Excel SUM Function – How to Use (With Example)

Excel SUM function is a very basic and built-in function in Microsoft Office.  Basically, this function sums the values in a cell or range of cells.

Which includes numbers, cell references, ranges, arrays, and always skip text values or blank cells.

Syntax of Excel SUM Function

=SUM (number1, [number2]… Number_n])


=SUM (Range1, [Range2], [Range3], …. [Range_n])

Excel SUM Function Parameters

Number – A Numeric value that you want to sum


Range – ranges of cells that you want to sum.


Excel SUM Function always returns a numeric value.

With the help of the above-given parameters, you will learn, How to use Excel SUM Function with the help of the below-given dataset example.

Adding numbers value in a cell

In this method, we will add each number manually (+) within the SUM bracket and press Enter for the result.

In the second example, I have applied commas (,) after each number and press enter at last.

This function gives us the result by pressing simply Enter.

This image shows the basic use of Excel SUM Function
Excel SUM Function Image_01

But we can use these methods in limited data which are very small datasets.

Because we cannot add a huge number of cell values manually.

So we cannot use these methods to make the sum of a large dataset.

Sum of cells and ranges

Suppose that we have multiple ranges to sum, as you can see in the below-given image example.

Here we have 3 ranges as Range1, Range2, and Range3.

If we use the previous method to add these ranges manually, of course, the result would be the same but it would be a time taking method.

Now, we will use another method which is summing the ranges.

In this method you can sum the whole range with three methods:

  • Dragging each range, separate by commas(,)
  • Dragging the whole dataset in a single range
  • Putting plus sign (+) between the ranges (Array case)

All methods give the same result.

This image shows, how to use Excel SUM Function in Ranges.
Excel SUM Function Image_02

Dragging each range, separated by commas (,)

In this method, we will drag each range separately and put commas (,) after each range complete and after dragging all the ranges, press enters for the result.

Dragging the whole dataset as a single range

Here, we will drag all whole range from start to end in one go, as you can see the image above, from range “A3: C10”, and press enter for the result.

Putting plus sign (+) between the ranges (Array case)

Suppose that if you want to put plus (+) instead of commas (,), then all the ranges will be converted into Array form.

So if this is the situation, press (Ctrl+Shift+Enter) for getting the result.

See below (in array case):-

=SUM (A3:A10+B3:B10+C3:C10) and press “Ctrl+Shift+Enter”.

Pressing simple enter will not give you the correct answer.

Excel SUM Function with AutoSum Method

This is the easiest method to make a sum of cells or range in a single click.

For AutoSum, go to the “Home” tab and then at the very right “Editing group”, See image below:-

This image shows the AutoSum method of Excel SUM Function
Excel SUM Function Image_03

How does this tool work?

So first of all, we will select the range for which we want to make a sum and then press the “AutoSum” button.

This tool will return the sum of the cell values or range in the next cell from the last cell of the dataset.

This image shows How AutoSum works in Excel Ranges.
Excel SUM Function Image_04

If we select a single range, this tool returns sum only for the single range.

But when we select multiple ranges in the dataset, as you can see in the image below, this tool returns the sum of all ranges separately next to the last cell of the dataset.

This tool cannot make the sum of multiple ranges in a single place.

SUM in the status bar

This is one of the easiest methods to find the sum of all the selected cell values or ranges.

Here, as you select the dataset, the status bar quickly shows the sum of the dataset in the status bar.

In this method, you can select more than one cell, a range, or multiple ranges for quickly finding its sum, average, or count.

See in the below image:-

Excel SUM Function
Excel SUM Function Image_05

Furthermore, details for the Excel SUM Function are provided on the Microsoft Office website.

I hope you find this tutorial helpful.

Please feel free to put your comments in the below-given box.


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