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## Microsoft Excel 2003 Shortcuts – How to Use Labels in Formulas

Microsoft Excel 2003 is one of the most versatile tools in the Microsoft Office 2003 arsenal. It allows you to manage numbers and data by creating formulas that calculate automatically but in many cases users create inefficient formulas. These formulas can actually cause problems in the future if people add rows to your field. To solve this problem we can actually use labels to add your fields.

In this article we’re going to go and actually show you how to use labels in a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. First open Microsoft Excel 2003 and create a new spreadsheet. Type the following in cell A1, PRODUCT and type the word TOTAL in cell A2.

Enter the data as shown below in the following rows and columns under the headings:

Total production

Shoes 5.00

Socks 10.00

Shirts 15.00

Pants 20.00

Total:

Make sure you type the name TOTAL in cell A6: this will be very important soon. Leave cell B6 blank at this point. What we want to do now in cell B6 is actually open a function in Microsoft Excel 2003 that tells the program to use the labels. To do this first go to the Tools menu and then select Options from the drop down menu, then select the Calculations tab in the Options dialog box. In the lower right corner of the Options dialog box you will see an option that says – Accept labels in formulas. Make sure the check box next to it is ticked and then press the OK button.

By making sure the check box is ticked, you are telling the program that you want to use labels in your formulas. So how do we do it –

Well now it’s time to write the formula. We could write the formula as –

= b2+b3+b4+b5

However, if the user of your worksheet decides they want to add a new row, the new row will not be included in the formula. Now the best way to write this is to use column labels which we do by typing –

= sum(‘TOTAL’)

You will now see that the TOTAL column has added a range of values. Using labels in your worksheets depends on whether you follow several rules. Each label in the worksheet must be unique. You will notice that there are actually two aggregate labels in the worksheet but they are named differently. The column label is named TOTAL while the row label is named TOTAL: This ensures that the Microsoft Excel program is able to distinguish between the two labels.

One of the other issues to consider when using labels is to try to minimize the use of spaces in your labels if possible. While Microsoft Excel allows you to have spaces in your labels, it is preferable that you have none. It also reduces the chance that you have double spaces between two words. Doing so will cause errors in your formula and is a common mistake.

For this reason always make sure that if you use spaces in your labels you manually insert single quotes around the labels. This ensures that Microsoft Excel 2003 interprets the label correctly.

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