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.
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]
Good grief, man, it's been over 3 years! Is it not time you start listening to your users?
yes. I want the simple "click to add " back too.
Well, to all and sundry.
Patience has worn thin. Tension high. Nerves frayed. Can no longer "make do" with the lack of "click cell addition" AND the issues of incredible slow calc, slow cursor and cell transition, etc.
2016 was removed 20 minutes ago. yes, 2016, gone, deleted. And Excel 2011 has returned.
The number of issues are shocking. And my maxed out, late 2016 MBP is not a slow machine....
just noticed this basic functionality (i wouldn't even call it a feature) missing after an "upgrade". i also vote to bring it back. i'd be perfectly fine with having to enable a preference.
from Anonymous saying (you can first ...) to all others on this list: I agree 100% that just typing = and then clicking many cells is WAY better and when I upgraded this past week I was VERY DISAPPOINTED that this was lost (I used it very often) "you don't know what you've got til its gone..."
To anonymous: The whole point is to do away with the extra steps. It is much, much faster to type "=" and then just start clicking. This comes up so often that the fix needs to be made. If you don't use Excel with a lot of summing of disparate cells, then you don't understand. Many of us do. I tried your solution a long time ago, and found that is just as cumbersome as typing a plus for each cell for most calculations.
you can first manually type in =sum( and then start ctl-cmd-click on many cells then type the close paren) OR (easier) you can on the Formulas ribbon click on AutoSum and that will insert the equation ready for a cell selection giving you =sum() with the cursor in the parens, then start doing the ctl-cmd-click anywhere you like to put in A1,B7,C3 etc to sum those cells. So instead of = you have to click twice and hold down two modifiers. Not as good as 2011, but better than manual plus signs.
Don D commented
SF commented that one can just hold down both Control and Command to sum cells, but this does not work (on my Mac, at least). Doing that just puts commas between the cell references, not + signs as desired.
Microsoft, PLEASE make this a user preference!! You've seen that hundreds of people are asking for this functionality back, so what's wrong with giving the user the option to turn this back on? Why the delay in implementing this??
I might be missing something but can’t you just hold down both Control and Command to sum cells?
If I could get my money back, I would certainly do so. Using "=" and point and click to sum cells was what I have used for 15 years. Bring it back. Also, if I copy a list of numbers from a document and paste them in EXCEL, I could use them in calculations. This no longer works either.
I just upgraded to Excel 2018 for Mac from a very old version, and I am SERIOUSLY missing the simple ability to enter "=" and then just click on different cells to get a sum. This was the one and only reason I was still using Excel over Google Sheets.
There are so many improvements in this new version of Excel, but this one issue makes the program significantly more cumbersome. It used to be that if I wanted to add 10 different numbers from different locations I could get a sum with just 12 movements. Now the exact same task takes 22 movements with a lot of back-and-forth between the keyboard and the mouse. That's basically more than double the work, which is twice as time consuming. And you'd be amazed at how often my spreadsheets are setup for this exact sort of task.
Microsoft - Steve - please let us know what's going to happen -- otherwise I will finally bail from Excel after 33 years of use (seriously, I was an early Mac and Microsoft adopter).
I agree...bring back the old feature to type = and then click cells to have it automatically put a + in between each cell. It's a pain to have to click shift+ between every cell.
Still missing in Excel 2019
It is quite clear this issue has gone dead. It has been almost a year since anyone has even looked at it. What's the point in voting? What the heck are we voting for if no one responds?
Robert Zink commented
Anything, Microsoft? Please update us!!!
Bring it back. Nothing else works as easy.
Successfully downgraded to Office 2011 - 3 weeks ago - all behaviours are back just fine. Macros work (half as many dire warnings), keyboard customizations, relative references, formulas copy and paste, click to add cells, printing on custom size papers works, no freeze-ups (so far).
I don't collaborate online, and I write and use all my own macros in-house. YMMV.
Total waste of space remobving it - it's pants compared to the old version
Refik Telhan commented
I really do not understand why such a handy feature has been removed in the first place. There may be good reason to remove it, but it could still have been kept in the software with a modifier key. Why removing it totally?
This is one of the many features I am missing from Excel 2011. The colour palettes have changed, the Developer UI is now inconsistent with years of previous work. I can't touch those sheets with the new Office. Many keyboard shortcuts are gone. I see my windows user colleagues reaching for the mouse all the time to paw through oceans of ribbons. Now I know why.
At the same time, some devilish new feature that slowly misaligns my cursor from the spreadheet cell below is a new plague. I find that for all the 365 office apps, I have to wait for each command to complete before the next can be entered. For example command-s, command-w. I moved to 365 when getting a new computer. My 6-year old mac was faster than Office 365 on a six core i9.
I would welcome a mode that let me use the old colours and keyboard shortcuts. Yes, and the click to sum behaviour too.