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How To Use Labels In Microsoft Excel 2003 To Sum Cells

Microsoft Excel is a fantastic tool but one of its downfalls is the use of cell addresses especially when you are trying to sum a series of numbers; however Microsoft has a really cool tool that allows you to add up a series of cells simply using the labels around your data. In this article we will investigate the steps you need to follow to be able to use Labels to Sum cells in Microsoft Excel. Let us get started … To show you how using labels works, the first step we need to undertake is to simply create a new set of data, so open a new Microsoft Excel workbook and click on Sheet 1. First off we are going to build the worksheet so in cell A1 I want you to type - Years, in cell B1 type the word Values and in cell C1 type the word Values1 and in cell D1 type the word Total. These four values we have typed into cell A1, B1, C1, D1 are labels. We are now going to put into the worksheet three more labels.

In cell A2 type the value 1999, in cell A3 type the value 2000 and in cell A4 type the value 2001. The last three values entered will in fact become labels but we will convert them to labels a little latter on. In the remaining cells simply put the following values: B2 - 29 C2 - 32 B3 - 54 C3 - 99 B4 - 62 C4 - 72 Now that we have built a very simple spreadsheet and we have a few values to work with we have to tell Microsoft Excel to actually accept labels in our formulas in our spreadsheet. We do this by first going to the Tools menu and then choosing the Options command from the drop down menu. The Options dialog box will now be open in front of you.

Simply choose the Calculation tab and in the bottom right hand corner you will see a check box that says Accept Labels in Formulas and you need to click on the check box so that it has a tick in it. Then to complete the process simply press the OK button. Now we can use the labels we put in B1 and C1 to add up the values. Lets try it out… In cell B5, which is the Values column I want you to type the formula - = Sum(Values) The cell should return the total of 145. What you will notice though is that the formula looked up the column to where the label was and said everything in this column will be added together. We could have simply typed the following formula instead of using labels - = Sum(B2:B3) However, as I am sure you will agree, using labels makes your formulas a lot easier to read and much clearer to understand. Now it is your turn. In the cell C5 write the equivalent label formula for that cell. I will give you a hint if you are not sure - = Sum(Values1) How did that go? Alright, the next issue we are going to visit is using numbers as formula labels. Now if we simply typed in cell D2 the formula - = Sum(1999) All that would be returned is the value 1999 so this will not work at all. 