Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Calculating Expressions.

Calculating Expressions

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 10, 2015)

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 a toolbar in your system, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Customize from the Tools menu. Word displays the Customize dialog box.
  2. Make sure the Commands tab is selected.
  3. In the list of Categories, choose Tools. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Customize dialog box.

  5. In the list of Commands, select Tools Calculate.
  6. Drag the Tools Calculate command from the dialog box, dropping it in any toolbar you desire.
  7. Click on Close to dismiss the Customize dialog box.

To use the tool, simply highlight the expression you want to calculate, and then click on the tool. 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 (666) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) 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. ...

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