If you’re handling a spreadsheet with tons of data, it can be quite useful to add up columns to get a total. Whether it’s tracking expenses, managing inventory, or any other quantifiable data, adding up columns in Google Sheets is a breeze, requiring just a few simple steps.
Method 1: Use the SUM Function
The SUM function is the most straightforward way to add up columns in Google Sheets. All you need to do is type
=SUM( followed by the range of cells you want to add up. For example, if you want to add up cells in columns A through C, simply type
Once you’ve entered the function, hit enter, and the sum of the cells will appear in the cell where you typed the function. You can then copy and paste this cell wherever you need it.
Method 2: Use AutoSum
If you prefer not to use the SUM function or find it a bit confusing, you can rely on AutoSum to do the work for you. AutoSum is a nifty feature in Google Sheets that automatically adds up columns. To use it, click on the cell where you want the sum to appear, then click on the “AutoSum” icon in the toolbar above the spreadsheet. The icon resembles a capital letter “E” with a plus sign next to it.
Once you click on the AutoSum icon, a drop-down menu will appear. From there, select the “Columns” option. This instructs AutoSum to add up all the cells in the column above the selected cell. Press enter, and voila! The sum will be displayed in the cell.
Method 3: Use the = operator
If you’re comfortable with the = operator, you can also use this method to add up columns. Simply type = in the cell where you want the sum to appear, then click on the first cell in the column you want to add up. Type +, and then click on the second cell. Repeat this process until you’ve selected all the cells you want to add up.
Once you’ve made your selections, press enter, and the sum will be displayed in the cell where you typed the = operator. Copy and paste this cell wherever you need it.
- To add up multiple columns, select the desired cells and click on the “AutoSum” icon. From the drop-down menu, choose the “Columns” option to add up all the selected columns.
- To add up multiple rows, select the cells you want to add up and click on the “AutoSum” icon. From the drop-down menu, select the “Rows” option to add up all the selected rows.
- If you want to add up a range of cells that isn’t in a column or row, you can use the SUM function. Just type
=SUM(followed by the range of cells you want to add up. For instance, if you want to add up cells A1 through C3, type
Exercise caution when using the = operator to add up columns. Accidentally selecting a cell outside the intended column will yield an incorrect sum.
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