How to sum values in Excel automatically or manually

  • You can sum up entire columns or rows in Microsoft Excel using the AutoSum feature. 
  • The AutoSum tool automatically selects a column or row of numbers, but you can select any set of numbers by clicking and dragging with the mouse.
  • You can also manually sum a series of numbers in Excel by typing in a simple SUM formula.
  • You can view the details of your calculation by clicking the sum cell and looking at the formula bar at the top of the screen. 
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You can sum a series of numbers in Microsoft Excel manually by typing in a simple formula, or automatically by using the AutoSum tool in the toolbar on your screen. 

Both methods will always give you the same result, so use whichever one is more convenient for you.

Here’s how to do it on a Mac or PC computer. 

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How to use AutoSum in Excel

AutoSum works best when you have a column or row of numbers you want to add up.

1. Click the empty cell underneath the column of numbers that you want to add up. Or, if you want to sum a row of numbers, click the empty cell to the right of the series.

2. On the “Home” tab, click the AutoSum button (which looks like a sigma sign) in the toolbar at the top of your screen.

excel sigma

You’ll have to click on the Sigma sign to Autosum.

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3. You should see Excel draw a selection box around the numbers to be added. If the wrong numbers are selected, you can click and drag the mouse to choose the correct cells.

sum 1

The Autosum tool automatically selects the nearest row or column of numbers, but you can change it before you press Enter.

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3. Press “Enter” on your PC keyboard, or “Return” if you’re using a Mac.

Your cells don’t have to be laid out consecutively in a row or column to be added up — instead of dragging down a columb or across a row, you can also click on non-consecutive cells throughout your spreadsheet before hitting “Return” or “Enter” on your keyboard. 

How to manually sum in Excel

1. Click the cell you want the sum to appear in and click “=.”

2. Type a number or click a cell that has a value.

3. Type “+.”

4. Type another number or click the next cell that has a value.

5. Repeat until you have entered all the values you want to sum, and then press “Enter” on a PC keyboard or “Return” on a Mac keyboard. 

sum 2

You can sum numbers or cells by creating a sum formula manually.

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To check your work, click the cell with the sum and look at the formula bar atop the screen. It will show the details of the calculation.

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