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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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  • Janine commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I still can't get used to losing this function. Has cost me more time (because I can't get out of the habit) than i want to think about. who on earth decided to get rid of this function - they should be fired - it has pissed off so many users. i have been using excel since the 1980's; it has been amazing to see excel's capabilities expand - never expected something as dumb as this to suddenly happen.

    bring back this function for pity's sake

  • Todd De La Garza commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    WHY WHY WHY did they do away with this function? The new version is a pain......please add this back as an option!!!

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Inconceivable -- eliminating a simple, efficient, time-saving feature in an "upgrade." A feature I used more than ANY other. Also, the "new and improved" dysfunctional ribbon and header is another frustrating down grade. MS, get a clue!

  • Roger Swallow commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    BRING BACK "=clicking individual cells" NOW, what were you thinking!!!!!!! It is astonishing to realize that MS had the mental capacity to remove such an important feature to just about everybody who has ever used Excel (Mac) to 'bring it line with Windows' rather than ADD the feature to Windows. Please restore my faith by restoring this ASAP!

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Does anyone know how to turn this "feature" OFF in earlier versions? It's really annoying trying to create a complex formula and it keeps adding together my cells instead of selecting a different cell to use in my formula. I waste so much time fixing every complex formula because of this.

  • Steve commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Before 2016 I felt like each new version built upon the last meaning it was better and nothing was lost in the transition. This version is 100% a downgrade. Just the small things alone kill this as a productivity tool and make me wonder whether Microsoft has totally lost touch with its customers and why we buy their products. Examples: 1) clicking cels after "=" was a great feature for quick add-ups. Why would this feature that everyone uses be taken away? 2) The ribbbon and head is a total disaster. Why can't we customize the ribbon? I do not want junk that I do not use to be there. I want a clean interface with ONLY the tools that I use presented and nothing else. The ribbon is a huge waste of screen real-estate. Come on Microsoft. I have been using Excel for Mac for something like 20 years now and this 2016 version is the first one I have every complained about and this version is really truly aweful. I am not a person who complains about change and actually like change in the apps but not downgrades and gross inefficiencies. Fix this quickly please.

  • Mark S. commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    This is a huge step backward and a deal breaker for me. I prepare video budgets and HATE not being able to just click individual cells for a total. I have no issue with the subscription model. but I'm going to transition over to numbers and pages. Then cancel my Office 365 subscription. FYI None of the workarounds seem to work,

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    OMG!!!!!! I thought i was going mad I thought I pressed something and reset my program and was researching how to put the feature back in ... this feature saves my ass so many many times. I cannot believe its gone .... what a stupid mistake MS ... seriously this feature was one of the key features you won so many non accountant people over .... WOW!

  • Ed commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I'm glad I found this thread. The loss of the click-to-add function is a MAJOR decrease in ease of use. I could care less about compatibility with Windows, but if that is the goal then why not benefit the Windows users with the same function?

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I have to say that I agree with all the comments over the inability to add to a formula by clicking on the cells...reading all the pre-launch press on Office fo Mac 2016, the main selling point was that it was more compatible with how things worked on the Windows version of the product - this is a good example of why the rest of us have been using Mac's!

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I wish had not upgraded. I hate this excel. I can't believe you can't add like before as described by the original poster. I waste so much time every day on this.

  • JB commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Just upgraded to 2016. This has to be one of the least user-tested upgrades in software history based on just the "+" functionality gone missing. EVERY Mac Excel user used this functionality, so that means NO Mac Excel user tested 2016 before they shipped it. Unbelievable! Patch it with an option to turn it back on or I'm through with Office products forever.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I am so upset about my upgrade to 2016. Actually I feel like this is more of a downgrade. Losing this feature is resulting a tremendous amount of wasted time typing "+". I am see this thread was last commented on in 2015. WHY HAVEN'T YOU DONE ANYTHING YET, MICROSOFT?!?!

  • Chelsea commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    AGREED. I used that function all of the time when I did not want to autosum a column, or have to press the + key every time to add a cell. It was so quick and efficient. I just upgraded to Microsoft Office 2016 for Mac and could not figure out why it would not work. Thanks for posting so I know I am not crazy or had a setting wrong. Hopefully the feature will be added back. No reason to take it away!

  • Josh commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I AGREE!!! This is killing me....I need "click addition" added back....HELP!!!!!!

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    This is Crazy
    Why would they eliminate a basic fucntion like this
    i will try antother spread sheet program

  • Linda commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I agree with the others in this thread - this was a very useful shortcut for quick addition of a couple cells, and I'm finding out now how often I used it. Why does 'consistency with Windows' mean that useful Mac shortcuts get taken away?

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