Highlighting multiple cells to get the sum

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5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast


I’m wondering if there’s a way to highlight multiple cells in a table to get the sum quickly.

In excel, I would hold “CTRL” and select the cells I need. It seems that I’m not able to do that in Airtable.

I know you can highlight cells that are adjacent to each other, but the cells I need are not next to each other in this case.

Thanks for any help!

3 Replies 3

Arbitrary cell selection isn’t currently possible in Airtable. While AT will show you the sum when selecting a series of cells in a single field, Adding the values of non-adjacent cells can only be done via formulas, and even there it only works for fields in the same record (row). There are some tricky ways you can access values from other records, but databases just aren’t designed to be used in that way, so these workarounds to make cross-record access work are sometimes pretty complex.

5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

I would love to see this feature added (selecting arbitrary cells to get the sum). I use this feature all the time in MS excel and Google Sheets. I find myself constantly having to select multiple different cells to see what the sum is, but then having to manually add them together b/c this feature doesn’t yet exist in Airtable.

Welcome to the community, @Paul_Matsushima! :grinning_face_with_big_eyes: Wow! It’s been two years since I made that comment above yours (when I’d only been using Airtable for a few months), and I’ve learned a lot over those two years. Based on that, my gut says that arbitrary cell access across multiple records will never be added.

Here’s why: from everything I’ve seen, the Airtable team doesn’t want it to be a spreadsheet substitute down to the last detail. It provides a similar interface in its grid view, but its core paradigm is a lot closer to a database, and it shines in many ways because of that. Frankly I feel like it would dilute Airtable’s strengths to add non-database concepts like arbitrary cell access. I think that spreadsheets are still great for certain things, and databases are great at others. For anyone coming to Airtable thinking that it’s meant to replace spreadsheets, I feel that you’re going to be disappointed. However, if you look at Airtable’s database features and see how you can use it in ways where spreadsheets fall short, you’ll probably enjoy Airtable a lot more.