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Merging Cells to a Single Sum

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: Merging Cells to a Single Sum.

As you analyze your data in a worksheet, one common task is to look for ways to simplify the amount of data need to work with. One way to do this is to "merge" several consecutive cells together in an Excel worksheet, leaving only the sum of the original cells as a value. For instance, if you have values in the range B3:F3, how would you collapse the range into a single cell that contains just the sum of that range?

The easiest way I have found to accomplish this task is as follows:

  1. Select the cell just to the right of the range you want to collapse. (In the above example, you would select cell G3.)
  2. In this cell, enter a SUM formula that adds up the range. For instance, the cell could contain the formula =SUM(B3:F3).
  3. Copy this formula down to other cells, if necessary.
  4. Select all the cells that contain the SUM formula.
  5. Press Ctrl+C to copy the cells to the Clipboard. The cells should all still be selected.
  6. Choose Paste Special from the Edit. Excel displays the Paste Special dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  7. Figure 1. The Paste Special dialog box.

  8. Make sure the Values option is chosen.
  9. Click on OK.
  10. Delete the original range of cells. (For example, B3:F3.)

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3026) 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: Merging Cells to a Single Sum.

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