Many Ways to Sum a Column in Excel


Key to Instructions
To help readers follow the instructions in this article, we use two different typefaces.
Boldface type identifies the names of icons, agendas, URLs and application commands.
Sans serif type indicates instructions and commands that users should type and file names.

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:

=sum(B5:B12)

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).

 

SPONSORED REPORT

How to make the most of a negotiation

Negotiators are made, not born. In this sponsored report, we cover strategies and tactics to help you head into 2017 ready to take on business deals, salary discussions and more.

VIDEO

Will the Affordable Care Act be repealed?

The results of the 2016 presidential election are likely to have a big impact on federal tax policy in the coming years. Eddie Adkins, CPA, a partner in the Washington National Tax Office at Grant Thornton, discusses what parts of the ACA might survive the repeal of most of the law.

QUIZ

News quiz: Scam email plagues tax professionals—again

Even as the IRS reported on success in reducing tax return identity theft in the 2016 season, the Service also warned tax professionals about yet another email phishing scam. See how much you know about recent news with this short quiz.