Use the SUM function to sum numbers in a range

You can use a simple formula to sum numbers in a range (a group of cells), but the SUM function is easier to use when you’re working with more than a few numbers. For example =SUM(A2:A6) is less likely to have typing errors than =A2+A3+A4+A5+A6.

Using SUM with two ranges of numbers

Here’s a formula that uses two cell ranges: =SUM(A2:A4,C2:C3) sums the numbers in ranges A2:A4 and C2:C3. You’d press Enter to get the total of 39787.

To create the formula:

  1. Type =SUM in a cell, followed by an opening parenthesis (.

  2. To enter the first formula range, which is called an argument (a piece of data the formula needs to run), type A2:A4 (or select cell A2 and drag through cell A6).

  3. Type a comma (,) to separate the first argument from the next.

  4. Type the second argument, C2:C3 (or drag to select the cells).

  5. Type a closing parenthesis ), and then press Enter.

Each argument can be a range, a number, or single cell references, all separated by commas.

  • =SUM(A2:A4,2429,10482)

  • =SUM(4823,A3:A4,C2:C3)

  • =SUM(4823,12335,9718,C2:C3)

  • =SUM(A2,A3,A4,2429,10482)

Tip:  If you need to sum columns or rows of numbers next to each other, use AutoSum to sum numbers.

Give it a try

If you want to play around with our sample data, here’s some data to use.

You can see how the SUM function works by copying the following table into a worksheet and pasting it into cell A1.

Data

-5

15

30

'5

TRUE

Formula

Description

Result

=SUM(3, 2)

Adds 3 and 2.

5

=SUM("5", 15, TRUE)

Adds 5, 15 and 1. The text value "5" is first translated into a number, and the logical value TRUE is first translated into the number 1.

21

=SUM(A2:A4)

Adds the values in cells A2 through A4.

40

=SUM(A2:A4, 15)

Adds the values in cells A2 through A4, and then adds 15 to that result.

55

=SUM(A5,A6, 2)

Adds the values in cells A5 and A6, and then adds 2 to that result. Because non-numeric values in references are not translated — the value in cell A5 ('5) and the value in cell A6 (TRUE) are both treated as text — the values in those cells are ignored.

2

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