SUM in Excel (Table of Contents)
SUM Function in Excel
- It’s a type of worksheet function, Sum function is an inbuilt function that is categorized as a Math/Trig Function
- It’s the most widely used & popular function in Excel
- SUM function adds all numbers in a given range of cells and returns the result
- SUM function allows you to add up a range of cells, here we have to simply specify the first and last cell in a range of cells to be added up (Explained in E.G. 1)
- With a sum function, you can add up more than one row or columns or a range of cells at a time
- Microsoft Excel defines SUM function as a formula that “Adds all the numbers in a range of cells or given supplied set of numbers
- SUM function will sum up cells in a column or row that are supplied as multiple arguments.
SUM Formula in Excel
The Formula for the SUM function is as follows:
WHERE ‘num1’, ‘num2’ and ‘num_n’ denotes numeric values or numbers which you wish to add
It can accept up to 255 numbers or individual arguments in a single formula
How to Use the SUM Function in Excel?
This SUM is very simple easy to use. Let us now see how to use the SUM Function with the help of some examples.
Here, Using SUM Function will find out the total sales for the four quarter i.e. yearly total sales
In the excel sheet, go to the ‘Math & Trig’ option under the Formulas Section in the Menu Bar, a drop-down menu will open up, in that select SUM, fill up the argument for an output.
Column C contains quarterly sales values, here we have to simply specify the first and last cell in a range of cells to be added up.
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Here sum function adds up all the cells from C6 to C9
In C10 cell, SUM formula is used, i.e. =SUM (C6:C9), We need to select a range from C6 TO C9 to get a total sales data.
It returns the total quarterly sales value as 3398
In this example, an Excel sheet with the cell references ‘B15’ and ‘B16’, contains the value ‘3’
SUM formula is applied in cell “C15” i.e. =SUM(B15,B16), Here We have to select the cells that contain the values we want to add together. In the argument, cell references ‘B15’ and ‘B16’ needs to added & is separated by a comma
The SUM function returns the value 6
In this example, an Excel sheet with the cell references ‘B21’, ‘B22’ and ‘B23’, contains the decimal values
SUM formula is applied in cell “C21” i.e. =SUM(B21,B22,B23), Here We have to select the cells that contain the decimal values we want to add together. In the argument, cell references ‘B21’, ‘B22’ and ‘B23’ needs to added & is separated by a comma
The SUM function returns the value 17.2
Example #4- Fraction values
In this example, I want to apply the sum function for fraction values “6/2” & “4/2”
SUM formula is applied in cell “F6” i.e. =SUM(6/2,4/2)
In the argument, fraction values “6/2” & “4/2” needs to add & is separated by a comma
The SUM function returns the value 5
Example #5- More than one range of cells
In the earlier examples of the SUM Function, we have only added up to one range at a time
In the below-mentioned example, will add up several or multiple ranges of cells at once. All the cells in all the ranges are added together to give a grand total
In the excel sheet, company quarterly sales data is present in each column. There are four quarters sales data
Here, we need to find out the total sales from four-quarter sales data. we have to simply specify the first and last cell in a range of cells to be added up for each quarter or columns
In the SUM formula, we need to specify four separate ranges in the argument & is separated by comma i.e.
Where F11:F15 range represent first-quarter sales data
G11:G15 range represent second-quarter sales data
H11:H15 range represent third-quarter sales data
I11:I15 range represent fourth quarter sales data
The SUM function returns the value or total sales data i.e. 12393
Example #6-AUTOSUM Option in Excel
Numbers in a range of cells can be quickly added by using AUTOSUM Option in Excel
Keyboard shortcut for AUTOSUM: Alt + =
In a range of cell, it contains sales data between cell F20 to F24, I need to apply auto sum function for that range
In a cell “F25”, click “Alt + =” Excel SUM formula will be appearing in the active cell along with cell reference. Then we need to press the Enter key to complete SUM function
Things to remember
- Sum Function can also do the addition of fractions & decimal numbers
- In the SUM formula i.e. =SUM( num1, num2, … num_n ) and in place of ‘num’, if it contains or you have entered a non-numeric content then Sum function will return an #Name? error, whereas or in case if SUM formula is applied for a range, Sum function will ignore this value
- If in a range of cells, one or more of the cells are blank or empty, or it contains text rather than a number, Excel ignores those values when calculating the result.
- In the SUM Function, Mathematical operators like (+,-, / and *) can also be used
- Suppose, if, in a range of cells, values that cannot be interpreted as numbers, (e.g. Text Representations of numbers & Dates, logical values) are ignored by the SUM function.
This has been a guide to SUM Function. Here we discuss the SUM Formula and how to use SUM along with practical examples and downloadable excel templates. You can also go through our other suggested articles –