##### The Problem:

I know how to embed an Excel spreadsheet in a Word document, but that seems like overkill when all I need is a simple formula to sum the contents of a column in a table.

##### The Solution:

What you can do is create a table formula in Word. Table formulas aren't very powerful (especially if you're used to Excel's capabilities), but they're powerful enough to prove handy in a pinch. Position the insertion point in the appropriate cell, choose Table » Formula, and then choose the formula, number format, and any other options in the Formula dialog box (see Figure 7-8).

##### Figure 7-8. Simple formulas in Word's tables can save you from having to embed spreadsheet fragments in your documents.

The formulas you're most likely to want are `=SUM(LEFT)`

, which adds the cells to the left of the active cell, and `=SUM(ABOVE)`

, which adds the cells above the active cell. You can also use `=SUM(RIGHT)`

and `=SUM(BELOW)`

if needed, or create custom formulas by referring to specific cells in "row, column" format (for example, `R1C2`

refers to row 1, column 2) or by assigning bookmarks to cells and referring to those.

Each formula is a field, so it appears within the braces that Word uses to denote fieldsfor example, `{ =SUM(BELOW) }`

. Word inserts these braces, so you don't need to type them manually when using the Formula dialog box. You can also insert a formula quickly by pressing Ctrl+F9 to insert the braces and then typing the formula between them. Don't try typing the braces; that doesn't work, because they're special field braces rather than simply {} characters.

*Check your table formulas to ensure that they're producing suitable results. Empty cells, or cells that contain text rather than numerical values, can confuse table formulas.*

**Warning:**updated