Learn How to Add In Excel Using the SUM Function and AUTOSUM

Excel offers an array of tools for fundamental operations like addition. Among these, learning how to add in Excel is a key skill, pivotal for everyone from casual users to seasoned professionals. This article focuses on the SUM function and AUTOSUM feature, demonstrating how these tools are essential for efficient and accurate numerical addition. Whether it’s for managing budgets, tracking expenses, or analyzing data, understanding these functionalities will empower you to use Excel more effectively in various scenarios.

Before we get started, remember that formulas in Excel always begin with an equal sign (=), which tells Excel that the subsequent elements (or operands) are a formula. Excel calculates formulas from left to right, according to the specific order spelled out for each operator in the equation.

Two Simple Ways to Add Numbers in Excel

1. Select a blank cell at the end of a list of numbers (either a column or a row) or anywhere you want the total to appear
2. Type =
3. Click each cell that you want to add; Excel will automatically add the amount from each cell with a + sign between each value
4. Press Enter and the total amount of those added values appears

Using AUTOSUM to Add a Range of Numbers in Excel

1. Select a blank cell at the end of a list of numbers (either a column or a row)
2. Choose Formulas from the menu bar, then AUTOSUM (or use the AUTOSUM keyboard shortcut: Command + Shift + T)
3. Press Enter and Excel automatically adds the list and reflects the total

How to Add in Excel Using the SUM function

The examples above work well for quick tasks, but if you have many different ranges or values in many parts of your worksheet, you’ll want to use the SUM function.

Using the SUM function to select non-adjacent cells

When you want to select values from random cells that aren’t adjacent, here are the steps to take:

1. Select a blank cell at the end of a list of numbers (either a column or a row) or anywhere you want the total to appear
2. Type =SUM(
3. Click the first cell that you want to add, then click on all the cell values you want to include in the total; Excel will add a + sign and the cell identification into the formula
4. Type a closed parenthesis to finish the formula
5. Press Enter and the total amount appears

Using the SUM function to select a range of numbers

When you want to select a range of numbers in a column or a row:

1. Select a blank cell at the end of a list of numbers (either a column or a row) or anywhere you want the total to appear
2. Type =SUM(
3. Click the first cell that you want to add, then drag to the last number in the range you want to add; you will notice that the formula has a colon between the cell names of the first and last cells denoting a range
4. Type a closed parenthesis to finish the formula
5. Press Enter and the total amount appears

Using the SUM function to select values from individual cells combined with ranges

When you have individual values that you want to combine with ranges, you will add a comma between each function task:

1. Select a blank cell at the end of a list of numbers (either a column or a row) or anywhere you want the total to appear
2. Type =SUM(
3. Click all individual cells that you want to add; as in the first example above, a + sign follows each cell identification
4. Type a comma to separate individual cells from the range
5. Click on the first cell of the range you want to include, and then drag to the last number in the range
6. If you want to add another range, type another comma and repeat step 5 above
7. Type a closed parenthesis to finish the formula
8. Press Enter and the total amount appears

Changing the Order of Evaluation

You can change the order of evaluation by enclosing parts of the formula in parentheses. In the example below, the parentheses around the first part of the formula forces Excel to calculate C6+45 first and then add the sum of the values in cells D10, E10, and F10:

``=(C6+45)+SUM(D10:F10)``