**The SUM function in Excel is the first one you learn. That's because one of the most common things you need to do in Excel is calculate a total. **

**In this post, you'll discover different ways to create a SUM function and different examples you can dissect.**

## 1. Example 1: How to write a basic SUM function in Excel

Consider this simple data:

To calculate the total of these numbers using a SUM function:

1. Type **=SUM(**

2. Select cells **A1:A5** with the mouse (you can type the cell range but then you may get human error)

3. Type the closing bracket and press Enter.

This calculates the total, 100.

## 2. Anatomy of a SUM function

- Every formula starts with '='.
- SUM tells Excel what to do, i.e. add up these numbers.
- The cells or cell ranges inside the brackets tell Excel what to add up.

Here are some examples:

###### =SUM(A1,A2,A3)

###### =SUM(A1:A5, C1:C5)

###### =SUM(A1,C1:C5)

## 3. Example 2: How to generate SUM using AutoSum

The **AutoSUM **button is the beginner's best friend. You'll find it on the **Home **ribbon.

**1.** Select the range of cells you wish to add up, or select the blank total cell.

**2.** Click the AutoSUM button (you can also click the AutoSUM dropdown arrow then choose SUM but that's an extra click!)

**3.** Excel writes the SUM function for you. Press **Enter **to lock it in.

## 4. Example 3: How to SUM up summed data in Excel

If you already have data that has been summed, you can add up these values too. In the example below, every 3 months the quarterly column has been created to total the data. Columns D and H contain SUM functions for each row.

To total up all the quarterly data, the SUM function refers to the cell ranges D2:D6 and H2:H6.

## 5. What next?

I hope you found plenty of value in this post. I'd love to hear your biggest takeaway in the comments below together with any questions you may have.

Have a fantastic day.

About the author

Jason Morrell

Jason loves to simplify the hard stuff, cut the fluff and share what actually works. Things that make a difference. Things that slash hours from your daily work tasks. He runs a software training business in Queensland, Australia, lives on the Gold Coast with his wife and 4 kids and often talks about himself in the third person!

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