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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]

303 comments

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  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Just make it a feature that we can turn on if we want it or leave it if we don't. You could even allow us to set our own hot keys i.e. Command+Shift. Give us functionality don't take it away

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I agree. Just bring it back!

    I am sure that Windows users will find it a more convenient way of adding numbers in separate cells rather than having to use the SUM function.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Simply bring back the old Mac sytem of =, then clicking on a particular cell to add that cell's number to the formula. If we need to hit command while doing so be it. Just make Excel as user friendly as possible.

  • Lola commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Waiting for the update! I agree, bring back this feature asap!

  • Phillip commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Dear Steve K, your last update was almost a year ago. Any news???

  • Chris commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Everyone who wants this feature restored, please VOTE for it!

  • Mike Raffone commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Hey MicroSoft, why don't you test any function changes on Excel with a focus group of MAC and PC users before updating the entire ecosystem! The auto plus function was a time-saver and removing it created a lot of frustration. Bad Bad Bad idea.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    please make it available again.. im sure its not that hard and that function really helped. thanks

  • Dana commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    It is not difficult to do this for the Mac: Apple's Numbers app includes the feature, as does the old Excel for Mac. Therefore I assume that it is a Windows problem, and Microsoft is unwilling to do anything about its outmoded Windows.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Being a Windows user of Excel since the first released version I didn't even know this option existed. Even when using Excel on a Mac when I needed to, I always did it the "Windows" way even after being told about it but I gotta say, the old Mac way of = + click is something I think should return, even if it is only returned for the MAC. The fact that a useful and beloved feature was removed without consent is a disgraceful way to treat long term Excel for MAC users.

    Knowing that their users can't just switch to something else gives companies like MS the feeling that they can do what they want, despite what the users want. That's just arrogance. I've not even seen a compelling reason to have removed it in the first place. Bringing the two platform's functionality together inline with one another is fine, but don't cut out features that don't exist in another platform, add them to the one that is missing it and provide an option to enable it on the new platform.

  • Scott commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Horrible idea to get rid of this feature. WHY!? What would even make them think this should be disposed of?!

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I have used Excel for decades, and I am lost without it, constantly having to check myself. Arbitrary changes without a thought for longtime users is an arrogant Microsoft trait.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Removal of this function is very, very annoying! I spend my working days calculating multi-million dollar budgets and this was a really useful function. Please, please bring it back!

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Hello Excel Team,
    Pls add back the auto plus function. I think, it is better to keep the option open rather than taking it off without taking vote for that and now asking for several thousand votes!

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    This function was the most used by me in the old version. It's a big problem now its gone. Please bring it back.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Please do bring this back. It would be fine to enable a preference to get the old behavior. That's easy enough. This feature had been one of the few things that I used on a daily basis that made an Excel a better product than Google's competing spreadsheet application. Now I'm wondering if that competitor has a simpler workaround than the onerous "=sum( command-clicking cells" mentioned above. Thank you to Saskia Aldershof for bringing this to MS' attention, and all of you commenters who are continuing to push to bring this back.

  • Ann commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Please bring back this useful feature! The new method is such a nuisance and a feature I have always hated on my PC at work. The loss of this feature is a step back. Think of adding it to the PC version rather than removing it from the Mac version.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Oh PLEASE bring this back! I use it daily and hate when I have to use 2016.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Yeah, this was one of the most useful tricks in XL. Saved a ton of typing.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I upgraded to 2019 for Mac and am annoyed by the removal of the previous ability to click '=' and then click selected cells to add them all. Please add a preference or return this functionality.

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