SUM Function in Excel

SUM Function in Excel

The SUM function in excel adds the numerical values in a range of cells. Being categorized under the Math and Trigonometry function, it is entered by typing “=SUM” followed by the values to be summed. The values supplied to the function can be numbers, cell references or ranges.

For example, cells B1, B2, and B3 contain 20, 44, and 67 respectively. The formula “=SUM(B1:B3)” adds the numbers of the cells B1 to B3. It returns 131.

The SUM formula automatically updates with the insertion or deletion of a value. It also includes the changes made to an existing cell range. Moreover, the function ignores the empty cells and text values.

The Syntax of the SUM Excel Function

The syntax of the function is shown in the following image:

SUM Formula

The function accepts the following arguments:

  • Number1: This is the first numeric value to be added.
  • Number2: This is the second numeric value to be added.

The “number1” argument is required while the subsequent numbers (“number 2”, “number 3”, etc.) are optional.

The Procedure to Enter the SUM Function in Excel

You can download this SUM Function Excel Template here – SUM Function Excel Template

To enter the SUM function manually, type “=SUM” followed by the arguments.

The alternative steps to enter the SUM excel function are listed as follows:

  1. In the Formulas tab, click the “math & trig” option, as shown in the following image.
sum function first step

2. From the drop-down menu that opens, select the SUM option.

sum function seccond step

3. In the “function arguments” dialog box, enter the arguments of the SUM function. Click “Ok” to obtain the output.

sum function third step

The AutoSum Option in Excel

The AutoSum option is the fastest way to add numbers in a range of cells. It automatically enters the SUM formula in the selected cell.

Let us work on an example to understand the working of the AutoSum option. We want to sum the list of values in A2:A7, shown in the succeeding image.

The steps to use the AutoSum command are listed as follows:

  1. Select the blank cell immediately following the cell to be summed up. Choose the cell A8.

    auto Sum option in excel

  2. In the Home tab, click “AutoSum”. Alternatively, press the shortcut keys “Alt+=” together and without the inverted commas.

    auto Sum option in excel 1

  3. The SUM formula appears in the selected cell. It shows the reference of the cells that have been summed up.

    auto Sum option in excel 2

  4. Press the “Enter” key. The output appears in cell A8, as shown in the following image.

    auto Sum option in excel 3

How to Use the SUM Function in Excel?

Let us consider a few examples to understand the usage of the SUM function. The examples #1 to #5 show an image containing a list of numeric values.

Example #1

We want to sum the cells A2 and A3 shown in the succeeding image.

Apply the formula “=SUM(A2, A3).” It returns 20.7 in cell C2.

SUM Example 1

Example #2

We want to sum the cells A3, A5, and the number 45 shown in the succeeding image.

Apply the formula “=SUM (A3, A5, 45).” It returns 58.8 in cell C2.

SUM Example 2

Example #3

We want to sum the cells A2, A3, A4, A5, and A6 shown in the succeeding image.

Apply the formula “=SUM (A2:A6).” It returns 135.4 in cell C2.

SUM Example 3

Example #4

We want to sum the cells A2, A3, A5, and A6 shown in the succeeding image.

Apply the formula “=SUM (A2:A3, A5:A6).” It returns 35.4 in cell C2.

SUM Example 4

Example #5

We want to sum the cells A2, A3, A5, A6, and the number 500 shown in the succeeding image.

Apply the formula “=SUM (A2:A3, A5:A6, 500).” It returns 535.4 in cell C2.

SUM Example 5

The Usage of the SUM Excel Function

The rules governing the usage of the function are listed as follows:

  • The arguments supplied can be numbers, arrays, cell references, constants, ranges, and the results of other functions or formulas.
  • While providing a range of cells, only the first range (cell1:cell2) is required.
  • The output is numeric and represents the sum of values supplied.
  • The arguments supplied can go up to a total of 255.

Note: The SUM excel function returns the “#VALUE!” error if the criterion supplied is a text string longer than 255 characters.

The Limitations of the SUM Function in Excel

The drawbacks of the function are listed as follows:

  • The cell range supplied must match the dimensions of the source.
  • The cell containing the output must always be formatted as a number.

The Nesting of the SUM Excel Function

The built-in formulas of Excel can be expanded by nesting one or more functions inside another function. This permits multiple calculations to take place in a single cell of the worksheet.

The nested function acts as an argument of the main or the outermost function. Excel calculates the innermost function first and then moves outwards.

For example, the following formula shows the SUM function nested within the ROUND functionROUND FunctionThe ROUNDUP function in Excel is a built-in function that is used to calculate the rounded value of a number to the highest degree. It rounds numbers away from zero, thus if the input to this function is =ROUNDUP(0.40,1), the output will be 0.4.read more:

For the given formula, the output is calculated as follows:

  • First, the sum of the values in cells A1 to A6 is computed.
  • Next, the resulting number is rounded to three decimal places.

With Microsoft Excel 2007, nested functions up to 64 levels are permitted. Prior to this version, one could nest functions only till 7 levels.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Define the SUM function of Excel.

The SUM function helps add the numerical values. These values can be supplied to the function as numbers, cell references, or ranges. The SUM function is used when there is a need to find the total of specified cells.

The syntax of the SUM excel function is stated as follows:
“SUM(number1,[number2] ,…)”
The “number1” and “number2” are the first and second numeric values to be added. The “number1” argument is mandatory while the remaining values are optional.

In the SUM function, the range to be summed can be provided, which is easier than typing the cell references one by one. The AutoSum option provided in the Home or Formulas tab of Excel is the simplest way to sum two numbers.

Note: The numeric value provided as an argument can be either positive or negative.

2. How to sum the values of filtered data in Excel?

To add the values of filtered data, use the SUBTOTAL function. The syntax of the function is stated as follows:

“SUBTOTAL(function_num,ref1,[ref2],…)”

The “function_num” is a number ranging from 1 to 11 or 101 to 111. It indicates the function to be used for the SUBTOTALSUBTOTALThe Excel Subtotal function is a built-in function that returns the subtotal of a given data table or data sets. This formula requires two inputs, the first of which is the function number and the second of which is the range.read more. The functions used can be AVERAGE, MAX, MIN, COUNT, STDEV, SUM, and so on.

The “ref1” and “ref2” are the cells or ranges to be added.

The “function_num” and “ref1” arguments are mandatory. The “function_num” 109 is used for adding the visible cells of filtered data.

Let us consider an example.

• The sales revenue generated by A and B of team X are:
$1,240 and $3,562 given in cells C2 and C3 respectively

• The sales revenue generated by C and D of team Y are:
$2,351 and $4,109 given in cells C4 and C5 respectively

We filter only team X rows and apply the formula “SUBTOTAL(109,C2:C3).” It returns $4,802.

Note: Alternatively, the AutoSum property can be used to sum the filtered cells.

3. State the benefits of using the SUM function in Excel.

The benefits of using the SUM function are listed as follows:
• It helps obtain the totals of ranges irrespective of whether the cells are contiguous or non-contiguous.
• It ignores the empty cells and text values entered in a cell. In such cases, it returns an output representing the sum of the remaining numbers of the range.
• It automatically updates to include the addition of a row or a column.
• It automatically updates to exclude the deletion of a row or column.
• It eliminates the difficulty associated with typing manual entries.
• It makes the output more readable by allowing the cell to be formatted as a number.

SUM Function in Excel Video

 

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This has been a guide to the SUM function in Excel. Here we discuss how to use Sum Formula along with step by step examples and FAQs. You can download the Excel template from the website. Take a look at these useful functions of Excel–

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  1. TWESIGYE MARTIN says

    Thanks for the best notes

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