How To Sum In Excel

5 min read|Last Updated: February 9th, 2024|Categories: excel|
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Knowing how to add and sum is fundamental when it comes to working with Excel. In our previous blog “How To Add Numbers, Cells, And Columns In Excel”, we guided you through basic ways to add numbers, cells, and columns. We also mentioned the basics of the Sum formula. In this tutorial, we are going to cover other methods known as AutoSum and the SUM function.

How to use AutoSum to add in Excel

Basically, if you want to add adjacent cells, columns, or rows, you can use AutoSum which is the quickest way.

How to total a column in Excel

Here is how you use AutoSum to add the values in a column:

  •  Click on the cell below a column of adjacent cells
  •  Go to the Formula tab, click on AutoSum
  •  Press Enter, Excel adds all of the adjacent cells

In the screenshot below, cell B15 is the last cell below the column.

using autosum to add up a column in excel
AutoSum of a column

How to sum a row in Excel

As mentioned above, you can add the values in adjacent rows, as well.

  • Click on a cell right of the row of adjacent cells
  • Click on AutoSum by going to the Formula tab
  • Press Enter and the cell displays the results

If you look at the screenshot you can see that cell F13 is the last cell to the right of the row. 

using autosum to add up a row in excel
AutoSum of a row

You can also find AutoSum by clicking on the Home tab in the Editing section. The shortcut for AutoSum is [Alt+=].

autosum is in editing in home tab in excel
AutoSum in home tab

How to get the grand total in Excel

If you want to get the sum of the rows and columns, including the grand total, follow the steps below.

  • Select a group of adjacent cells and an extra (blank) column and row.
  • Go to the Home tab in the Editing section.
  • Click on AutoSum and get the sum of the rows and columns, including the grand total in the extra column and row you have selected.  
using autosum to sum and get the grand total of adjacent group of cells in excel
AutoSum adjacent group of cells

Bear in mind, if you update any of the cells with new values or figures, AutoSum will automatically update the results in each row and column, including the grand total. You can compare the screenshot below with the one above to see how the data updates have changed the AutoSum results.

updating the data in the group of adjacent cells and getting the sum and grand total update in excel
autosum of a adjacent group of cells update


How to use the SUM function in Excel

The SUM function in Excel is another option for adding values. Remember that a function is just a predefined formula. You must also be aware that you can use up to a total of 255 individual arguments. These arguments include numbers, cell references, ranges, arrays, and c