Office challenge: How do you select multiple instances of the same type of data in Word?

In this week's challenge, learn an Excel array function for summing the top values in a range and see if you know how to shave time off a tedious Word task.

Several times a week, I must reduce a table of contents to just its chapter titles. The Word document contains chapter titles and section headings, but I only need to capture the chapter titles. A simple cut and paste of the chapter titles into a another document works well enough when there's only a few chapters. However, it's a monotonous task I need to perform pretty often. Without using VBA, how can you reduce this task to a few simple clicks? Use whatever feature you like, but I do have a specific solution in mind. Last week we asked: How do you sum the top n values in a range? SouthBayTechWriter was the first to respond with the solution I was thinking of —  using the LARGE() function in an Excel array as follows: =SUM(LARGE(range,{a,b,…})) As you might expect, range identifies the data you want to analyze. The ,{a,b,…} component is a bit more complex — you must enter values, in sequence, up to and including the n top values you want to sum. In other words, if you want to sum the two top values, you'd use {1,2}. For instance, the array function in the spreadsheet shown below sums only the two largest values in C2:C10. Remember, to enter a function as an array, press [Ctrl]+[Shift]+[Enter]. Grahamrice offered a great solution that uses Excel's filtering feature. It's a bit more complicated, but a winner if you need to filter the visible data as well as sum it. I won't repeat the instructions here, as Grahamrice did a great job of explaining it already. Cajonaitis and Steve both suggested simple sorting techniques, which are good for those one-time tasks. Heward.simpson offered another array function that uses INDIRECT(): =SUM(LARGE(data,ROW(INDIRECT("a:z")))) This solution is more dynamic than the one I had in mind because you can incorporate a cell value by specifying a formula for z instead of revamping the formula when you want to change that value — a  clever idea. Thanks to everyone for another great challenge! Now, I have a personal challenge for you: Think you can stump your fellow TechRepublic members? Send us your Office puzzlers (and solutions). We may turn them into future Office challenges!