A Substitute for the Hard-to-Reach Equal Sign

BY STANLEY ZAROWIN

Why don’t computer manufacturers put an equal sign (=) in a more convenient place on keyboards? It’s such a pain to find that out-of-the-way key we use in so many Excel formulas.

The answer is simple: Keyboard designers aren’t accountants. But cheer up, here’s a simple work-around. When you enter a formula, Excel—which does know the habits of accountants—immediately recognizes that you’re writing a formula. So it lets you go to your favorite geography on the keyboard, the numeric keypad, and use its plus (+) key instead of the main keyboard’s =.

If you type +(C1+C2) and press Enter , Excel adds the requisite = and ignores the + in the calculation. Notice that both the + and the = appear in the formula bar, but Excel includes only the = in its calculation (see screenshot).

SPONSORED REPORT

How to make the most of a negotiation

Negotiators are made, not born. In this sponsored report, we cover strategies and tactics to help you head into 2017 ready to take on business deals, salary discussions and more.

VIDEO

Will the Affordable Care Act be repealed?

The results of the 2016 presidential election are likely to have a big impact on federal tax policy in the coming years. Eddie Adkins, CPA, a partner in the Washington National Tax Office at Grant Thornton, discusses what parts of the ACA might survive the repeal of most of the law.

QUIZ

News quiz: Scam email plagues tax professionals—again

Even as the IRS reported on success in reducing tax return identity theft in the 2016 season, the Service also warned tax professionals about yet another email phishing scam. See how much you know about recent news with this short quiz.