How to Sum a Column in Excel Step-By-Step (2023)
Excel is great at storing and calculating numbers.
The simplest of all mathematical operations is the addition function (summing up numbers). Microsoft Excel offers an in-built function to sum numbers. 😉
And you’d be amazed to see how swift and smooth it gets to sum thousands of numbers in Excel. The guide below explains how to sum columns and rows in Excel.
So continue scrolling and download our free sample workbook here to tag along with the guide.
Table of Contents
How to sum a column in Excel
There are two ways how you can quickly sum up a column in Excel.
1. Through the Status Bar
Here’s a column in Excel that contains numbers. Need the sum of this column?
Select the column by clicking on the column header.
Go to the Status Bar at the bottom of Excel (the right side).
Excel displays the sum of all the numbers in the selected column.
This method of summing a column will only suit you if you quickly want to see the sum of a column. As soon as the selection is released, the Sum from the Status bar disappears.
You cannot copy the Sum value from the status bar.
If you do not want the sum of the entire column but only of some cells in the selected column, select those cells only in the same row.
2. Through the SUM function
To formally calculate SUM in Excel, use the SUM function.
1. Activate a cell and write the SUM function as below.
= SUM (A2:A8)
Select the range of all the cells to be summed as the argument of the Sum function.
2. Hit ‘Enter’ to calculate the sum of the said numbers as below.
Cut the above process short. Select the cell where you want the sum of numbers to appear.
Use the keyboard shortcut: Alt key + Equal sign key.
Excel would automatically pick the range to be summed. To define a different range, select the cells to be summed manually and hit enter.✌
Add numbers in Excel across rows and columns
Adding numbers across a column is as easy as explained above.
Can we take this the other way around? Adding numbers across rows and columns?
1. Here’s a dense pack of data with numbers and numbers.
2. We want to sum each row and each column of this data.
3. Begin by summing up the first row.
4. Activate the first empty cell where the row ends (or any other cell as you like).
5. Write the SUM formula below in the formula bar.
6. Press Enter to get the sum for this row.
7. Drag and drop it to all rows beneath.
8. Time to sum the columns.
9. Activate the cell immediately next to where the first column ends.
10. Write the SUM function as below.
11. Press Enter to get the sum for this column.
12. Drag and drop it to all the columns to the right.
13. And there you go! All rows and columns are summed up.
That’s how you can add numbers across multiple rows and multiple columns.
How to Autosum in Excel
The sum is one of the most commonly used Excel operations. And so, Excel offers an in-built button to facilitate quick additions in Excel.
1. Activate the cell where you want to perform the sum.
2. Go to Formulas > Function Library > Auto Sum.
3. Click on it to launch the drawer of quick functions.
4. Choose SUM.
5. Excel operates the SUM function in the active cell. It automatically selects the range to be summed.
6. If you want to choose a different range, select it to calculate the sum of those cells only.
7. Press Enter to perform the sum as follows.
Pretty straightforward? Huh? 😊
FREE VIDEO: How to sum columns in Excel
Compliment the examples discussed above with a very quick tutorial on summing columns in Excel. Watch my video and learn how to SUM columns in less than 2 minutes.
That’s it – Now what?
That’s all about summing up columns and rows in Excel. Until now, we have learned different ways to calculate the sum of a column in Excel (some shortcuts too).
This guide further explains how to calculate the sum of rows and columns and how to use the auto-sum feature of Excel.
SUM is a basic operation, and the SUM function is a very basic tool. However, Microsoft Excel also offers advanced variations of the SUM function. Like the SUMIF and IF functions.
My 30-minute free email course will help you learn these two and the very famous VLOOKUP function in Excel. Sign up now!
Want to know more about the SUMIF and SUMIFS functions of Excel? Read it here.
Another function from the SUM family of Excel is the SUMPRODUCT function. Learn it now.