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Quickly Updating Values

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Quickly Updating Values.

Many people use Excel to keep track of important information, such as price sheets or cost tables. This data is then used to help calculate proposals or to figure out how much should be charged to customers. It is not uncommon to need to update information in these tables on a periodic basis. For instance, your company may decide that it will increase all prices in the company by ten percent this year.

If you have rather large pricing tables, you may not know the best way to update the prices by the ten percent. Obviously you could make a secondary table and then base the information in that table on a formula, such as =B3 * 1.1. This is actually more work than is necessary, however. Excel provides a much quicker way to update values in a table by a uniform amount. Simply follow these steps:

  1. Select an empty cell, somewhere outside the range used by your pricing table.
  2. Enter the value 1.1 in the empty cell.
  3. With the cell selected, press Ctrl+C to copy its contents to the Clipboard.
  4. Select the entire pricing table. You should not select any headers or non-numeric information in the table.
  5. Choose the Paste Special option from the Edit menu. Excel displays the Paste Special dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  6. Figure 1. The Paste Special dialog box.

  7. In the Operation area of the dialog box, make sure you select the Multiply option.
  8. Click on OK.
  9. Select the cell where you entered the value in step 2.
  10. Press the Delete key.

That's it! All the values in your pricing table now show a ten percent increase from their previous values.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2956) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Quickly Updating Values.

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