An Overview of the Calculation Options in Excel

The Calculation Options choose the way you calculate in Excel. Sometimes, it is convenient for us to receive a result from the calculations instantly, or sometimes it is best to recalculate at the end. The good news is, that you can change when and how Excel recalculates formulas using the Calculation Options. This article will give you an overview of the Calculation Options and how to use them in Excel.

Modes of Calculation Options in Excel

The Calculation Options in Excel allow you to compute in 3 distinct ways.

1. Automatic

Generally, the Automatic option is the default setting in Excel sheets. The Automatic mode is for recalculating when a formula, function, value, cell address, or cell range is changed. It also plays an active role when a formula is filled in multiple cells.

2. Automatic Except for Data Tables

The recalculation feature stays active with the Automatic Except for Data Tables calculation mode, except, it is inactivated for Data Tables.

3. Manual

The Manual mode stops the automatic recalculation method. To reactivate the Automatic mode, click the Calculate Now or Calculate Sheet command.

Calculation Options Usage Guide

Step_1: First, click on the Formulas tab.

Step_2: Now from the Calculation group, hit the Calculation Options drop-down menu.

Location of Calculation Options in Excel

You will see the Automatic mode is the default mode.

Automatic Mode of Calculation Options in Excel

Step_3: From the Calculation Options drop-down menu, choose any mode as per your preference.

To active the Manual mode, click on the Manual command.

Manual Mode of Calculation Options in Excel

Choose the Calculate Now or the Calculate Sheet command to recalculate again.

Calculate Now and Calculate Sheet beside Calculation Options in Excel

‘Automatic’ Calculation Option in Excel

  • Quickly recalculates each time the formula is copied in other cells.
  • Automatically refresh results when a value, function, cell address, or formula is changed.

‘Automatic Except for Data Tables’ Calculation Option

  • If working with multiple data tables in a single datasheet, it is best to apply the Excel Table feature in your targeted tables and use Automatic Except for Data Tables
  • Useful when the recalculation is slowed down by one or more large data tables in a single worksheet.

‘Manual’ Calculation Option

  • Helpful if you want to observe how formulas will change as cell values change.
  • A worksheet slows down its performance when it contains a large number of formulas. The Manual Calculation Option helps to give a faster result than the Automatic Calculation Option in the case of extensive datasheets.

Keyboard Shortcuts for Calculation Options in Excel

  1. Automatic Mode: Press ALT+A.
  2. Automatic Except for Data Tables Mode: Press ALT+D.
  3. Manual Mode: Press ALT+M.

🔗  65 Shortcut Keys in Excel [Free PDF Download]


Microsoft Excel’s Calculations Options are beneficial if you know how to properly use them in worksheets. I hope you get an overall idea of when to use which of the Calculations Options in Excel. Please visit our Blog page for more Excel-related writing. Also, don’t forget to comment if you find anything confusing. Thank you.

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