Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.
With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company.
Learn more about Allen...
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: SUMIF Doesn't Recalc Automatically.
Johan wrote about a problem he was having with the SUMIF function in his worksheet. It seems that when the data in his worksheet changes, the SUMIF function doesn't automatically update. He is, however, able to update the formula if he selects it, presses F2 (to jump into edit mode) and then press Enter.
The first, easiest, and most obvious thing to check is whether you have automatic calculation turned on. Follow these steps:
Figure 1. The Calculation tab of the Options dialog box.
If this does not fix the problem, then it must be related to the actual SUMIF formula. For instance, you may think that the data you are changing in the worksheet is actually referenced in the SUMIF formula, but it may not be. (If it isn't, then changing the data won't change the formula results.) Check the formula to make sure that it covers the proper range.
Remember, as well, that if your worksheet is large and complex, and the SUMIF formula is in a cell that is above your data table, it is possible that you may need two calculation passes to update the SUMIF function. Why? Because when you calculate a worksheet, Excel basically calculates the cells from left to right and top to bottom. If you have a very large worksheet, with lots of dependent calculations, and the calculations on which everything else is dependent are at the bottom or right side of the worksheet, then you may get incorrect results for the SUMIF function. (This happens only with the most complex of worksheets.) The answer is to reorganize your worksheets so that the primary calculations are placed near the top of the worksheet and as far left as possible, and the calculations that are based on those primary calculations are placed later in the worksheet.
ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3069) 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: SUMIF Doesn't Recalc Automatically.
Excel Smarts for Beginners! Featuring the friendly and trusted For Dummies style, this popular guide shows beginners how to get up and running with Excel while also helping more experienced users get comfortable with the newest features. Check out Excel 2013 For Dummies today!