An aggregate answer to two Excel questions

BY J. CARLTON COLLINS
January 1, 2012

Q: Two reader questions:

1. Is there a way to subtotal large volumes of numbers in Excel 2010, while ignoring the values contained in hidden rows?

2. What is the best way to subtotal data in Excel 2010 that contain divide-by-zero errors?

A: The answer to both questions is to use Excel 2010’s new AGGREGATE function, which works just like the SUBTOTAL function, but includes options to ignore hidden rows, error values, or both. The trick to using AGGREGATE is the function’s second option, which dictates the data to be ignored. As pictured below, options 5, 6 and 7 are used to ignore hidden rows, error values, or both.

In the screenshot below, the same data has been summed three ways using the SUM, SUBTOTAL and AGGREGATE functions in cells A7, B7 and C7, respectively. (The formulas in row 7 are spelled out on row 8 so you can see both the formula and its results.)

Notice above that row 4 (which contains the value “5” in all three columns) is hidden. In this case, the SUM and SUBTOTAL functions include the hidden data in the results (25 and 25), but the AGGREGATE function ignores the hidden data when calculating the results (20).

Instead of hidden rows, the next example contains data with error values, but the solution is similar. This time the AGGREGATE function is used with the “Ignore Error Values” option to subtotal only the error-free data, while the SUM and SUBTOTAL solutions return errors.

More from the JofA:

 Find us on Facebook  |   Follow us on Twitter  |   View JofA videos

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: EARLY CAREER

Making manager: The key to accelerating your career

Being promoted to manager is a key development in a young public accountant’s career. Here’s what CPAs need to learn to land that promotion.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: MIDDLE CAREER

Motivation and preparation can pave the path to CFO

CPAs in business and industry face intense competition to land a coveted CFO job. Learn how to best prepare yourself for the role.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: LATE CAREER

Second act: Consulting

CPAs are using experience to carve out late-career niches. Learn how to successfully make a late-career transition to consulting, from CPAs who have done it.