Office challenge: What's the quickest way to sum a series of numbers in Word?

In this week's challenge, test your Office skills by explaining how to sum numbers in Word without using table formulas.

In a recent challenge, we discovered that Excel displays the number of selected cells (storing data) in the Status bar. You can use this same trick to display the sum of currently selected values. Word has a few mathematical tricks of its own, but most users don't know about them. For a permanent summing solution, use a table, as discussed in Add calculating rows and columns to a Word table. But what if you just have a quick summing task - is there anything in Word similar to Excel's Status bar quick calculation? How would you quickly add a series of values in a Word document, without using table formulas?


Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

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