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Excel in Practice

Formulas can be used alone or combined with form controls to become powerful extraction devices. Figure 18.38 shows a conditional sum formula that extracts the year totals for equipment number T133. However, by using a combo box form control, you can tie several index formulas to one cell link, as shown in cell A1 of Figure 18.39. This setup can pull up multiple bits of information at once. The worksheet is easier to use, and it's more efficient to hook formulas into a cell link and pull up line-item data with index formulas. (You could also use PivotTables to summarize this information.)

Figure 18.38. This SUM function works efficiently to total the amounts for a particular piece of equipment, but you must input the equipment number in cell F5 to look up a new piece of equipment's total, which could be subject to misspellings or wrong equipment numbers.



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