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How To Sum a Column in Google Sheets [5 Formulas]

Want to learn how to sum a column in Google Sheets? The easiest way to sum a column in Google Sheets is to use the SUM function.

To do this, you type =SUM() and put the column inside the brackets. For example, if I wanted to get the total of the entire column A, I would type =SUM(A:A). If I wanted to sum a range within a column, it would look more like =SUM(A1:A12).

Confused? Don’t worry; my step-by-step article will show you exactly how to do it. So, follow along, see the screenshots with examples, and within five minutes, you’ll use the SUM function to manage your datasets! Let’s get started.

How To Sum a Column in Google Sheets: A Quick Explanation

Adding some cells or a column is among the most common things users do in Google Sheets. You can use multiple functions to add up a column in Google Sheets, including the SUBTOTAL and SUM functions.

Here’s how to make Google Sheets add up a column.

  1. Type the equals sign (=) into the cell you want to return the total
  2. Type SUM. There will be several formula suggestions. Choose the SUM formula from the suggestions
  3. Select the range you want to add up and press “Enter

For example, here is an example of the SUM formula for a column in Google Sheets:

=SUM(A1:A11)

The screenshot below only shows the sums of the cell numbers from A2 to A11. It will not update with this formula if you want to add information beyond those cells.

How to sum a column in Google Sheets example

For this reason, the best way to sum up a column in Google Sheets is to use a formula encompassing the whole column. Here’s what that looks like:

=SUM(A:A)
How to sum an entire column in Google Sheets

In the example above, I can add additional information later. For instance, I can add numbers beyond cell A11 without updating the SUM function column when I do. It automatically incorporates those new numbers because the syntax accepts all numbers within my chosen column.

What Does the SUM Function Do?

In my article on how to add in Google Sheets, this process relies on the SUM function. If you haven’t read the article, here is a simple recap.

When you use the SUM function in Google Sheets, it returns the sum of all the numbers in the column into the cell. Google Sheets will predict the SUM formula for you as a suggestion. These guesses are often correct, but it is always worthwhile for you to double-check the data to ensure there are no mistakes.

How To Sum a Column in Google Sheets Syntax

One of my favorite ways to review a function in Google Sheets is to examine its variables. For example, here is the syntax for the SUM formula in Google Sheets:

=SUM(value, [value2], ...)

The SUM function is pretty simple, especially when you break down the components:

  • =SUM: This indicates the function name. It informs Google Sheets about the type of calculation to make.
  • Value: This represents the necessary argument for the function to work (I’ll walk you through some examples below to give you a better understanding)
  • A comma: This is an essential component and must be included between each value to signify a new value.
  • [value2]: This is optional. It is only used when adding another argument to the SUM formula.

How To Sum a Column in Google Sheets: Quick Examples 

As promised, here is a quick guide on how to sum a column in Google Sheets using the SUM function.

  1. The first example shows you how to get Google Sheets to add up a column in its entirety. This is a popular option because it allows users to complete calculations quickly, saving time and effort to gain important information:
=SUM(A:A)
  1. If you want to SUM a single range of cells to organize the range argument, you can use the following formula to get the total of a column in Google Sheets:
=SUM(A1:A13)
  1. To SUM multiple ranges of data to add the values and organize your data better, you can use the following formula:
=SUM(A1:A13, B1:B13)
  1. To improve your efficiency in Google Sheets, you can also add numbers using single values:
=SUM(A1, B1, C5, C15)
  1. You can combine single-cell values and ranges to merge your data. Here’s how to add up columns in Google Sheets from multiple ranges.
=SUM(A1:A13, B1:B13, C5, C15)

These five formulas represent the most common ways to use the SUM function in Google Sheets. If you can master all of them, you will see a considerable improvement in your efficiency and organization.

Now, let’s break down the SUM function by column in more detail. But before we do, don’t miss this 2-minute video on how to sum a column in Google Sheets! By the end of the short video, you’ll feel more confident with using the SUM function and more!

A Step-by-Step Guide: How To Sum a Column on Google Sheets

Now, it’s time to discuss how to sum a column in Google Sheets using the SUM function.

Follow the step-by-step guide with screenshots on how to sum a column in Google Sheets. I have also included an animated GIF to show the process better.

Google Sheets sum of column—Example spreadsheet

Step 1: Select an empty cell to perform the calculation in
Step 2: Type =SUM( into the cell
Step 3: Click and drag the cells that you want to sum or type the range manually
Step 4: Press “Enter

Spreadsheet fundamentals screenshot

Sum an Entire Column Using the SUM Function

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

For example, suppose you have the data below and want to add the values to the entire column. In that case, you want to ensure that if any new value is added to the column, it’s also added to the total value.

Column with values to Sum

Below is the formula for how to add the numbers in a column in Google Sheets:

=SUM(A:A)

Follow the steps below to understand the process better.

Step 1: Go to a cell in a different column and type in the =SUM formula

SUM values

Step 2: Click on the letter name for the column to select the entire column

Selecting the Sum formula for an entire column

Step 3: Click “Enter

Sum an entire column

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

Another point worth mentioning is that any text value in the column is automatically ignored. Therefore, you will always see a numerical value.

Note: For this to work, you must enter the formula in a cell, not in the same column. Keeping it in the same column will give a reference error, as there would be a circular reference issue.

How To Sum a Column in Google Sheets Using the Status Bar

You can also find the sum of a column without using a formula. All you need is the status bar, which adds the numbers in a range to display the cell value in which you have built your formula.

To find the sum of a column using the status bar, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Select the data range

Select the range

Step 2: Go to the status bar at the bottom right corner of the screen and click on it.

Status bar displaying the sum in the quick results

Step 3: You’ll find the options Sum, Average, Min, Max, and Count. Select “Sum.”

Select sum

This will show you the sum of the data in the column. However, it won’t return the results to any cell in your spreadsheet.

How To SUM Rows In Google Sheets

You can use the above method for rows too. You 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 the same as columns with cell references. And it works the same if you want to SUM the entire row, too. To do this, you must ensure 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

An alternative shortcut is to use the functions button instead of typing the SUM function. This can improve your navigation and efficiency because it eliminates the need for manual input.

Follow these steps to learn how:

Use function button instead of SUM
  1. Select the empty cell to perform the calculation
  2. Click the “Functions shortcut
  3. Click “SUM
  4. Click and drag over the range
  5. Press “Enter

How To Sum a Column in Google Sheets with Text

If you’re considering combining two pieces of text into one value using the addition operator or the ADD function, expect Google Sheets to display the wrong formula. This is because it doesn’t work like Python, a coding language that allows you to add two strings with a plus sign (+).

Instead, you may want to check out the CONCAT and CONCATENATE functions when combining texts in a spreadsheet. To learn more about these functions, read our tutorial on How to Append Text to Each Cell in a Column in Google Sheets to learn more about adding strings.

How To Sum a Column in Google Sheets on a Mobile Device

You can also perform most of the functions in the Google Sheets mobile app, including the Google Sheet sum of a column function.

Here’s how to get a sum of a column in the Google Sheets mobile app:

  1. Tap the cell where you want the results
  2. Tap “Enter” text or formula to display the keyboard
How to sum a column on a mobile device
  1. Type the SUM formula into the text box
How to sum a column on a mobile device
  1. Select the cells in the column you want to add up
Using the sum function on a mobile device
  1. Once you’re done, tap the checkmark.

The formula will return the sum of the column selected in the cell.

How To Add Cells Together in Google Sheets

If you need to add cells together, you can also try inputting the two numbers you want to add into separate cells. Then, you can use the addition equation to give you the correct sum.

Follow the steps below to learn how to do it:

  1. In the first cell, put your first addend
  2. Then, select another cell and place the second addend
  3. Next, click another cell and input the following syntax:
=B2+C2
Adding two cells using plus sign
  1. After that, press “Enter” or “Return” to see your results

Your sum would automatically change as you modify the addends entered on your cells. This way, you create a fool-proof formula while using an automatic calculator.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I SUM a Column in Google Sheets?

Here’s how to find the sum of a column 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 must 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)

Remember that the cell in which you calculate can’t be part of the column.

How Do I SUM a Row in Google Sheets?

Summing a row works 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 the cells in the row you want to sum up, 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?

Google Sheets can add column values to the SUM formulas as often as you’d like. You have to separate them with a comma.

For example, let’s pretend you want to SUM the values for the A and B columns and rows 3-5 in column C. Your formula would look like this:

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

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

The SUM function is one of the most straightforward formulas to use in Google Sheets once you get the hang of it. And, when you’ve had enough Google Spreadsheet sum of column practice, you’ll feel more comfortable tackling complicated formulas.

Now you know how to sum a column in Google Sheets. But there’s still plenty more to learn about spreadsheets. Check out some guides below, or consider taking a spreadsheet course to increase your knowledge.

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6 thoughts on “How To Sum a Column in Google Sheets [5 Formulas]”

  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
  2. For sum reason this formula does not seem to work for me. Even though I have all values greater than 0, it sums them up to 0.

    Reply

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