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).

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