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How to update formula when inserting rows in Excel? 

doc update formula inserting rows 1

For example, I have a formula =sum(D2:D7) in cell D8, now, when I insert a row at the second row and enter new number, the formula will be changed to =sum(D3:D8) automatically which excludes the cell D2 as following screenshot shown. In this case, I need to change the cell reference in the formula each time when I insert rows. How could I always sum the numbers start from cell D2 when inserting rows in Excel?

Update formula when inserting rows automatically with formula


arrow blue right bubble Update formula when inserting rows automatically with formula


The following simple formula can help you to update the formula automatically without changing the cell reference manually when inserting new rows, please do as this:

1. Enter this formula: =SUM(INDIRECT("D2:D"&ROW()-1)) (D2 is the first cell in the list that you want to sum) at the end of the cells that you want to sum the number list, and press Enter key.

2. And now, when you insert rows anywhere between the number list, the formula will be updated automatically, see screenshot:

doc update formula inserting rows 2

Tips: The formula only work correctly when you place it at the end of the data list.


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  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Katie · 9 months ago
    This is really helpful ... except it does not update the row/column when copying and pasting this formula, so if I have a bunch of them, I have to update the column/row manually (like in the example, if I copy this to the adjacent column E, it still has D ...)

    Unless someone knows a workaround to that problem, too?
    • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
      Beatrice · 6 months ago
      you can use a different formula SUM(D$2:D12) as you insert a new row it continues to sum it up
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Rayan · 2 years ago
    I have a simple cell reference in one of my cells down a column e.g.:"=H6", “=H7” etc.

    When I insert a row in Excel and copy formulas from row above, the cell reference in 'Opening Stock' does not update automatically in the row after the new blank row (should be equal to previous row balance, which is 60 now). But it updates correctly in all other rows below. Is there a way to force Excel to update cell reference to the cell in blank row above?

    Have searched the web, but did not get any satisfactory answer. I do not want to convert the data to a table, since it messes up the filters and formatting. Macros don't solve the problem either - they don't copy to the row following the blank one.

    Can anyone please help?