Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Calculating Expressions.

Calculating Expressions

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 21, 2019)

3

Word isn't a spreadsheet (obviously), but you can add a toolbar button that allows you to quickly calculate values based on numbers in a selection. For instance, you could highlight text such as 12*15+3 and quickly calculate that the answer is 183.

To add this button to the Quick Access Toolbar, follow these steps:

  1. Display the Word Options dialog box. (In Word 2007 click the Office button and then click Word Options. In Word 2010 or a later version, display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  2. At the left of the dialog box, choose Customize (Word 2007) or Quick Access Toolbar (later versions of Word).
  3. Using the Choose Commands From drop-down list, choose Commands Not In the Ribbon. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Quick Access Toolbar portion of the Word Options dialog box.

  5. Locate and select the Calculate command in the list of commands.
  6. Click the Add button. The command moves to the right side of the dialog box.
  7. Click OK.

To use the tool, simply highlight the expression you want to calculate, and then click on the tool. (The tool looks like a shaded circle and shows as Formula when you hover the mouse over the tool). (See Figure 2.)

Figure 2. The Formula tool on the Quick Access Toolbar.

Word shows the calculated value in the status bar and places the value in the Clipboard. You can now paste the value anywhere you desire.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (8724) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Calculating Expressions.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Displaying the AutoShapes Menu

When adding AutoShapes to a worksheet, it can be bothersome to continually work with the menu structure to place them. It ...

Discover More

Preventing Someone from Recreating a Protected Worksheet

When you share a protected workbook with other people, you may not want them to get around the protection by creating a ...

Discover More

Counting Groupings Below a Threshold

When analyzing data, you may need to distill groupings from that data. This tip examines how you can use formulas and ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Making Draft View the Default View

Word normally uses Print Layout view to display your documents. You may want, instead, to always use Draft view. Here's ...

Discover More

Controlling Scroll Bars

Scroll bars are helpful if you have a document that won't fit entirely within the program window. Here's how to turn off ...

Discover More

Displaying the Ruler

The ubiquitous ruler appears at the top of every Word document. It is so common place, that you may forget that it is ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 4 + 8?

2019-12-23 09:51:10

Andrew

Bizarrely, the "Calculate" command is listed when selecting Commands Not In the Ribbon, but under "Tools Calculate" when selecting All Commands!


2019-12-23 05:55:31

Richard Curtis

A colleague has been writing a mathematical analysis in a Word document but is frustrated that the Equation Editor cannot be used to calculate a result. The calculator tool that you describe seems fine for +, -, * and / functions but can it cope with other functions such trigonometry?

We have discussed a couple of different approaches to mathematical analysis, including embedding an Excel spreadsheet containing all the expressions and data needed. Usually, such analysis is included between paragraphs of descriptive text. Could defined cell ranges in the spreadsheet be used to do this? Or is it more practical to include all the analysis in an Appendix to the document and reference it from the text?


2019-12-21 10:26:52

Candy

This is awesome, and could potentially save me time some days, does there happen to be a function to calculate age?


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.