Applying a Formula to Multiple Cells

If we now wanted to calculate the total number of gun related homicides for the other four years, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008, we could repeat the process of typing an addition formula into each cell in the rest of row 23.

But a spreadsheet has a much faster way of accomplishing this - by letting you simply copy the formula to one or more of the other cells in the same row.

To do this, click on cell:


Where we typed in our addition formula (=B7+B8+B9+B10+B11).

Pass your mouse cursor over the bottom right corner of cell B23 and notice your cursor changes from an arrow pointer to a thin crosshairs.

Click on that crosshairs, hold down your mouse button and drag your mouse to the right over the rest of the cells in row 23.

An outline will appear around the cells you've selected.

Continue dragging your mouse until you get to cell:


Release your mouse button and the total number of homicides involving firearms for each year from 2004 to 2008 will appear in row 23.

applying addition formula to multiple cells

Which again confirms the totals in the original FBI spreadsheet in row 6.

The spreadsheet has calculated these totals for you by applying the formula you first typed in cell B23 (=F6-B6) to the rest of the cells in row 23.

The spreadsheet keeps the formula (addition) the same, but shifts the cell numbers as it applies the formula to the other cells to the right (so the formula in cell C23 is =C7+C8+C9+C10+C11, the formula in cell D23 is =D7+D8+D9+D10+D11 , and so on).