Many Ways to Sum a Column in Excel

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Q. One of my colleagues told me there are a hundred ways to add numbers in Excel. Is that true?

A. There are quite a few ways, but a hundred may be an exaggeration. Here are my favorites—one using keystrokes and the other using the mouse:

Keystrokes: If you want to get the sum of cells B5 to B12, you could use the slow way by writing out the full formula:


Or you could evoke the shortcut and click on B13, hold down the Alt key, type in = and then press Enter.

Mouse: Place your cursor on B13 (one cell below the column you are adding) and click on the AutoSum icon: , producing this screen (notice the shortcut actually generates the same full formula):

Then press Enter.

While you’re at the AutoSum icon, click on the adjacent arrow and take note of the other quick functions you can perform (see screenshot below left). It’s a very handy button.

And you’ll find even more helpful functions if you click on More Functions (see result in screenshot at right).



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