Excel Tutorial: How To Add Only Visible Cells In Excel


When working with large datasets in Excel, it is common to have hidden or filtered cells that you may not want to include in your calculations. In this Excel tutorial, we will learn how to add only visible cells in Excel, ensuring that our calculations are accurate and free from any unintended data. The importance of adding only visible cells in Excel cannot be overstated, as it helps us avoid errors and discrepancies in our analysis. This tutorial will provide a step-by-step overview of how to perform this task efficiently and accurately.

Key Takeaways

  • Adding only visible cells in Excel is crucial for accurate calculations and analysis.
  • Understanding visible cells and differentiating them from hidden cells is essential.
  • Filtering data in Excel allows for selecting visible cells and ensuring accuracy in calculations.
  • The SUBTOTAL function and AGGREGATE function are useful tools for adding only visible cells.
  • Removing blank rows can impact the process of adding visible cells and should be addressed as needed.

Understanding Visible Cells

A. Explanation of visible cells in Excel

Visible cells in Excel refer to the cells that are currently displayed after filtering or hiding certain data. When you apply a filter or hide rows or columns, only the visible cells are shown, and the rest are hidden from view.

B. Differentiating visible and hidden cells

It's important to understand the difference between visible and hidden cells in Excel. Visible cells are the ones that are currently displayed, while hidden cells are those that are not currently visible due to filtering, hiding, or grouping. When adding only visible cells, you are performing calculations or operations only on the cells that are currently visible.

C. Use cases for adding only visible cells

  • Working with filtered data: When you have a large dataset and you apply filters to focus on specific criteria, adding only visible cells allows you to perform calculations or analysis on the filtered data without including the hidden rows.
  • Calculating subtotal: If you want to calculate the subtotal of a certain range after filtering or hiding specific data, adding only visible cells ensures that the calculations are based on the displayed data only.
  • Grouping and analyzing data: When working with grouped data and you want to perform calculations on the visible groups, adding only visible cells helps in accurately analyzing the displayed groups without including the hidden ones.

Filtering Data in Excel

Excel is a powerful tool for organizing and analyzing data. One of the most useful features is the ability to filter data, allowing you to focus on specific subsets of information within a dataset.

How to filter data in Excel

  • Step 1: Open your Excel worksheet containing the data you want to filter.
  • Step 2: Click on the Data tab in the Excel ribbon.
  • Step 3: Find the Sort & Filter group and click on the Filter button. This will add filter arrows to the top row of your data.
  • Step 4: Click on the filter arrow in the column you want to filter by, then select the criteria you want to filter for.

Selecting visible cells after filtering

When you apply filters to your data, Excel only calculates the visible cells. This means that any hidden rows or columns will not be included in your calculations. If you want to add only the visible cells in Excel, follow these steps:

  • Step 1: After applying your filter, select the range of cells you want to add.
  • Step 2: Click on the Home tab in the Excel ribbon.
  • Step 3: Find the Editing group and click on the Find & Select button.
  • Step 4: Choose Go To Special, then select Visible cells only and click OK.
  • Step 5: Enter the formula for addition, such as =SUM(, and then press Enter.

Ensuring accurate calculations with visible cells only

By selecting only the visible cells after filtering, you can ensure that your calculations are accurate and only take into account the data that is currently being displayed. This can be especially helpful when working with large datasets that have been filtered down to specific criteria.

Using the SUBTOTAL Function

When working with Excel, it's common to have a large dataset with both hidden and visible cells. In some cases, you may only want to sum the visible cells and exclude the hidden ones. This is where the SUBTOTAL function comes in handy.

A. Introduction to the SUBTOTAL function

The SUBTOTAL function is a powerful tool in Excel that allows users to perform various calculations on a range of cells, including sum, average, count, and more. Unlike the regular formulas, the SUBTOTAL function can ignore hidden rows and columns, making it ideal for calculations involving filtered data.

B. Applying the SUBTOTAL function to add only visible cells

Step 1: Select the cell where you want the result to appear

Before applying the SUBTOTAL function, you need to select the cell where you want the sum of the visible cells to appear. This can be anywhere in your spreadsheet.

Step 2: Enter the SUBTOTAL function

Once the cell is selected, enter the SUBTOTAL function followed by the desired function number (e.g., 9 for sum) and the range of cells you want to include. For example: =SUBTOTAL(9, A1:A10)

Step 3: Press Enter

After entering the function, press Enter to calculate the sum of the visible cells in the specified range. The result will automatically update whenever the visibility of cells changes.

C. Benefits of using the SUBTOTAL function for visible cell calculations
  • Dynamic calculations: The SUBTOTAL function recalculates automatically when the visibility of cells changes, providing a dynamic and accurate result.
  • Efficient for large datasets: When working with large datasets, the SUBTOTAL function can save time and effort by excluding hidden cells from calculations.
  • Flexible and versatile: The SUBTOTAL function can be used with various functions (e.g., sum, average, count) to perform different calculations on visible cells.

Utilizing the AGGREGATE Function

When working with Excel, it’s important to be able to perform calculations on data that meets specific criteria. The AGGREGATE function in Excel allows you to perform a variety of different calculations on a range of data, including the ability to add only visible cells. This can be incredibly useful when dealing with filtered data or when you only want to sum up the visible values in a range.

A. Overview of the AGGREGATE function in Excel

The AGGREGATE function in Excel provides a way to perform calculations on a range of data, while also giving you the ability to ignore hidden rows or cells. This is especially useful when working with large datasets that are filtered or when you want to exclude certain cells from the calculation.

B. Steps to add only visible cells using the AGGREGATE function

Here’s a step-by-step guide to using the AGGREGATE function to add only visible cells in Excel:

  • Step 1: Select the cell where you want the sum to appear.
  • Step 2: Enter the formula using the AGGREGATE function, specifying the function number for sum and the option to ignore hidden or filtered cells.
  • Step 3: Press Enter to calculate the sum of the visible cells in the selected range.

C. Comparing the AGGREGATE function with other methods

While the AGGREGATE function is a powerful tool for performing calculations on visible cells, there are other methods for achieving the same result. These include using the SUBTOTAL function, the SUM function with the FILTER function, or using a combination of the SUM and OFFSET functions. However, the AGGREGATE function offers a comprehensive set of options for different types of calculations and provides a more flexible and efficient solution compared to these other methods.

Removing Blank Rows

When trying to add only visible cells in Excel, dealing with blank rows can pose a challenge. Here are some methods to address this issue and the impact it has on adding visible cells.

A. Challenges of adding only visible cells with blank rows

When using the SUM function or other methods to add only visible cells in Excel, blank rows can disrupt the calculation. This is because Excel includes the blank cells in the calculation, leading to inaccurate results.

B. Methods to remove blank rows in Excel
  • Filtering: Utilize the filter function to display only non-blank rows and then manually delete the blank rows.
  • Using the Go To Special function: Select the blank cells, delete them, and then shift the remaining cells up to remove the blank rows.
  • Using a macro: Create a macro to automatically remove blank rows based on specific criteria or conditions.

C. Impact of removing blank rows on adding visible cells

By removing blank rows in Excel, the accuracy of adding only visible cells improves. With the blank rows eliminated, calculations involving visible cells will not be affected by the presence of blank rows, resulting in more precise results.


A. Adding only visible cells in Excel is crucial for accurate data analysis and reporting. It ensures that hidden or filtered out cells do not affect the results of your calculations.

B. In this tutorial, we covered two main methods for adding only visible cells in Excel: using the SUBTOTAL function and using the Go To Special feature. These methods provide simple and effective ways to perform calculations on only the visible data in your worksheet.

C. I encourage you to practice and apply the techniques you've learned in this tutorial. By mastering the skill of adding only visible cells, you can enhance the accuracy and efficiency of your Excel tasks, ultimately improving your overall productivity.

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