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: Understanding Manual Calculation.

# Understanding Manual Calculation

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 12, 2015)

When you change a value in any cell of a worksheet, Excel automatically recalculates all the other formulas within the worksheet. This means that Excel is always up to date, based on any changes you may have performed.

If you have an absolutely huge worksheet or a terribly slow computer (or both), then doing a calculation after every change can get very tedious. In these situations, you can actually spend more time waiting on Excel to finish calculating than you do on entering information.

The answer to this problem is to configure Excel so that all calculations are done manually. This is easy to do by following these steps:

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

4. Make sure the Manual radio button is selected.
5. Click on OK.

Now, Excel does not calculate your worksheet automatically. Instead, you must press F9 whenever you want to update the results displayed within your worksheet.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2970) 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: Understanding Manual Calculation.

##### Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

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. ...

##### MORE FROM ALLEN

Calculating the Distance between the Top of the Window and Row 1

Normally Excel positions a UserForm in the center of your screen. You may want to position the form elsewhere, more specific ...

Discover More

Examining Tracked Changes in a Macro

The Track Changes feature in Word is very handy when you need to see what edits are made to a document. Using a macro you can ...

Discover More

When you insert a new section in your document, Word assumes you want the headers and footers in that section to be the same ...

Discover More

Program Successfully in Excel! John Walkenbach's name is synonymous with excellence in deciphering complex technical topics. With this comprehensive guide, "Mr. Spreadsheet" shows how to maximize your Excel experience using professional spreadsheet application development tips from his own personal bookshelf. Check out Excel 2013 Power Programming with VBA today!

Specifying the Behavior of the Enter Key

When you press Enter while adding information to a worksheet, Excel normally drops to the next cell down in the column. You ...

Discover More

Enlarging the Formula Bar

The Formula bar is used to display the formula that appears in a cell. You may want to modify how the Formula bar is ...

Discover More

Creating Superscript and Subscript Buttons

Want a quick way to apply superscript and subscript to selected text within a cell? This tip shows how the formatting can be ...

Discover More
##### Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. Youâ€™ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 3 - 0?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your commentâ€”just use the simple form above!)

##### This Site

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.