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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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  • W commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I support enabling a preference to get this feature back. Please!!!

  • Paul Connelly commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Enabling a preference would work.

    Alternatively, holding down another key (like CMD) while clicking on the cells would be acceptable.

    But it's not acceptable to withhold this capability from Excel 2016. Will seriously consider my alternatives. I'd been using Excel 2011 till yesterday and am shocked at the lack of this feature in Excel 2016.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Over three years have elapsed since the absence of this feature was noted, so I don’t expect that Microsoft will adopt this change. In addition the continuing existence of major bugs makes me deeply regret having upgraded to Office 2016. We are going to downgrade to Office 2011, and take our chances with malware on our own. That will be less troublesome than the damage and difficulties that we suffer almost daily!

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I use Windows almost exclusively however I do have a Mac that I use occasionally and I can see how, without the use of a mouse, that this behavior needs to be returned to the Mac and even to give the option to use it in the Windows version now too.

    The forced removal of this feature without an option to turn it on or off eludes me since there's still options for Lotus compatibility since Excel became a product and I don't see any effort to "force" Lotus users to use the Excel compatibility after all these years. Is Lotus even a product anymore?

    Forcing Mac to Windows platform compatibility between two these two very mainstream products without on/off options doesn't seem to hold any logic...not while leaving Lotus options in the software. Does MS like Lotus users more than its Mac users?

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    We are now in September, i.e. almost 6 month without any action or comment from Microsoft.
    IF it is true that there were users having an issue with this function making things easy, I'd like to ask why.
    The minimum change that should be made is to allow it as a preference.
    That way users who do not like this feature (Yeah right, not holding my breath for getting ONE good reason) can leave things as they are, but the users who use it can at least get it back.
    As for making things uniform on Mac and Windows, not a big deal . We lived with differences all along and survived!

  • Dan commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Please, please put the old functionality back in as a preference, it was a real time saver and easy to click between sheets, We would all really appreciate the option to toggle this on and off

    many thanks in advance (hopefully)

  • Charlie Yanjanin commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    enable a preference would be the easiest way to allow users to use their preferred method without learning a new key sequence,

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    This is the worst change to excel. Takes at least twice as long now to sum cells with the necessity to type in =sum( then hold down the command key to click all the cells you want to sum. Before you just typed in = and clicked on the cells you wanted and hit enter to sum them. Very unhappy with this change which was completely unnecessary.

  • Ursula West commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I see lots of comments from customers BEGGING Microsoft to re-install this function. What I do not see are any replies from the Microsoft team. Do they not care what their customers want? Or do they just enjoy watching them beg so that they can feel superior? Get your skates on Microsoft and put this function back NOW!!!

  • CW commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Please add this functionality back, it's hard to understand why Microsoft would remove it, and make Excel more slow to use.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Im searching on line to find what happen to the Mac functionality to click and add. It's rather convenient and simply what I'm use to on a Mac. As long as there is a Mac and WOS system why strive for the "consistency" as you noted. It's not like one will mistaken Excel because of this tiny but convenient feature.

  • Eveningclouds commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I'll add my voice to vote for this basic function to be restored. What possible reason is there to not include it? It is simple, faster, less prone to error. So disappointed to see all the Office programs become giant bloatwares with actually useful features removed or obscured.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I just spent a lot more time and made a lot more mistakes on a multi-tabbed WorkBook because this feature no longer works.

    If we can't get a good reason why the feature was removed, can someone at least give us a glimpse into the possibility of it being brought back, and if so, approximately when?

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    3 years of a thread and nothing being done about a feature that is basic and saves a lot of clicks.
    I really want to meet the person who wanted this removed AND get a reason why this would be an advantage (Or is a disadvantage)
    That person does NOT exist!

  • Ursula West commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    It is nearly impossible to add cells that are not sequential in the 2016 Excel. On a mac powerbook you have to hold down (shift =) to get to the + sign. This makes it near impossible to add numbers from different cells as you have to use two fingers of the right hand to use the + sign and you then have to click the cells using the keypad with the left hand. Really difficult!!!

  • Stephen commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    please please please please bring back the click to add function!! Mac.

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