Adding numbers in a single cell without using formula bar

Occasional Visitor


I'm pretty new to excel but I wanted to start tracking my spending and I figured excel was the easiest way to do it. I can use basic functions of excel that are useful for this, such as autosum and conditional formatting, but I was wondering if there was a way to get an individual cell to automatically sum numbers that you type into that specific cell without having to go into the format bar at the top? Not using autosum to add inputs from a bunch of cells, literally just click a cell, type a number and it already adds it to the existing value. I already know I'm going to forget to use the formula bar and instead wipe all the numbers from the cell by typing straight into the cell.


Many thanks.

3 Replies

@kaizo I don't think that is a good idea. It is better to use a separate cell for each number. If you format the range of cells with numbers as a table (Home tab, Format as table), any formula that points to a column in your new table will automatically work on all cells of that column. So you do not have to change your SUM formula when you add new numbers to the table. If you put your SUM above your tabel and use the View, Freeze panes option with the first cell in your table that contains a number, you can scroll down in your table and the sum will stay in view (see example).


@kaizo.... I think you have a fundamental misunderstanding about how Excel works.


First, features like Autosum are merely alternatives ("shortcuts"?) that Excel provides for "convenience".  Nothing requires that you use them.  I never do.


Second, the Formula Bar is simply a place where Excel shows the content of a cell.  In other words, we type into a cell, and it appears in the FB.


Sometimes, it is convenient to change the cell content by editing in the FB.  That is the way I operate. 


But if you choose the appropriate option ("allow editing directly in cells"), you can eschew the FB and type directly in the cell.  Select the cell, then press f2, then edit.


As for adding numbers in a single cell -- and performing any arithmetic -- that is the purpose of formulas.


It is not as simple as ``automatically sum numbers that you type into that specific cell``.


Instead, we have to write an expression, preceded by an equal sign ("=").  For example:


=123 + 456 + 678 + 91011


BTW, some people write =+123 +....  The first plus is totally unnecessary.


However, some people want to use only the numeric keypad for entering such formulas as well as numbers.  And apparently, the numeric keypad does not have an equal sign.  (I do not have an NK, and I would not use it, if I did.)


For their benefit, Excel allows us to enter formulas starting with plus ("+") or minus ("-") instead of an equal sign.


@Joe User 


Many people have a fundamental misunderstanding of computers in general. Many people think that you enter an input value and the computer will think about it and return the expected value, or you feed a large data set into computers and it will automatically format it or move it from one cell or worksheet to another or separating the data set just by pressing a button.


I still remember when I first sat in front of a computer presented with a blank black screen with a blinking cursor and my first thought was... what do I do next? will this thing fizzle up and start smoking and die if I even pressed the wrong button on the keyboard? lol