Tame your computer - find a formula



In her regular series for Cambridge Network members, software training expert Karen Roem offers handy tips to help you 'Tame your computer'. This week she explains how to autocomplete formulas including open brackets (Microsoft Excel)...

A function is a special type of formula that "returns" a specific result.  Excel provides more than 400 functions and new ones seem to get added with every release. Functions allow you to perform calculations that would otherwise be difficult, if not impossible, to achieve. Popular functions you might have heard about (or use) are SUM, AVERAGE, IF, AND, OR, LOOKUP, TODAY, NETWORKDAYS, TRIM …

But let’s stick to today’s topic … how to automatically complete formulas.

To make it easier to enter functions and minimise typing errors Microsoft introduced “Formula AutoComplete” in version 2010. If you are not a "hunt-and-peck" typist and look at your screen rather than your keyboard when you type, you will have noticed that as you type the function, suggestions pop up. But did you know there is also a fast way of opening the bracket?

Here’s how:

  1. Type = (equal sign) and the first couple of letters of the function.
  2. Keep typing or use your downward arrow to select the desired formula.
  3. Press TAB.

By the way, if for some reason you cannot bear Formula AutoComplete you can turn it off. Here’s how:

  1. Select Options from the File tab.
  2. Type an F (or click on Formulas if you must).
  3. Untick the Formula AutoComplete check box.
  4. Press ENTER (or click OK).

With thanks to Emma for the tip inspiration!

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25 June 2018

Karen Roem offers software training and support through her company Roem Ltd.  Contact her by email (Karen@roem.co.uk) or visit her website at www.roem.co.uk


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