How to Calculate the Sum of Cells in Excel

Excel logo on gray background

Microsoft Excel may be known for its complex calculations and formulas, but it’s no slouch when it comes to simple arithmetic. There are many ways to find solutions to simple math problems, such as finding the sum of the numbers in multiple cells.

Finding the sum of numbers in adjacent columns or cells

The fastest way to calculate sum of squares in Excel is to just highlight the list of numbers and check the lower right corner of the screen. Here you will find the sum of all selected cells along with their average and the number of cells you add.

sum at the bottom of excel

But we’ll assume you want to add the sum to the workbook itself. In this case, highlight the digits you want to add.

highlight cells

In the “Formulas” tab, click “AutoSum” to find the sum of the list of numbers. Once you click, Excel will automatically add the sum to the bottom of this list.

autosum formulas

You can also type the formula = SUM (D1: D7) in the formula bar and then press “Enter” on the keyboard or click the check mark in the formula bar to run the formula. Edit the letters and numbers in parentheses to fit your workbook.

sum formula

Finding the sum of numbers in nonadjacent columns or cells

Click any empty cell in the workbook. This should be the cell in which you want to display the sum of these non-adjacent columns.

empty cell

In the “Formulas” tab, click the arrow icon to the right of “AutoSum”.

autosum formulas

Choose “Sum”.

autosum and sum

Click on the first number in the series.

first cell of the column

Hold the “Shift” button, then click on the last number in that column to select all intermediate numbers.

shift and click to select

To add the second column of numbers, hold down the Ctrl key and scroll down from the first to the last number in the column. You can also add the formula = SUM (D1: D7, F1: F7) to the formula bar. Swap the cells in parentheses according to your needs.

ctrl and click to select

Press the “Enter” button on the keyboard, or the check mark in the formula bar to run the formula.

2-column sum formula

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