How To Sum Columns In Excel: Proven Methods

how to sum a column in excel
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Have you ever been in a situation where you are staring at an Excel spreadsheet and wondering how to sum a column in Excel? Knowing how to sum a column in Excel using shortcut keys and with a condition is a big plus, but if you don’t know, then this article is for you.

In this article,  you will learn how to sum a column manually, how to sum a column with a condition, how to sum a column using the shortcut keys and the Excel tips on using the sum function.

Understanding The Data

Before you can properly sum a column in Excel, you must first grasp the data you are dealing with. This knowledge will assist you in determining suitable formulas and ensuring reliable results. Here are two critical considerations:

#1. Explain Why it is Critical to Understand the Type of Data Being Summed

In Excel, you may sum many types of data, including numbers, dates, and text. To select the suitable summation method, it is crucial to comprehend the nature of the data in the column you are dealing with. Understanding the type of data being summed will assist you in selecting the proper procedure and correctly interpreting the results.

#2. Emphasise the Importance of Correctly Prepared and Consistent Data

For correct summation in Excel, properly prepared and consistent data is required. Incorrect findings might be caused by inconsistent formatting or data entry problems. You may reduce errors and obtain trustworthy summing results in Excel by ensuring adequate data formatting and consistency.

How to Use the SUM Function in Excel to Sum a Column

You can use the SUM function to manually design a formula that selects your range and sums all of the numbers in your column.

  • Choose the cell where you wish the sum of the values to appear, either in the same column as the values or in a different column.
  • Enter the SUM formula in the formula bar with “=SUM(),” using the cells or range within the brackets that you had selected. To sum one column of cells, for example, use “=SUM(A2:A32)”; to sum two columns, use “=SUM(A2:A32, B2:B32).”
  • Press “Enter” to see your findings in the cell you’ve chosen. If you used the range input to add two columns, the formula displays the results of both ranges added together.

How to Sum A Column Using Autosum

When you have a column or row of numbers to add up, AutoSum works best

  • Click the empty cell beneath the number column you wish to add up. To add a row of numbers, click the empty cell to the right of the series.
  • Click the AutoSum button (which looks like a sigma sign) on the toolbar at the top of your screen on the “Home” page.
  • Press “Enter” on your PC keyboard or “Return” on your Mac keyboard. You don’t have to arrange your cells in a row or column to add them up; instead of dragging down a column or across a row, you may alternatively click on non-consecutive cells throughout your spreadsheet before pressing “Return” or “Enter” on your keyboard.

How to Sum Multiple Columns Using the Sum Function

Here are the steps for adding up numerous full columns:

  • Enter “=SUM(” into the formula bar and select an empty cell to display the sum outside any of the columns you want to sum.
  • Highlight the columns you want by selecting multiple column letter names or navigating to the first column you want with the arrow keys. Press “Ctrl + Space” to select it, then hold “Shift” and use the lateral arrow keys to select the remaining columns.
  • After you’ve selected all of the columns you want to combine, the bar should show a formula like “=SUM(A: C),” with the range displaying the column letter names.
  • Press “Enter” to display the total of those columns in the selected cell.

How To Sum A Column In  Excel With Condition

To learn how to sum a column in Excel with a condition, you can use the SUMIF or SUMIFS function.

#1. Make Use of the SUMIF Function

=SUMIF(criteria, range, [sum range])

This function would enable us to compute the sum of the provided range based on our condition applied to the criteria range.

The following arguments are supported by the SUMIF function syntax:

  • Required Range

The number of cells to be examined by criterion. Each range’s cells must be numbers, names, arrays or references containing numbers.

  • Criteria Must be Met

The criteria, which might take the form of a number, expression, cell reference, text, or function, determines which cells will be added.

  • Sum_range(optional parameter)

Sum_range must have the same dimensions and shape as a range. If it is not, performance may suffer, and the formula will sum a range of cells beginning with the first cell in sum_range but having the same dimensions as a range.

Example Of How To Sum a Column in Excel With Condition (SUMIF)

Copy the data in the table below and paste it into cell A1 of a new Excel spreadsheet. To see the results of formulas, select them, press F2, and then enter. You can alter the column widths to show all of the data if necessary.

=SUMIF(A2:A7, “fruits”, C2:C7)Sum of the sales of all foods in the “fruits” category£2,000
=SUMIF(A2:A7, “vegetables”, C2:C7)Sum of the sales of all foods in the “vegetables” category£12,000
=SUMIF(B2:B7,”*es”, C2:C7)the sum of the sales of the food that ends in “es” ( tomatoes, apples, oranges)£4,300
=SUMIF(A2:A7,””, C2:C7)The sum of all the sales of all foods that do not have a category specified£400

How To Sum A Column In  Excel With A Condition (SUMIFS)


One of the math and trig functions, the SUMIFS function, adds all of its parameters that match several criteria. For example, you could use SUMIFS to count the number of retailers in the country who (1) live in a single zip code and (2) have profits that surpass a certain amount.

The following arguments are supported by the SUMIFS function syntax:

  • Sum_range (mandatory): The range of cells to sum
  • Criteria_range1 (mandatory): Criteria_range1 and Criteria1 form a search pair that searches a range for certain criteria. When items in the range are located, their matching Sum_range values are added.
  • Criteria 1 (mandatory): The criteria that determine which cells will be added to Criteria_range1. Criteria such as 32, “>32”, B4, “apples”, or “32” can be entered.
  • Criteria_range2, Cmeetsria_range2,… (optional): Additional ranges and the requirements that go with them. You have the option of entering up to 127 range/criteria pairs.

Example Of How To Sum a Column in Excel With A Condition (SUMIFS)

Quantity SoldProductSalesperson
=SUMIFS(A2:A9, B2:B9, “=A*”, C2:C9, “Tom”)Adds the number of products that begin with A and are sold by Tom. It uses the wildcard character * in Criteria1, “=A*” to look for matching product names in criteria_range1 B2:B9 and look for the name “Tom” in criteria_range2 C2:C9. It then adds the numbers in Sum_range A2:A9 that meet both conditions.20
=SUMIFS(A2:A9, B2:B9, “<>Bananas”, C2:C9, “Tom”)Adds the number of products that aren’t bananas and are sold by Tom. It excludes bananas by using  <> in Criteria 1, “<>Bananas”, and looks for the name “Tom” in Criteria_range2 C2:C9. It then adds the numbers in Sum_range A2:A9 that meet both conditions.30

How To Sum a Column in Excel Using Shortcut Keys

Knowing how to sum a column in Excel using shortcut keys is important because you will save time and swiftly sum up enormous amounts of data in Excel. This section will go over the top five Excel shortcuts for data summing

#1. How To Sum a Column in Excel using The  AutoSum Shortcut

The AutoSum shortcut is one of the most often used shortcuts in Excel. To use this shortcut, simply pick the cell where you want the total to appear, then click Alt + =. Excel will automatically choose the range of cells above the specified cell and insert the SUM function.

#2. How to Sum a Column in Excel Using The Sum Shortcut

The Sum shortcut is another simple way to sum up data in Excel. To use this shortcut, select the range of cells you want to sum up, then press Alt + Shift + =. Excel will insert the SUM function and display the sum in the selected cell.

#3. AutoSum Shortcut On Multiple Rows or Columns

If you need to total up data in several rows or columns, you may use the AutoSum shortcut to swiftly insert the total function into each row or column. Simply choose the range of cells you wish to sum up, then press Ctrl + Shift + Enter. Excel will insert the SUM function into each row or column and display the sum in the cells you have selected.

#4. How to Sum Columns on Multiple Sheets with a Sum

If your Excel worksheet contains data scattered over numerous pages, you may use the SUM function to sum the data across all sheets. Type “=SUM(Sheet1:Sheet3! A 1)” into the cell where you want the sum to appear to do this. This will total the values in cell A1 on Sheets 1, 2, and 3.

#5. Tool for Quick Analysis

The Quick Analysis tool in Excel is a useful feature that allows you to quickly summarise data without having to manually insert functions. Simply select the range of cells you wish to sum up and then click the “Quick Analysis” button in the bottom right corner of the selection. Excel will provide a menu of alternatives, including a “Total” option that will total the cells you’ve selected.

Excel Tips for Using Sums

Here are some Excel strategies on how to create and use the sum function and shortcut keys

#1. SUM Formula Should be Optimised

SUM formulas in Excel can combine many types of data, such as numerical numbers, cell values, ranges of values, or a mix of the three. When defining date ranges, numerical values are typically useful. However, SUM formulas that use numerical values frequently rely on a consistent value.

#2. Fix Typical Mistakes

When utilising SUM formulas, Excel frequently returns three error codes: “#VALUE!,” “#REF!” and “#NAME?.” “#VALUE!” occurs when a calculation refers to a data style it isn’t expecting, such as text instead of an integer. Check your reference cells to ensure they display numerical values rather than text. When something changes a cell in a formula, it causes a “#REF!” error. This frequently happens when you insert or delete rows or columns. If you use the SUM formula “(A3+B3+C3),” anything that modifies those references causes the formula to generate a “#REF!” error.

#3. Find the Simplest Sum

If you want to see the total of a row or column without constructing a formula, highlight the range you want to look at with your mouse or click on the row or column name. After you’ve highlighted the range, have a look at the “Status Bar” at the bottom of the spreadsheet. The “Status Bar” displays the sum of the range, the range average, and the number of cells in the range automatically.

What Exactly is the Sum Match Function?

The SUM function adds all the numbers in a range of cells and returns the total. The INDEX function returns the value in an array at a particular index. The MATCH function returns the index of the value’s first appearance in an array (single dimension array).

How Can I Sum a Column While Excluding Specific Cells?

You can use the formula =SUM(range) SUM(excluded_range) in Excel to exclude cells in a column from the sum.

Can you Combine Sum and Vlookup?

You can find a solution by combining Excel’s VLOOKUP or LOOKUP functions with the SUM or SUMIF functions. The following formula examples will help you understand how these Excel functions work and how to apply them to real-world data.

How Does Excel Overlook Empty Cells When Adding Simple Numbers?

The symbol “>” -> denotes the “NOT EQUAL TO” indication. The formula treats it as characters. Hence, it must be written with double inverted commas. When we use this, the formula sums all non-blank values and fully ignores blank cells during summation.

Why is Sumifs not Functioning Properly?

When you try to match strings greater than 255 characters, the SUMIF/SUMIFS methods provide inaccurate results.


As the preceding steps demonstrate, even something as easy as learning how to sum a column in Excel may be accomplished in a variety of ways. Excel is a remarkably sophisticated application, and most of us will only scrape the surface of its capabilities.

Whether you are dealing with financial data, project management or any other spreadsheet application, the flexibility of summing functions such as SUM, SUMIF, SUMIFS, and even the shortcut keys empowers you to extract valuable insights from your data.


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