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Excel Web App Improvements, Part 2

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This is the second installment in a multi-part series covering the enhancements to the Excel Web App. Considered the most powerful of the web apps, Excel has enjoyed the lion’s share of improvements to its feature set. Author Laura Acklen shows you some of the more advanced functionality — the AutoSum function, formula assistance and the ability to embed workbooks in websites and blogs.
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The Excel Web App has been the lucky recipient of quite a few enhancements lately. Microsoft has embarked on a project that might be described as “design by request.” Based on feedback, Microsoft is developing its suite of web apps according to what the users are asking for. It’s truly a win-win.

This article is the second in a multi-part series that covers the updates to the Excel Web App. The first article, “Excel Web Improvements, Part 1,” covers some of the more advanced functionality, such as the AutoSum function, the new formula assistance, and the ability to embed workbooks in web sites and blogs.

Using AutoSum in the Web App

AutoSum is arguably the most frequently-used feature in Excel. There is no faster way to add up a series of contiguous cells—either select the cells that you want added together, or click in the blank cell under a column of numbers, or the blank cell just to the right of a row of numbers, then click the AutoSum button.

If you selected the cells first, Excel places the Sum formula in the cell directly underneath the selected cells in a column of figures, or to the left of a row of figures, and displays the sum total in that cell. Otherwise, the AutoSum is inserted in the cell that you selected before clicking AutoSum.

As you can see, there are other popular functions on the AutoSum menu so they can be used quickly as well (see Figure 1).

Figure 1 Several frequently-used formulas can be inserted via the AutoSum menu.

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