An Easy 4 Step Google Sheets SUM of Column Guide

Last updated June 22, 2022

Adding some cells or a column is some of the most common things users do in Google Sheets.

If you have a column full of numbers, you can easily calculate the sum of the entire column (or a specific range in the column).

Follow along with this Google Sheets sum of column guide to master this function.

Google Sheets SUM Formula Syntax

The syntax for the SUM formula in Google Sheets goes as follows:

=SUM(value, [value2], ...)
  • =SUM is the function name to let sheets know the type of calculation to make
  • value is the only necessary argument for the function to work (we’ll go through some examples)
  • A comma must be between each value to signify there is a new value
  • [value2] is another argument you’d like the sum formula to consider

Quick Examples of SUM Formulas

To SUM a single range of cells you could use a formula such as this:

=SUM(A1:A13)

To SUM multiple ranges, here’s an example of how to add up a column in Google Sheets with another range:

=SUM(A1:A13, B1:B13)

To SUM single values, you can put individual cells as the value arguments, like so:

=SUM(A1, B1, C5, C15)

You could also use a combination of single-cell values and ranges, here’s how to add up numbers in Google Sheets from multiple ranges.

=SUM(A1:A13, B1:B13, C5, C15)

A Step by Step Guide on How to Do SUM on Google Sheets

How to SUM a column in Google Sheets

Step 1: Select an empty cell to perform the calculation in

Step 2: Type =SUM( into the cell

Step 3: Click and drag over the cells you wish to sum, or type the range manually

Step 4: Press Enter

How to Sum a Column in Google Sheets With the Sum Function

Suppose you have the dataset as shown below and you want to get the sum of all the values in the column.

Column with values to Sum

Below is the Google Sheets sum column formula that will give you the sum of all the values:

=SUM(A2:A10)

SUM formula to add a range of cells

Enter this formula in cell A15 (or whichever cell where you want the sum of the column) and hit the enter key.

Google Sheets try to guess the range for you which you want to calculate the sum. When you enter the text =sum and then hit the tab key, Google Sheets will automatically select the range of cells that have the numbers.

Since this is a dynamic result, in case you change anything in any of the cells, the formula would automatically update.

While this works great, what if your data expands and you get new values that you need to be a part of the sum. While you can adjust the formula, there is a better way to make the formula dynamic.

Instead of just using the range that has the values, you include more cells that might get some additional data in the future.

In our SUM Google Sheets example, I can use the below formula instead:

=SUM(A2:A14)

SUM function with extended range

Although cell A11 to A14 are empty as of now, these are still used in the formula. In case a value is added to these cells, the formula would automatically update to reflect these new values in the total sum.

spreadsheet fundamentals

Sum an Entire Column Using the SUM Function

Another thing you can do when calculating the sum of all the values in a column is to include the entire column as a part of the formula.

For example, suppose you have the data as shown below and you want to add all the values in the entire column. At the same time, you want to make sure that in case any new value is added anywhere in the column, it’s also added to the total value.

Column with values to Sum

Below is the adding columns in Google Sheets formula that will do this:

=SUM(A:A)

Sum an entire column

The above formula takes A:A as the input range, which represents the entire column.

Also, don’t worry about having any text value in the column, as text values are automatically ignored.

Note: For this to work, you need to enter the formula in a cell that is not in the same column. If you keep it in the same column, it would give a reference error as there would be a circular reference issue.

Remember that the SUM formula only adds those cells that have a numeric value. If there is any text, or of the number that has been formatted as text, it would be ignored.

So this is how you can use the SUM formula to get the total of a column in Google Sheets

I hope you found this tutorial useful!

How to SUM a Row In Google Sheets

You can use the above method for rows too. You just have to use the cell references for the row instead of the column, like so:

Summing a row with cell references

As you can see it works exactly the same as columns with cell references. It works the same if you want to SUM the entire row too. You must make sure the cell performing the calculation is not in the same cell to avoid a #REF! error.

Sum an entire row

Using the Function Button Instead of Typing Formulas

You can use the functions button instead of typing the SUM function. Here’s how:

how to use the function shortcuts to SUM a column

  1. Select the empty cell to perform the calculation in
  2. Click the Functions shortcut
  3. Click SUM
  4. Click and drag over the range
  5. Press Enter

How to Use the SUM Function in Google Sheets Mobile

You can use the SUM function in exactly the same way as you do on the desktop version. Here’s how to total a column in Google Sheets Mobile:

  1. Select an empty cell
  2. Type =SUM(
  3. Enter the range(s) or cells to sum or press, hold, and drag over a range
  4. Type a closing bracket )
  5. Tap away onto another cell

Google Sheets SUM of Column FAQ

How Do I SUM a Column in Google Sheets?

Here’s how to sum cells in Google Sheets:

  1. Select an empty cell
  2. Type =SUM( into the cell
  3. Click and drag over the cells you wish to sum, or type the range manually
  4. Press Enter

How Do You SUM an Entire Column?

To sum an entire column you just have to use the column name as the value argument for the SUM function. For example, to sum the column C you could use this formula:

=SUM(C:C)

Keep in mind that the cell you perform the calculation in can’t be part of the column

How Do I SUM a Row in Google Sheets?

Summing a row works exactly the same as columns, here’s how to sum in Google Sheets using rows as an example:

  1. Select an empty cell
  2. Type =SUM( into the cell
  3. Click and drag over the cells in the row you wish to sum, or type the range manually
  4. Press Enter

The final formula could look something like this:

=SUM(A1:F1)

How Do You SUM Multiple Columns in Google Sheets?

You can add as many columns or ranges as arguments to the SUM formulas as values as you’d like. You just have to separate them with a comma. Let’s pretend you want to SUM the values of the entire A and B columns and rows 3-5 in column C, you formula would look like this:

=SUM(A:A,B:B,C3:C5)

Final Thoughts on How to Add up a Column in Google Sheets

The SUM function is one of the simplest formulas to use in Google Sheets once you get the hang of it. And, when you’ve had enough Google Sheets sum of column practice, you’ll feel more comfortable tackling difficult formulas. There’s still plenty more to learn about spreadsheets. Check out some of the below guides to increase your knowledge.

Other Google Sheets tutorials you may like:

Sumit

Sumit

Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel Expert.

1 thought on “An Easy 4 Step Google Sheets SUM of Column Guide”

  1. Hey, so I added a net worth column to mine. Simply copy over a column then clear it and type “=SUM(D12:I12)”. I think it’s a neat idea maybe you could edit your chart.

    Reply

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