How to Sum a Column in Excel: 5 Easy Ways

One of the main reasons people use Excel is to sum values in a column. For instance, you may have a list of sales or prices of products you want to sum in a column. In this post, I will show you 5 simple and easy ways on how to sum a column in Excel.

Sales data in an Excel worksheet which shows Sales people in column A, the Area in column B and the Sales in column C
List of Sales people with their sales

I will use the data in the screenshot above which shows a list of Sales people with their sales in column C for all the examples of how to sum a column in Excel. The overall goal is to sum the total sales in column C.

1. How to Sum a Column in Excel using Addition

An Excel formula that shows how to sum a column in Excel using the plus sign
You can sum a column using the + sign

You can sum a column in Excel using the plus sign (+). First, you need to select the cell where you want the answer to be. In this example, I want the total sales to be in cell C11. Next enter an equals sign (=) and then select the first cell you want to add, then enter a plus sign (+) and then select the next cell you want to add and so on. In the above example, I selected cell C2 first, then the plus sign (+) and then cell C3 and then the plus sign (+) and so on until I selected cell C9. Notice how the cells in the formula have been highlighted in different colours as I typed the formula.

Sales data in an Excel worksheets which shows the result of a sum of a column using the plus sign
Once the Enter button is pressed on your keyboard, Excel will show the result of the formula

Once you press the Enter button on your keyboard Excel will store the total in the cell. The result will be displayed in the cell as shown in the screenshot above.

2. How to Sum a Column in Excel using the SUM Function

An Excel formula that shows how to sum a column in Excel using the Excel SUM function
Using the Excel SUM function to sum a column in Excel

An easier and quicker way to sum a column in Excel is to use the Excel SUM function. In the above example, I entered the formula =SUM( in cell C11 and then I selected the range of cells I want to add. In this case, I selected the sales in the range C2:C9.

Sales data in an Excel worksheets which shows the result of a sum of a column using the Excel SUM function
The Excel SUM function displaying the result of the formula

Once you press the Enter button on your keyboard, Excel will display the result of the SUM function.

3. The AutoSum Function

Excel ribbon where the Formulas tab and the AutoSum command button is highlighted
You can use the AutoSum function to quickly sum a column

You can go one step further from the previous example of using the SUM function. There is a great tool called the AutoSum which will allow you to sum a column in one click. This tool will automatically enter the SUM function for you. The AutoSum command button is located in the Formulas tab under the Function Library group.

An Excel formula that shows how to sum a column in Excel using the Excel AutoSum function
Using the AutoSum function to sum a column in Excel

To use the AutoSum function simply select the cell below the last cell in the column in which you want to sum. In the above example, I selected cell C11. Next, click the Formulas tab and under the Function Library group press the AutoSum command button. Excel will automatically enter the SUM formula and select the range directly above the formula for you.

Sales data in an Excel worksheets which shows the result of a sum of a column using the Excel AutoSum function
Once the Enter button is pressed on your keyboard, Excel will display the result

Press the Enter button on your keyboard and Excel will display the result.

4. The AutoSum Keyboard Shortcut

An Excel formula that shows how to sum a column in Excel using the Excel AutoSum keyboard shortcut
Using the AutoSum keyboard shortcut to sum a column in Excel

Using the AutoSum tool to sum a column in Excel is quick, but you can do this even quicker by using the AutoSum keyboard shortcut.

The keyboard shortcut is ALT + =

In the above example, I selected the cell where I want the total to be displayed in cell C11 and then I pressed and held the ALT key on my keyboard. While the ALT key was still pressed, I pressed the equal sign (=) on my keyboard. Once Excel displays the SUM formula as shown in the screenshot above, press the Enter button to display the total.

5. How to Sum a Column in Excel using the Status Bar

Excel has a status bar which contains some useful information such as the average, count and sum of the selected cells in the worksheet. This status bar is located on the bottom right of Excel.

An Excel formula that shows how to sum a column in Excel using the Excel status bar
To use the status bar to sum a column you need to select the column

To use the status bar to sum values in a column, simply select the column. In the above example, I want to sum the sales so I select the range C2:C9.

Excel status bar which shows the result of a sum of a column using the Excel status bar
The status bar is showing the sum of the selected column

In the screenshot above, the status bar is displaying the sum. This is a very quick method of how to add up a column in excel. A great feature about using the status bar to get the sum of the column is that it ignores the cells that have text and only considers the numbers.

Learn More about Excel Formulas and Functions

If you want to learn more about how to write awesome formulas you can purchase my Excel books in the Excel Formulas and Functions series. These Excel books are available to buy on Amazon now in paperback and Kindle version. If you prefer eBooks you can buy them in eBook format from the shop.

The books in this series will show you how to write lookup, text, count, sum and logical formulas using the most popular Excel functions such as VLOOKUP, HLOOKUP, INDEX, MATCH, XLOOKUP, LEFT, RIGHT, MID, SUMIFS, COUNTIFS, IF, AND, OR and many others. Once you have mastered how to write formulas, you can learn how to write more advanced Excel formulas such as array formulas to really automate your worksheets.

Excel Formulas and Functions book series written by Harjit Suman
Excel Formulas and Functions Book Series

Below are some reviews of the books in the Excel Formulas and Functions series.

Amazon review of the Excel Formulas and Functions book series written by Harjit Suman
Amazon review of the Excel Formulas and Functions book series written by Harjit Suman
Amazon review of the Excel Formulas and Functions book series written by Harjit Suman
Amazon review of the Excel Formulas and Functions book series written by Harjit Suman
Amazon review of the Excel Formulas and Functions book series written by Harjit Suman

For more information about the books in the Excel Formulas and Functions series or if you would like to purchase them from Amazon, then please click either of the buttons below.

I hope you enjoyed this post on how to sum a column in excel. If you have any feedback or comments then please leave a message in the comments section below. You may have other methods of how to add up a column in excel. If you do then please let me know in the comments section below.

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