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Recalculating when Filtering

Henk recently switched from Excel 97 to Excel 2003. When using a filter on large sets of data which also contain formulas, his Excel 2003 starts recalculating all the formulas over and over again after adjusting the filter. Henk noted that his Excel 97 also tried to calculate after changing the filter, but stopped immediately when the filter was used for a new selection. He wonders if there is a way to have Excel 2003 behave in the same way that Excel 97 did.

The short answer is that no, there isn't. That doesn't mean that all is lost, however. There are a couple of things you can try. First, immediately after applying a filter you can press Esc. This should stop the recalculation and you can then apply the next filter.

If you tire of this approach, consider turning off automatic recalculation. Follow these steps:

  1. Choose Options from the Tools menu. Excel displays the Options dialog box.
  2. Make sure the Calculation tab is displayed. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Calculation tab of the Options dialog box.

  4. Select the Manual option.
  5. Click OK.

When operating in this mode, Excel doesn't recalculate automatically. Instead, it waits for you to press F9 to indicate that you are ready to do the recalculation. The drawback to this approach, of course, is that you'll need to remember to recalculate your worksheet after your last filter is applied.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3136) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

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