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# How can I get autosum to automatically highlight totals as well as numbers?

Posted on 2016-09-01
Medium Priority
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I'm attaching a file with a total of numbers (F7)  and then another number. When I insert autosum underneath them to add them up, Autosum just picks up F8 instead of autoselecting F7 and F8. How can I get it to do its usual thing of automatically putting its "marching ants" around the F7:F8 range. Thanks
EE-Excel-autosum-question.xlsx
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Question by:agwalsh
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LVL 33

Expert Comment

ID: 41780062
The AutoSum is clever enough to recognise the contents of a cell already being a SUM.

With your sample, use the AutoSum in F9 and accept just the one cell. Then go to F10 and try another AutoSum. This time it recognises the two sums above and suggests adding those.

That is the way AutoSum is supposed to work. Sometimes Excel can be too clever for its own good and doesn't always do what we expect or want.
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LVL 33

Accepted Solution

Rob Henson earned 1400 total points
ID: 41780066
If you highlight the cells to be summed first ie F7 and F8 and then click the AutoSum it will do what you are expecting.
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LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 41780090
Autosum will not include any cell with the SUM formula in the range to be summed up.
Try Rob's suggestion, that would do the trick.
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LVL 33

Expert Comment

ID: 41780098
@Neeraj - not strictly true, the AutoSum will choose cells containing SUM if they "appear" to be the only cells valid to SUM; as suggested in my first comment when doing the AutoSum on the next cell again, it SUMs the previous SUMs.
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LVL 32

Assisted Solution

Subodh Tiwari (Neeraj) earned 600 total points
ID: 41780113
Yeah that's correct Rob!
I meant that if one cell has a SUM formula in itself and other cells contains only numbers, the autosum will behave incorrectly. i.e. the cells content must be homogeneous.
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Author Comment

ID: 41780125
Yeah, I get I can just select the other cell with the summed numbers but I just like the elegance of Excel automatically anticipating what I want (yes, I know this is a 1st World problem LOL). Will check out the highlight thing...
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Author Closing Comment

ID: 41781140
Got the answer I wanted - a workaround :-)
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