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# How to perform simple calculations in microsoft word

When you need to include some simple data calculations and importing Excel is overkill

There are a lot of times when I need to include some simple data calculations in a Word document and a table is the best option. You can always try to insert an entire Excel spreadsheet into your Word doc, but that’s overkill sometimes.

In this article, I’m going to talk about how you can use formulas inside tables in Word. There are only a handful of formulas you can use, but it’s enough to get totals, counts, round numbers, etc. Also, if you are already familiar with Excel, then using the formulas in Word will be a piece of cake.

## Insert Formulas into Word Tables

Let’s start out by creating a simple test table. Click on the Insert tab and then click on Table. Choose how many rows and columns you want from the grid. Once your table has been inserted, go ahead and add in some data. I’ve just made a really simple table with a couple of numbers for my example.

Now let’s go ahead and insert a formula. In the first example, I’m going to add the first three values in the first row together (10 + 10 + 10). To do this, click inside the last cell in the fourth column, click on Layout in the ribbon and then click on Formula at the far right. This will bring up the Formula dialog with a default of =SUM(LEFT). If you were to simply click OK, you will see the value we are looking for in the cell (30).

Let’s talk about the formula. Just like Excel, a formula starts with an equals sign, followed by a function name and arguments in parenthesis. In Excel, you only specify cell references or named ranges like A1, A1:A3, etc., but in Word, you have these positional terms you can use.

In the example, LEFT means all cells that are to the left of the cell in which the formula is entered. You can also use RIGHT, ABOVE and BELOW. You can use these positional arguments with SUM, PRODUCT, MIN, MAX, COUNT and AVERAGE.

In addition, you can use these arguments in combination. For example, I could type in =SUM(LEFT, RIGHT) and it would add all the cells that are to the left and right of that cell. =SUM(ABOVE, RIGHT) would add all numbers that are above the cell and to the right. You get the picture.

Now let’s talk about some of the other functions and how we can specify cells in a different manner. If I wanted to find the maximum number in the first column, I could add another row and then use the =MAX(ABOVE) function to get 30. However, there is another way you can do this. I could also simply go into any cell and type in =MAX(A1:A3), which references the first three rows in the first column. This is really convenient because you can put the formulas anywhere you want in the table. You can also reference individual cells like writing =SUM(A1, A2, A3), which will give you the same result. If you write =SUM(A1:B3), it will add A1, A2, A3, B1, B2, and B3. Using these combinations, you can pretty much reference any data you like.

If you want to see a list of all the functions you can use in your Word formula, just click on the Paste Function box. You can use IF statements, AND and OR operators and more. Let’s see an example of a more complex formula. In the example above, I have =IF(SUM(A1:A3) > 50, 50, 0), which means that if the sum from A1 to A3 is greater than 50, show 50, otherwise show 0. It’s worth noting that all of these functions really only work with numbers. You can’t do anything with text or strings and you can’t output any text or string either. Everything has to be a number. Here’s another example using the AND function. In this example, I am saying that if both the sum and max value of A1 to A3 is greater than 50, then true otherwise false. True is represented by a 1 and False by 0.

If you type in a formula and it’s got an error in it, you’ll see a syntax error message.

To fix the formula, just right click on the error and choose Edit Field. This will bring up the Field dialog. Here you just have to click on the Formula button. This will bring up the same Formula editing dialog that we’ve been working with since the beginning. That’s about all there is to inserting formulas into Word. You can also check out the online documentation from Microsoft that explains each function in detail.

Overall, it’s nothing even close to the power of Excel, but it’s enough for some basic spreadsheet calculations right inside Word. If you have any questions, feel free to comment. Enjoy!

Founder of Online Tech Tips and managing editor. He began blogging in 2007 and quit his job in 2010 to blog full-time. He has over 15 years of industry experience in IT and holds several technical certifications. Read Aseem’s Full Bio

To add the formula in the Word table, do the following:

1. Click the table cell in which you want to insert a formula. Word adds Table Tools ribbons: Design and Layout:

2. On the Layout tab, in the Data group, click the Formula button:

• If the cell you selected is at the bottom of a column of numbers, Microsoft Word proposes the formula = SUM(ABOVE): 3. In the Formula dialog box:

• In the Paste function list box, choose a function that you want to add.
• To reference the contents of a table cell, type the cell references in the formula.
The first column in a table is column A; the second column is column B, and so on. The first row is row 1; the second row is row 2, and so on. Thus, the cell in the second column and the third row is cell B3.
For example, to add the numbers in cells B1 and C3, the formula would read = SUM(b1,c3).
• In the Number format list box, choose a format for the numbers.

4. Click OK.

Note: Word inserts the result of the calculation as a field in the cell you selected. If you change the values in the referenced cells, you can update the calculation by selecting the field and then pressing F9:

If you must perform complex calculations in a table, you can create that table in Excel and then link or embed the table in your Word document so that you can update it using Excel.

See also this tip in French: Calculs dans le tableau.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to ask OfficeToolTips team.

If you’re typing up something in Microsoft Word and would want to do some simple calculations, what would you normally do? Would you open up a separate calculator app in your computer? Or would you reach for your smartphone to do simple addition and/or substraction? Perhaps you might not have known, you can do simple math right within the word processing software itself. What’s more is that it doesn’t take you to learn rocket science just for you to access the feature. ## Performing Simple Math Calculations in Microsoft Word

Step 1 – Whenever you need to do a quick calculation in Microsoft Word, you can do so by using the not-so-obvious Calculate command. In order to use this, first of all, you would have to add it to the Quick Access Toolbar. To do this, click on the down arrow found on the right side of the Quick Access Toolbar, and then select “More Commands” from the drop down menu that pops up.

Step 2 – In the new Word Options window that pops out, select “All Commands” from the “Choose commands from” drop down list. Within the list of commands located on the left, scroll down until you see the “Calculate” command. Select that, and then click on “Add.” After doing this, the Calculate command will be added on the list on the right. Click on OK to accept all the changes made.

Step 3 – Now, you will be able to do simple calculations in Microsoft Word. But how exactly can you do that? First of all, type in a simple equation, and then select that but do take note that you should not select the equals sign. It should also be noted that is you’re using spaces within your equation, the application may turn your hyphens into dashes. If this is the case, then the Calculate command won’t work.

Step 4 – If you’re wondering upon hitting the Calculate command button that your result is not immediately displayed right after the equals sign of your equation, don’t worry as the command did work, it’s just that it doesn’t display it immediately. You will be able to find the result found on the left side of the status bar which is located at the bottom of the software’s window.

Step 5 – Therefore, you need to insert the result of the calculation manually into your Microsoft Word document. But if you want an easier way to do this, one that can even display the result immediately, then you can use a third-party calculator application that works with the Word software.

In this example was used a simple formula to calculate a discount rate:

To create a formula like the one above, it is necessary to make two steps:

1. Create a bookmark (variable) for every parameter.

2. Create a formula.

To perform these steps, do the following:

1. Create a field with the volume of a parameter:

1.1. Position the cursor in the document.

It doesn’t important, where: where this variable should be shown in the first time or anywhere in the text (see both examples below).

1.2. On the Insert tab, in the Text group, select the Quick Parts drop-down list and the click on Field. :

1.3. In the Field dialog box:

1.3.1. In the Field names list, select the command Set and click the Field Codes button: 1.3.2. In the Field codes textbox, after proposed SET type the name of this bookmark (variable) and the value. 1.3.3. Click OK to insert the current field in you document:

Note: Instead of making steps 1.1-1.3, you can press Ctrl+F9 to insert a field in your document and type:

To create the bookmark (variable) as you type, just update a field: right-click on the field and choose Update field in the popup menu:

2. Repeat the step 1 for every bookmark (variable) that you want to define.

In this example, the discount with volume 5.

3. To insert the bookmark (variable) in the text, do the following:

3.1. Position the cursor where you want to insert the value of some bookmark (variable).

3.2. On the Insert tab, in the Text group, select the Quick Parts drop-down list and the click on Field. .

3.3. In the Field dialog box, click the Formula. button: 3.4. In the Formula dialog box, in the Paste bookmarks drop-down list, if you made all correctly on the previous steps, you will see all variables that you have created: Choose one and click OK. For example, price: Note: Instead of making steps 3.1 – 3.4, if you can press Ctrl+F9 to insert a field in you document and type:

4. To insert a formula, do the following:

4.1. Position the cursor where you want to insert the formula.

4.2. On the Insert tab, in the Text group, select the Quick Parts drop-down list and the click on Field. .

4.3. In the Field dialog box, click the Formula. button.

4.4. In the Formula dialog box type the formula:

The first variant where each of the variables defined before their values in the text:

The second variant where the variables defined before the text:

Note: The field doesn’t shown in the document by default. So, this field can be easily removed by mistake with any other text or paragraph. To avoid missing this field, we recommend use a field to keep the definition and the first using of the parameter:

If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to ask OfficeToolTips team. ## Insert Table Formulas in Word: Overview

You can insert table formulas in Word tables to perform simple mathematical functions on data. To insert table formulas in Word that add, subtract, multiply, and divide numbers in the table cells, you insert formulas into cells where you want to show the answers to the mathematical operations performed by the formulas.

### The Parts of Table Formulas in Word

When you insert table formulas in Word, you insert a field that performs calculations on values in other table cells. Formulas always start with an equal sign (=). They often refer to the cell addresses from which they gather the data for their calculations. These cell addresses can be linked together with standard mathematical operators. These include the plus sign (+), minus sign (-), multiplication sign (*), and division sign (/), among others. You can also perform functions, like SUM, on a cell range in a table. So, a formula might be expressed “=SUM(Above),” which adds the values of the cells above the cell into which you inserted this formula.

A cell address is a way of referring to a cell. A cell address is the relative location of a cell in a table. Imagine there are letters at the top of each column, starting with “A” at the far left and then continuing to increase one letter at a time to the right. In addition, imagine each row has a number assigned to it. The topmost row is row “1.” The row numbering then continues downward, increasing by one for each row. The cell address is the column letter, followed by the row number. For example, the top left cell is always cell A1. B1 is always to the right of A1. Here is a table with the cell addresses entered into the corresponding cells to help you see the cell address naming convention. ###### Insert Table Formulas in Word – Instructions: A picture of the cell addresses within a sample table, shown at the top of the Word document.

As stated previously, when you insert table formulas in Word, you are creating a formula field. A cell formula begins with an equal sign (=). It is often followed by the cell addresses of the cells upon which to perform the mathematical operations, joined together by standard mathematical operators. For example, to add the cells above cell A5 and show the formula result in cell A5, click into cell A5. Then insert a formula field that looks like either: =A1+A2+A3+A4 or =SUM(Above).

Instead of showing the formula itself in the cell, the cell shows the answer to the formula. Why? Because when you insert table formulas in Word in a cell, Word knows it should show the answer to the formula, not the formula itself. Formulas display their results by default, not their actual contents.

### How to Insert Table Formulas in Word

To insert table formulas in Word into a table cell, click into the table cell where you want to show the answer. This is often the cell at the end of a continuous column or row of numbers. Next, click the table’s “Layout” contextual tab in the Ribbon. In older versions of Word, this appears as the “Layout” tab of the “Table Tools” contextual tab in the Ribbon. For all versions of Word, then click the “Formula” button in the “Data” button group to open the “Formula” dialog box. This dialog box lets you type the formulas used to insert table formulas in Word.

When the “Formula” dialog box first opens, Word tries to guess the formula you want. For example, if you insert table formulas in Word in a cell at the end of a column of continuous numbers, Word assumes you want to add the cell values in the column above the cell. Therefore, Word enters the formula =SUM(Above) as the default formula in the “Formula” dialog box. ###### Insert Table Formulas in Word – Instructions: A picture of the default table formula that Word suggests in the “Formula” dialog box.

If Word suggests the correct formula, then click “OK” at the bottom of the “Formula” dialog box to accept it and insert the cell formula. If incorrect, then click into the “Formula:” field and enter the correct formula.

After entering the formula into the “Formula:” field, you can then use the “Number format:” drop-down to select a numeric pattern. This helps show the result in a specific numeric format.

In Word, you can use the terms “LEFT,” “RIGHT,” “ABOVE,” and “BELOW” to refer to adjacent cells in the row or column to the left of, to the right of, above, or below the cell within which you insert table formulas in Word. This is a convenient way of selecting the cell range for the function. You can also enter a cell range by typing the cell address of the upper-left cell in the cell range, followed by a colon symbol (:), then followed by the cell address of the lower-right cell in the range. For example, you could also type =SUM(A1:A4) into the “Formula:” field to add the contents of cells A1 through A4.

The word SUM is a formula function. If want to perform one mathematical operation on a range of cells, you can use functions like SUM, AVERAGE, MAX, and MIN when you insert table formulas in Word, instead of individually writing the cell addresses and mathematical operators. Word provides many standard functions in the “Paste function:” drop-down. Selecting any function from the list of functions in the drop-down menu adds it to the formula in the “Formula:” field.

After creating the Word formula, click the “OK” button to insert the formula field into the selected cell. The results of the formula then appear in the cell.

## Insert Table Formulas in Word: Instructions

### Instructions on How to Insert Table Formulas in Word

1. To insert table formulas in Word, click into the table cell where you want to show the answer to the formula.
2. Then click the table’s “Layout” contextual tab in the Ribbon. In older versions of Word, this appears as the “Layout” tab of the “Table Tools” contextual tab in the Ribbon.
3. For all versions of Word, then click the “Formula” button in the “Data” button group to open the “Formula” dialog box.
4. If necessary, click into the “Formula:” field and enter the desired formula.
5. Optionally, to select a function to add to the formula shown in the “Formula:” field, use the “Paste function:” drop-down.
6. Optionally, to format the display of the numeric formula’s result, use the “Number format:” drop-down.
7. Then click the “OK” button to insert the formula field into the selected cell.

## Insert Table Formulas in Word: Video Lesson

The following video lesson, titled “ Inserting Table Formulas ,” shows how to insert table formulas in Word. It is from our complete Word tutorial , titled “ Mastering Word Made Easy v.2019 and 365 .”

When you need to include some simple data calculations and importing Excel is overkill

There are a lot of times when I need to include some simple data calculations in a Word document and a table is the best option. You can always try to insert an entire Excel spreadsheet into your Word doc, but that’s overkill sometimes.

In this article, I’m going to talk about how you can use formulas inside tables in Word. There are only a handful of formulas you can use, but it’s enough to get totals, counts, round numbers, etc. Also, if you are already familiar with Excel, then using the formulas in Word will be a piece of cake.

## Insert Formulas into Word Tables

Let’s start out by creating a simple test table. Click on the Insert tab and then click on Table. Choose how many rows and columns you want from the grid. Once your table has been inserted, go ahead and add in some data. I’ve just made a really simple table with a couple of numbers for my example.

Now let’s go ahead and insert a formula. In the first example, I’m going to add the first three values in the first row together (10 + 10 + 10). To do this, click inside the last cell in the fourth column, click on Layout in the ribbon and then click on Formula at the far right. This will bring up the Formula dialog with a default of =SUM(LEFT). If you were to simply click OK, you will see the value we are looking for in the cell (30).

Let’s talk about the formula. Just like Excel, a formula starts with an equals sign, followed by a function name and arguments in parenthesis. In Excel, you only specify cell references or named ranges like A1, A1:A3, etc., but in Word, you have these positional terms you can use.

In the example, LEFT means all cells that are to the left of the cell in which the formula is entered. You can also use RIGHT, ABOVE and BELOW. You can use these positional arguments with SUM, PRODUCT, MIN, MAX, COUNT and AVERAGE.

In addition, you can use these arguments in combination. For example, I could type in =SUM(LEFT, RIGHT) and it would add all the cells that are to the left and right of that cell. =SUM(ABOVE, RIGHT) would add all numbers that are above the cell and to the right. You get the picture.

Now let’s talk about some of the other functions and how we can specify cells in a different manner. If I wanted to find the maximum number in the first column, I could add another row and then use the =MAX(ABOVE) function to get 30. However, there is another way you can do this. I could also simply go into any cell and type in =MAX(A1:A3), which references the first three rows in the first column. This is really convenient because you can put the formulas anywhere you want in the table. You can also reference individual cells like writing =SUM(A1, A2, A3), which will give you the same result. If you write =SUM(A1:B3), it will add A1, A2, A3, B1, B2, and B3. Using these combinations, you can pretty much reference any data you like.

If you want to see a list of all the functions you can use in your Word formula, just click on the Paste Function box. You can use IF statements, AND and OR operators and more. Let’s see an example of a more complex formula. In the example above, I have =IF(SUM(A1:A3) > 50, 50, 0), which means that if the sum from A1 to A3 is greater than 50, show 50, otherwise show 0. It’s worth noting that all of these functions really only work with numbers. You can’t do anything with text or strings and you can’t output any text or string either. Everything has to be a number. Here’s another example using the AND function. In this example, I am saying that if both the sum and max value of A1 to A3 is greater than 50, then true otherwise false. True is represented by a 1 and False by 0.

If you type in a formula and it’s got an error in it, you’ll see a syntax error message.

To fix the formula, just right click on the error and choose Edit Field. This will bring up the Field dialog. Here you just have to click on the Formula button. This will bring up the same Formula editing dialog that we’ve been working with since the beginning. That’s about all there is to inserting formulas into Word. You can also check out the online documentation from Microsoft that explains each function in detail.

Overall, it’s nothing even close to the power of Excel, but it’s enough for some basic spreadsheet calculations right inside Word. If you have any questions, feel free to comment. Enjoy!

Founder of Online Tech Tips and managing editor. He began blogging in 2007 and quit his job in 2010 to blog full-time. He has over 15 years of industry experience in IT and holds several technical certifications. Read Aseem’s Full Bio

Last updated Monday, Aug. 31, 2020, at 10:36 a.m.

Word can do basic calculations within a table, rather than forcing you to perform the calculations by hand. If your table contains several calculations, however, a spreadsheet created in a program like Excel may be a more efficient option.

The same principles that are used to do calculations in Word are used in Excel worksheets. Instead of entering the actual value you want to use for the calculation, you will be referring to the cell containing the value. The cell reference is in the form of “Column ID, Row ID.” The columns are referred to by letters starting at A. The rows are referred to by numbers starting at 1. The first cell of the table (i.e., first column, first row) is referred to as A1. This document explains how to use calculations within tables.

## Formula Examples

You need to designate the appropriate actions when writing a formula, much like pressing addition or multiplication keys on a calculator. These actions are referred to as operators. The following comprise the basic formula operators:

 Addition + Multiplication * Subtraction – Division /

The following table is an example of a completed travel budget, created using formulas in a Word table, that could be included in a proposal for attending a conference. Following the first table is a description of the formulas used to perform the calculations within the table (indicated by the gray shading). Formula for Actual Formula About the Formula
Hotel =69.95*3 Computes the total cost for the hotel stay by multiplying 69.95 by 3.
Meals =50*4 Computes the total cost of the meals by multiplying 50 by 4.
Total Conference
Budget
=sum (above) Calculates the total of the costs by adding the values above the formula (B2 through B6).
Department
Contribution
=b6-b7 Calculates the department contribution by subtracting the grant request from the total conference budget.

## Inserting Formulas

To insert a formula, determine the values or cell references required for the formula and then follow these instructions:

Place your insertion point in the cell where you want to place the formula.

From the Layout tab, in the Data group, click Formula.
The Formula dialog box appears.
HINT: Similar to Excel, based on the numbers in the table and the location of the cell in which you want to place the formula, Word will guess what type of formula you may want (e.g., to add all cells to the left of the formula, =SUM (LEFT) may be placed in the Formula text box). In the Formula text box, type the desired formula.

If necessary, from the Number format pull-down list, select the desired format for the result.

Click OK.
The formula is inserted.

## Recalculating Formulas

To update values in a table, recalculate the formula(s) using one of the following methods.

### Recalculate the Value of an Individual Cell: Keyboard Option

Place your insertion point in the cell, before the numerals.

Press [F9].
OR
Press [Alt] + [Shift] + [U].
The formula is recalculated.

### Recalculate the Value of an Individual Cell: Mouse Option

Place your insertion point in the cell, before the numerals.

Right click the cell » select Update Field.
The formula is recalculated.

### Recalculating the Values of the Entire Table

Place your insertion point within the table.

From the Layout tab, in the Table group, click Select » select Select Table.

The entire table is selected.

Press [F9].
OR
Press [ALT] + [Shift] + [U].
All formulas are recalculated.

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In this example was used a simple formula to calculate a discount rate:

To create a formula like the one above, it is necessary to make two steps:

1. Create a bookmark (variable) for every parameter.

2. Create a formula.

To perform these steps, do the following:

1. Create a field with the volume of a parameter:

1.1. Position the cursor in the document.

It doesn’t important, where: where this variable should be shown in the first time or anywhere in the text (see both examples below).

1.2. On the Insert tab, in the Text group, select the Quick Parts drop-down list and the click on Field. :

1.3. In the Field dialog box:

1.3.1. In the Field names list, select the command Set and click the Field Codes button: 1.3.2. In the Field codes textbox, after proposed SET type the name of this bookmark (variable) and the value. 1.3.3. Click OK to insert the current field in you document:

Note: Instead of making steps 1.1-1.3, you can press Ctrl+F9 to insert a field in your document and type:

To create the bookmark (variable) as you type, just update a field: right-click on the field and choose Update field in the popup menu:

2. Repeat the step 1 for every bookmark (variable) that you want to define.

In this example, the discount with volume 5.

3. To insert the bookmark (variable) in the text, do the following:

3.1. Position the cursor where you want to insert the value of some bookmark (variable).

3.2. On the Insert tab, in the Text group, select the Quick Parts drop-down list and the click on Field. .

3.3. In the Field dialog box, click the Formula. button: 3.4. In the Formula dialog box, in the Paste bookmarks drop-down list, if you made all correctly on the previous steps, you will see all variables that you have created: Choose one and click OK. For example, price: Note: Instead of making steps 3.1 – 3.4, if you can press Ctrl+F9 to insert a field in you document and type:

4. To insert a formula, do the following:

4.1. Position the cursor where you want to insert the formula.

4.2. On the Insert tab, in the Text group, select the Quick Parts drop-down list and the click on Field. .

4.3. In the Field dialog box, click the Formula. button.

4.4. In the Formula dialog box type the formula:

The first variant where each of the variables defined before their values in the text:

The second variant where the variables defined before the text:

Note: The field doesn’t shown in the document by default. So, this field can be easily removed by mistake with any other text or paragraph. To avoid missing this field, we recommend use a field to keep the definition and the first using of the parameter:

If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to ask OfficeToolTips team.

In this example was used a simple formula to calculate a discount rate:

To create a formula like the one above, it is necessary to make two steps:

1. Create a bookmark (variable) for every parameter.

2. Create a formula.

To perform these steps, do the following:

1. Create a field with the volume of a parameter:

1.1. Position the cursor in the document.

It doesn’t important, where: where this variable should be shown in the first time or anywhere in the text (see both examples below).

1.2. On the Insert tab, in the Text group, select the Quick Parts drop-down list and the click on Field. :

1.3. In the Field dialog box:

1.3.1. In the Field names list, select the command Set and click the Field Codes button: 1.3.2. In the Field codes textbox, after proposed SET type the name of this bookmark (variable) and the value. 1.3.3. Click OK to insert the current field in you document:

Note: Instead of making steps 1.1-1.3, you can press Ctrl+F9 to insert a field in your document and type:

To create the bookmark (variable) as you type, just update a field: right-click on the field and choose Update field in the popup menu:

2. Repeat the step 1 for every bookmark (variable) that you want to define.

In this example, the discount with volume 5.

3. To insert the bookmark (variable) in the text, do the following:

3.1. Position the cursor where you want to insert the value of some bookmark (variable).

3.2. On the Insert tab, in the Text group, select the Quick Parts drop-down list and the click on Field. .

3.3. In the Field dialog box, click the Formula. button: 3.4. In the Formula dialog box, in the Paste bookmarks drop-down list, if you made all correctly on the previous steps, you will see all variables that you have created: Choose one and click OK. For example, price: Note: Instead of making steps 3.1 – 3.4, if you can press Ctrl+F9 to insert a field in you document and type:

4. To insert a formula, do the following:

4.1. Position the cursor where you want to insert the formula.

4.2. On the Insert tab, in the Text group, select the Quick Parts drop-down list and the click on Field. .

4.3. In the Field dialog box, click the Formula. button.

4.4. In the Formula dialog box type the formula:

The first variant where each of the variables defined before their values in the text:

The second variant where the variables defined before the text:

Note: The field doesn’t shown in the document by default. So, this field can be easily removed by mistake with any other text or paragraph. To avoid missing this field, we recommend use a field to keep the definition and the first using of the parameter:

If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to ask OfficeToolTips team.