Summing/Totaling numbers or cells is one of the most basic and essential calculations you would do in a spreadsheet. For example, summing a total number of items in inventory, summing the total cost of a shopping list, summing the student score of different tests, etc. The use of totaling or summing a column of values in spreadsheets like Google sheets is limitless.
In Google Sheets, you can sum numbers, cells, ranges, columns, or rows. Let’s see how to sum a column using the SUM function in Google Sheets.
How to Sum a Column in Google Sheets using the SUM function
The SUM function is an in-built function in Google Sheets that adds the supplied values and returns the sum of those values. It adds the values you supply to the arguments of the function, they can numbers, cell references, ranges, or a combination of all three.
There are two ways to insert the SUM function: choosing it from the Function menu or typing it manually.
The syntax of SUM function:
=SUM(value1, [value2, …])
The arguments of the SUM function are self-explanatory. The values can be numeric values, cell references, or ranges.
How to Write a SUM Function in Google Sheets
First, enter the data in columns into your spreadsheet. Select, the cell where you want to insert the formula. This is where you’ll get your sum result. Then, type the equal ‘=’ sign. An equal must always precede a formula or function. This lets the Google sheet know that you’re about to enter a formula.
=SUM( to begin the formula. Then, enter the cell range (column) you want to sum up or select the cells you want to sum. To do this, select the first cell of the column and drag the cursor down until all cells are selected. Finally, close the parenthesis and press
You will get the sum value of the column in the formula cell (A14). If your range has any text values, it would be automatically ignored.
The functions produce dynamic results. That means when you change values in any of the cells, the result would be automatically updated.
You can also add multiple adjacent and non-adjacent columns. To select non-adjacent columns, press and hold the
Ctrl key then select the range.
Or write multiple range inside the parentheses separated by comma (,).
You can use these same methods to sum row/rows in a Google Sheet. When you are adding a row, you just have to enter a row of values in the formula instead of a column.
How to Sum an Entire Column using the SUM Function
If you have hundreds of cells to add, you don’t need to waste time dragging the cursor down over hundreds of cells, you can just include the entire column in the formula.
For instance, if you want include the entire column C, enter the following formula.
Make sure not to enter the formula in the same column you want to sum. Here, ‘C:C’ represents the entire C column.
How to Sum a Column in Google Sheets using the Function Menu
Another way you can insert the SUM function is by using the Function menu in the taskbar and menu bar. Here’s how you do this.
First, select the cell where you want the result, then go to the Taskbar and click the ‘∑’ (the Greek letter sigma) symbol at the top-right corner of the sheet. Then, in the list of functions select the ‘SUM’ function.
The SUM() function will be inserted in the selected cell.
Now, all you have to do is select the range/column you want to add and press
The total of the column will be displayed in the cell.
You can also add the SUM function from the menu bar of the google sheets. To do that, select the cell where you want to enter the formula and navigate to the menu bar at the top. Click ‘Insert’ on the menu bar, select the ‘∑ Function’ in the drop-down, and choose the ‘SUM’ function.
The function is inserted in the spreadsheet. Now, select or enter the column to add.
Now, you know how to sum a column/columns in Google Sheets.