How to Use DSUM Function with Dynamic Criteria in Excel

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Excel’s DSUM function is used to extract and sum a set of data from a database. It computes the sum of a set of data that meets certain criteria. In this article, we will discuss how to use the DSUM function with dynamic criteria in Excel.

The attached GIF given below is an overview of the discussion which depicts the output of the DSUM function with dynamic criteria in Excel.

excel dsum dynamic criteria

Download Practice Workbook

You can download and practice the dataset that we have used to prepare this article.

2 Practical Examples to Use DSUM Function with Dynamic Criteria in Excel

Let’s assume we have a dataset, namely “Quantity of Items Sold in January 2023”. You can use any dataset suitable for you.

How to Use DSUM Function with Dynamic Criteria in Excel

Here, we have used the Microsoft Excel 365 version; you may use any other version according to your convenience.

Example 1: Use of DSUM Function with Dynamic Single Criteria

The basic outline of the DSUM function can be written as =DSUM(database, field, criteria). Where the argument criteria may be single or multiple. In our first example, we will talk about dynamic single and its uses.

Step 1: Set Dynamic List using Data Validation Feature

In our first step, we will discuss how to use the Data Validation feature to build a dynamic drop-down list. Using an Excel drop-down list, data is entered into a spreadsheet from a pre-defined list of items. Thus, it enables users to submit data more quickly and precisely than doing it manually.

  • To proceed with this process, select cell B19.
  • Move on to the Data tab of the Menu Bar.

Select a specific cell to create a drop-down list using the data validation feature.

  • Select Data > Data Validation from Excel Ribbon.

Select data validation feature to create a drop down list.

  • Subsequently, a dialog box will appear. Now select the Settings tab then choose List from the drop-down options of Allow.

Select List on data validation feature dialogue box

  • Thus, an additional box will appear named Source in the dialog box.
  • Click on the Upwards arrow.

Select upward arrow to create a dynamic drop-down list.

  • Now type your drop-down list data in this box. For this specific dataset, we input Bar, Cookies, Crackers as only those items exist in a repetitive manner under the Category column.
  • Subsequently, click on the Downwards arrow to close the dialog box.

Input your list of items

  • Press OK afterward.

close the data validation dialogue box

Step 2: Use of DSUM Function on Dynamic List

As our dynamic drop-down list is ready, we will now plug the dynamic drop-down list as criteria into the DSUM function. Follow the process we are going to describe below.

  • Write the following formula in cell D19.

Enter the formula into formula bar

This action will allow us to have the output. However, before going to show you the result, let’s put some paint on the cell to make our criteria more discernible.

  • From the Menu Bar, select Home > Conditional Formatting > Highlights Cells Rules >Text That Contains…

Highlight your database cells.

  • Subsequently, a dialogue box will pop up.
  • Select the B19 cell, then click on Light Red Fill with Dark Red Text. Though you can also select any of the options in with box according to your preference.
  • Press on OK

close the formatting dialog box.

  • Now see the output as given in the attached GIF.

excel dsum dynamic criteria

Read More: Excel DSUM vs SUMIF Functions (2 Suitable Examples)

Similar Readings

Example 2: Use of DSUM Function with Dynamic Multiple Criteria

In our first example, we selected one cell as our argument, which was labeled as single-column dynamic criteria; however, in the second example, we will work on dynamic multiple criteria.

The process will be the same as what we did in the first example. All you have to add an extra drop-down list based on the list of items under the Product header.

Step 1: Create Dynamic List using Data Validation Feature

  • Create another drop-down list by using the Data Validation feature and have the output as given below.

Creating another drop-down list

Step 2: Employ the DSUM Function on Dynamic List

  • Now write the following formula in cell E19.

Enter the excel dsum formula with dynamic criteria

  • After filling the cell with the Conditional Formatting feature, you will have an output as given below.

output of excel dsum function’s with multiple dynamic criteria.

Read More: How to Use DSUM Function with Multiple Criteria in Excel

Things to Remember

  • It is important to select the Header while selecting the range of data as your Database and Criteria. Otherwise, you will not get any output.

Practice Section

We have provided a Practice section on the right side of each sheet, so you can practice yourself. Please make sure to do it yourself.

 Do it yourself


In this article, we have discussed how to use DSUM function with dynamic criteria in Excel. The use of this function may vary with your dataset. So before going through a specific way, ensure the method you choose aligns with your work. Further, If you have any queries, feel free to comment below and we will get back to you soon.

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Mohammad Shah Miran
Mohammad Shah Miran

Miran is a highly motivated individual with a strong educational background in engineering. He is interested in technology and passionate about creating engaging and informative content. After graduation, Miran decided to pursue a career in content development and has been working in the field for some time. He is eager to continue learning and growing as a professional.

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