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Excel for Mac: Unable to Add Cells Without Entering Plus Sign

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    Excel for Mac: Unable to Add Cells Without Entering Plus Sign

    Hello, I've used Excel since version 1 - way back when and usually manage to solve most problems. However this has got me beat. Can anyone help please?

    Suddenly my Excel (Office 2016) spreadsheet has stopped adding one cell value to another by automatically entering the plus sign as I click onto the next cell selected. Whereas I'd formerly type = then click onto A1, with say 10 as a value and then click onto A2 with 2 and get a total of 12, this no longer happens spontaneously and I have to enter the + command every time before clicking onto another cell to get a total.

    Have I changed something somewhere, is there a conditional format I've cleared for this function? I can't seem to find anything that appears to countermand what I've always presumed was an automatic function in Excel?

    Many thanks
    Last edited by AliGW; 04-03-2020 at 08:44 AM.

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    Re: Office 2016 (Excel Mac)

    Administrative Note:

    Welcome to the forum.

    We would very much like to help you with your query, however the thread title does not really convey what your request is about.

    Please take a moment to amend your thread title. Make sure that the title properly explains your request. Your title should be explicit and not be generic (this includes function names used without an indication of what you are trying to achieve).

    Please see Forum Rule #1 about proper thread titles and adjust accordingly. To edit the thread title, open the original post to edit and then click on Go Advanced (bottom right) to access the area where you can edit your title.

    (Note: this change is not optional. As you are new here, I will do it for you this time.)
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    Re: Excel for Mac: Unable to Add Cells Without Entering Plus Sign

    I have the Windows version, but I have never been able to do what you describe. Are you sure you weren't using the SUM function before?

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    Re: Excel for Mac: Unable to Add Cells Without Entering Plus Sign

    Hello and thank you so very much for your assistance. I've only ever used the Sum function to add either a row or column of figures up. If it were just a few cells I've always found that by entering = into the target cell and then clicking on other cells I want to add they are automatically entered with a plus sign before each cell. Certainly in Office 2011 which I've just upgraded from this function applied on a Mac. Now if I enter = and click onto a cell it just appears as a reference number and merely transfers its value from the cell reference. To get to what I did previously I now have to enter the plus sign before clicking onto a cell. I would add I'm not pedantic but only have the use of one arm so the task is just more irksome to accomplish.

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    Re: Excel for Mac: Unable to Add Cells Without Entering Plus Sign

    I have had many versions of Excel the years, and that has never happened for me. Could it be that you had, in an older version, some VBA playing in the background to trigger this behaviour?

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    Re: Excel for Mac: Unable to Add Cells Without Entering Plus Sign

    Thank you, a fellow Mac user has forwarded mt the information which corroborates my past experience.

    Unfortunately I cannot forward the link because of permissions herein. The thread was on excel.uservoice.com/forums and explains that
    from Excel 2016 the following change applied viz-


    Just click individual cells to sum


    Excel 2011 had the possibility to sum individual cells by typing "=", and then just clicking on individual cells across the workbook
    that you want to sum, and "return" when done. This functionality is no longer available in Excel 2016
    (you have to type "=sum(", then clicking on the individual cells while holding down the command key, "return".
    I would be happy if the old functionality is brought to Excel 2016...


    The answer was: ...

    Update – thanks for the continued support of this feature. We’ll keep this request open for voting, but we’ll need to consider modifying
    the behavior slightly if it is to be brought back. For this suggestion, we would want to enable such behavior on both Mac and Windows,
    but we would need to do it in a way that does not cause problems for people who don’t want this behavior.
    For example, it may be that you would type =, then hold the CMD key as you click the cells to be added.
    Or perhaps you would need to enable a preference to get the old behavior.

    We’ve been working to make Excel more consistent between Mac and Windows, as can be seen by the updates over the past several months,
    which have satisfied several thousand votes on this forum (multi-thread calculation, PivotCharts, modern chart types, new functions,
    slicers for tables). I mention that to be clear that we are listening to the suggestions, comments and votes.



    Accordingly with limited physical dexterity I'll revert to Office 2011. I hope this content might help others.

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    Re: Excel for Mac: Unable to Add Cells Without Entering Plus Sign

    Thank you for the update.

    Please note in future that if you have cross-posted (forgive me if I have misinterpreted the post above), it's fine, but you are required to declare it straight away (see the forum rules).

    If that takes care of your original question, please select Thread Tools from the menu link above and mark this thread as SOLVED.

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    Re: Excel for Mac: Unable to Add Cells Without Entering Plus Sign

    I'm sorry I don't understand ''cross-posted". Simply, I just wanted to justify my assertion that the function I'd described in my origination did exist in Excel 2011 as an axiomatic reality. Unable to post the information in a supportive link via Microsoft, I'd attempted to therefore to describe the basis of the matter which was a change in format from Microsoft.

    Having traversed your rules in two out of three posts I am sorry to have been such a nuisance.

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    Re: Excel for Mac: Unable to Add Cells Without Entering Plus Sign

    You are new here - whilst we would expect you to have read the rules to which you agreed upon joining, we know in practice that new members never do. You have read them now, however - thank you. You are not a nuisance.

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    Re: Excel for Mac: Unable to Add Cells Without Entering Plus Sign

    Thank you Ali, The information I was passed was sent to me as a link, dating from 2016 and relevant to the change in Excel's function - it was not a 'post' I had made elsewhere and I probably didn't present that clearly? Your kind words at the end are re-assuring. At 75 now and after a fortnight with only my two Yorkshire Terriers for company I thought I'd begun to lose it!

    God bless

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    Re: Excel for Mac: Unable to Add Cells Without Entering Plus Sign

    Stay safe and well. My parents are in their 80s and are staying isolated, but are lucky to have each other and a large garden. My sister and her family, who live nearby, are making sure they get supplies. Crazy times!

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