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Sum is an inbuilt function in excel but we also do have an excel shortcut for this which is to press ALT + = in the cell where we want the sum for the corresponding cells, to use this shortcut just press the keys and Sum function will automatically appear in the cell, note the data to be sum is should be in continuous range.
SUM Shortcut in Excel
In excel more often we work with numerical data than non-numerical data sets. When we work with the number we do a lot of arithmetic calculations. In those calculations, we spend so much of time and one of such calculation is “SUM”. Believe me or not to increase your productivity your shortcut skills should be at the highest level in excel. You will be amazed by the fact that your productivity can be improved by 50% if you can master SUM shortcut keys in excel.
Ok, in this article we will show you how to use autosum “Sum Shortcut” key in excel and we will also show you the limitations of the shortcut.
How to Apply the SUM Function in Excel?
For an example look at the below data.
We have some numbers from cell A1 to A5 and in the cell we need the total of these numbers in cell A6.
Let’s open the SUM excel function in cell A6.
Select the range of cells from A1 to A5.
Press enter key to get the result in cell C6.
This looks a lengthy process, isn’t it??
Using Auto Sum in Excel to Reduce Cycle Time?
Here we have simple shortcut key i.e. ALT + =.
This is the shortcut key to auto sum the above cell numbers. Ok, let’s try this out now.
Place a cursor on the where we need to apply the excel formula, in this case, formula cell is A6.
Now hold the ALT key and press equal sign.
As you can see as soon as you press the excel shortcut key it has applied the SUM formula by selecting the above cells as the reference.
Press enter key to get the result in cell C6.
Like this using sum shortcut key ALT + = we can automatically apply the SUM function to get the total of above cell numbers.
Top Ways of SUM Shortcut Key in Excel
We can apply the excel auto sum shortcut key in many ways. Let’s look at some ways.
Method #1 – Get Total to Below Cell
Let’s consider the same data as we have seen in the previous example. First, select the range of cells from A1 to A5.
Since I need the result in A6 cell I have selected until that cell.
Now press the shortcut key ALT + =.
As you notice it has not displayed any kind of SUM function syntax, rather just given us the total of the numbers we have selected.
Method #2 – Click on Auto Sum under Home Tab
Let’s consider the same data for this example as well.
Place a cursor on the cell C6.
Now go to Home Tab and Press excel shortcut key AUTO SUM.
Now as soon as you click on “Auto Sum”, we can see the pop-up SUM function in cell C6.
Like this, we can apply the excel SUM shortcut key to arrive the results.
Auto Sum More than One Column Data in Excel
Assume we have numbers in more than one column, so how do we add these numbers.
We have numbers in more than one column. So, select all the result columns once.
Now after selecting the result cells press ALt + =.
It has applied the formula to the last cell of the selection, now don’t simply press Enter, rather hit Ctrl + Enter key to apply the same formula to all the selected cells.
So, upon pressing this shortcut key, we got the auto sum formula in all the selected cells.
Horizontal Auto Sum in Excel
Now we have seen how to apply excel auto sum shortcut to vertical data i.e. Column Data. For this consider the below data.
Now select the cells from A1 to E1.
Now press Alt + = to arrive auto sum.
As we can see it has applied the sum formula to the beside cell of the selected cells.
One of the limitations of the sum shortcut key excel is it will consider all the above cells until it finds the blank cell only. For an example look at the below image.
I have data from A1 to A6 cell but in this range, there is a blank cell i.e. A3 cell.
I have pressed the shortcut key ALT + = to apply AUTO SUM shortcut key. Since there is a blank cell auto sum has ignored all the above cells which have data and returned only the sum of selected cells only.
In this example data is small and identification is easy but in large data, it is a dangerous ploy, so be careful with this.
This has been a guide to SUM Shortcut in Excel. Here we learn how to use Auto Sum Shortcut Key in Excel along with examples and downloadable excel template. You may learn more about excel from the following articles –