When summing columns in Word, hide cells you don’t want included

In a document I’m editing, I have a table that looks like this:

I wanted to add up only the fourth and fifth rows for the civilian population totals. Using the field:

{ =sum(above) }

unfortunately, would include all of the numbers above in each column. So, rather than breaking the table up, copying it elsewhere, doing the math in Excel, or several other more time consuming work-arounds, I decided to instead hide the cells I wanted excluded!

How do you do this? You select the cells you want to hide, and then press Ctrl+D for the full Font dialog box:


Click to tick Hidden, and then click OK. If you still see those rows, press Ctrl+Shift+8 to toggle hidden text off. If you still see those rows, then choose File > Options > Display, and remove the tick next to Hidden. Now, if I look at my table, I see only:

Now, when I enter { =sum(above) } into the 2008 and 2009 Civilian Population cells, and press F9 to update/calculate, I get:

To avoid later mis-recalculation, I select each of the two shaded cells, and press Ctrl+Shift+F9 to convert them from fields to hard text (one at a time, because Ctrl+Shift+F9 doesn’t work across multiple cell selection n a table). Finally, I select the hidden cells, press Ctrl+D and remove the hidden attribute, and my table now looks like this:

And, while all this might seem complicated, it took me about 15 seconds to do it—a bit less time than other methods I’ve used in the past.

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