Working with Formulas in Word Tables

Learn how to easily add formulas within your Word tables.

Excel is great for creating complex spreadsheets and embedding into Word.  But, if you need to perform a few quick calculations  in a table, you can use Word’s formula feature. This allows you to work directly within your table without having to involve the use of Excel. Below are the step-by-step instructions for working with formulas in Word tables. Information:  The same steps apply whether you are using Word 2016 for Mac or Windows.

Inserting Formulas in a Table
  1. Create your table with all the necessary data. NOTE: A zero should be inserted in any empty cells that will be included in a formula to ensure you do not receive an error.
  2. Highlight the cell at the bottom of the column that you need to calculate. VLBTechEd Word Table Calculations Image 1
  3. Click on the Layout Contextual tab.
  4. Click on Formula in the Data group. VLBTechEd Word Table Calculations Image 2
  5. The Formula dialog box will open. VLBTechEd Word Table Calculations Image 3
    • Formula:– Enter the appropriate formula. The default =SUM(ABOVE) is automatically selected, but you can use the Paste function: to choose from the various functions available.  NOTE:  In addition to choosing ABOVE, BELOW, LEFT or RIGHT to work with all cells in the specified direction, you can reference individual cells and ranges just like you to in Excel. VLBTechEd Word Table Calculations Image 4
    • Number Format: — Select the appropriate formatting. VLBTechEd Word Table Calculations Image 5
  6. Click OK to calculate the cell value and close the Formula dialog box.VLBTechEd Word Table Calculations Image 6
Updating Formula Results

Formulas are automatically calculated when they are inserted and when the document is opened.  The formula can also be manually updated by either –

  • Right-clicking the formula and selecting Update field. VLBTechEd Word Table Calculations Image 7


  • Selecting the table containing the results to be updated and then pressing F9.

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