Beginner Statistics

Function SUM

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Presentation of the SUM function

SUM is the most common formula used in Excel and also the simplest to use. We will see in this page, different methods to perform a SUM of your data.

Don't select many cells

When you work with Excel for the very first time, many people start to create their first formula by selecting many cells

=A1+A2+A3+A4+ ...

The calculation will be correct for sure but what a waste of time, especially if you have hundreds of cells to add 😤😱😡 If you have to calculate the sum of many cells in a quick way, it's much better to use the function SUM.

How to work with SUM in Excel?

Write the formula in the cell

To perform a SUM function in Excel

  • You simply start with the = sign in your cell
  • Then, you enter the word SUM
  • Then you open a parenthesis.


  • Select all the cells that you want to include in your sum


  • Don't forget to close the parenthesis


Demo to see the fonction SUM in action

Using the icon bar

Instead of writing the formula directly in the cell, you can use the symbol Sigma in the ribbon (tab Home)

Sigma symbol (or Sum symbol) in the ribbon

The method is simple. You can either

  • Select the cell to add and then click on the icon
  • Or, select the cells under your range of cells you want to add and then press
How to do a sum with the Sum symbol in the ribbon


You can also insert the function SUM with the shortcut Alt+=

Alt + =Insert the function SUM in your active cell

Dynamic sum

You can create a dynamic sum by using the INDEX function. This is more for advanced Excel users

Dynamic SUM in Exce

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Colette N Martin 17/09/2019 at 06:03

Loke the easy to follow instructions

Frédéric LE GUEN 26/11/2019 at 15:25
Sarah 19/11/2018 at 12:35

Very easy to understand, thank you.

Mithu Roy 26/06/2018 at 09:39

Thank you sir for your nice & easy Free Excel Exercise online. It's important.


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