Sum numbers by creating a formula

Let Excel be your calculator. With a simple formula Excel can sum numbers automatically.

  1. Select an empty cell and type an equal (=) sign.

  2. Type your first number followed by a plus (+) sign between each number that you want to sum.

  3. Press Enter to get the formula result.

For example:

  • =54+89 (result: 143)

You can also create the same formula by using cell references (such as A1 and B1) instead of using numbers.

Numbers in cell A1 and B1

For example:

  • =A1+B1 (result: 143)

Or you can combine cell references and numbers.

  • =A1+B1+20 (result: 163)

You can either type the cell reference or click the cell you want to include in the formula. For example, to create a formula that adds A1, B1, and 20, you can type the equal (=) sign, click A1, type a plus (+) sign, click B1, type a plus (+) sign, type 20, and then press Enter to get the result of 163.

Excel highlights the cells used in the formula.

Tip:  When you have columns or rows to sum, there’s an automated way Excel can sum numbers for you, by clicking AutoSum.

More about formulas for simple math

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