functionality of just being able to click on cells...very difficult to make this change after 30 years of the old version...

  • Wylie commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I agree with all the other commenters. Bring it back! Very annoying that it disappeared!

  • Marc Lemaitre commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I also really miss this function! As someone posted last week > "Even if it were possible to add it back as a preference it would make my life so much easier (again)"
    Please get it back.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I really miss this function! Even if it were possible to add it back as a preference it would make my life so much easier (again)

  • Bill Guthrie commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    As an Excel user since 1985, I've made many a mistake building formulas recently with "New Excel" because the click-add method disappeared. Assuming it was impossible for you to have removed the functionality completely, I tried various combinations of control keys. The Control key itself (Mac) does nothing at all. The Option key has no different effect; it replaces the last entry with the new cell, and the Command key inserts a comma and the new cell. I don't see why you changed it.

  • Eric commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    This works in the 2011 version. I reverted several months ago - no regrets to date.
    Also a number of other things work properly again; printing, relative references, saving, macros.

  • STEF BUTLER commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I am shocked that this was disabled. Do you know where camels came from? They asked a comittee to design a horse... Utterly stupid along with no way to customize a way to get the function back...

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    YES! BRING IT BACK! Should never have been taken out. I'm sure Windows users would appreciate that feature too.

  • JV commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    God yes, please bring it back!! I just changed from Office 2011 Mac to Office 365 for Mac and have been pulling my hair out over the loss of this great feature! What were you thinking?

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    The loss of this simple but key feature is a huge loss. I have been using Excel on Mac for decades and to drop this is really annoying. Bring it back , please.

  • pam commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Excel had great features for summing selected cells for all kinds of applications - financial, statistical, etc. Now this capability is gone or so hard to use as having to hold this key, push that key, enter this item, stand on your head.....then you MIGHT get a result. just want a simple capability to balance my checkbook since banks have also stopped providing running account balances. I guess the new generation just uses Mom and Dad's debit cards and dont have to balance accounts, after all, money is free.....

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