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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.

341 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]


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  • 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.....

  • John commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Yes, thought is not even needed to make an adding machine become an adding machine once again. Bring it back. I've been doing this since 1986 and just converted from Excel 2011 - wasn't there a time when developers didn't even need to ask but just as a default rule "DON'T REMOVE FUNCTIONALITY ONCE ADDED" was a basic customer service in app development, even if setting it as new preference to toggle on and off? How was this unspoken rule of the market ever lost from memory with generational change? Oh, that's right.. it happened with the age of the monopoly, when monopoly power came to be combined with the culture of tech development entitlement. Yikes!

  • Charlie Hartman commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    The ability simply to click on two cells to add them instead of having to stop and enter the plus sign is one of the great ways that Excel works. I've been clicking like this since beta testing Excel in 1983! It seems really dumb to take this feature away just because Windows machines can't handle it. If you really have to do something to take care of the Windows people, then I'd suggest providing an easy way for Mac users to click on a preference that allows them to continue using the feature. Having to hold down the CMD key is just as inconvenient as having to hit the plus sign.

  • Antoine Portales commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    The old functionality was such a time saver.
    If we need to hold a key to make it work so be it. We just need it back :-)
    thank you

  • Doreen Bequary commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I am floored that you would remove that function. Apparently no bothered to ask an accountant how valuable this function is. If you are concerned that everyone might not want that function make it a preference.

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