You want to do math in Excel, and your only choice is to write formulas, right? Wrong! Get familiar with Excel’s Paste Function dialog box, and learn how to perform a variety of basic math functions without a single formula.
Let’s say you have a worksheet that lists all your products and their current prices. You’ve just been told to increase all the prices by 5%. You could create some basic formulas to do the math, then convert the formulas to values, and then copy and paste these new values over the old ones.
Or, you could use this more efficient method:
- Enter 1.05 into any blank cell. This is the “multiplier” that will increase the prices by 5%.
- Select the cell you used, and Copy it.
- Select the range of values to be changed, and choose Edit/Paste Special to display the Paste Special dialog box.
- Choose the Multiply option and click OK. Notice that all the values have been changed. You can then delete the cell that contains the 1.05 multiplier.
- Note that the Paste Special dialog box lets you carry out other mathematical operations – like add or subtract – so you can use this approach for a variety of other calculations.
This tip is from Microassist instructor Andy Weaver. To learn more about our instructor-led courses, including courses on all levels of Excel, visit our Course List.