MS Excel provides a most useful function called SUM for summation purposes. Formula with this function automatically updates with the addition or deletion of a value. It also combines the changes made to a current cell range. This article will share the complete idea of how the **SUM **function works in Excel autonomously and then with other Excel functions.

**Table of Contents**hide

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**SUM Function in Excel (Quick View)**

**Excel SUM Function: Syntax & Arguments**

**Summary**

Adds all the numbers in each range of cells.

**Syntax**

=SUM (**number1**, [number2], [number3], â€¦)

**Arguments**

Argument |
Required or Optional |
Value |
---|---|---|

number1 |
Required | Pass the first value to sum. |

[number2] | Optional | Pass the second value to sum. |

[number3] | Optional | Pass the third value to sum. |

**Note:**

- If arguments include errors,
**SUM**will throw an error. **SUM**automatically ignores empty cells and cells with text values.- This function can manipulate up to 255 total arguments.
- Arguments can be supplied as constants, ranges, named ranges, or cell references.

**How to Use the SUM Function in Excel (6 Examples)**

**Example 1: Calculate Total Using Sum Range**

Letâ€™s have a dataset of some foods with their name, quantity, unit price, net price. Now we will calculate the total price of the foods using the **SUM **function.

**Step 1:** Enter the formula in cell **E14 **and press **Enter**

`=SUM(E4:E12)`

**Formula Explanation**

- Here
**E4:E12**this is the range where all our prices are stored, and the sum will be executed on this.

**Example 2: Calculate Sum of Entire Column Using SUM Function**

Instead of using a specific range, we can use a whole column for adding. If we use a column as an argument the SUM function will calculate the sum of all the elements stored in that column.

Letâ€™s do the using the previous dataset.

**Step 1:** Enter the formula in cell **E14 **and press **Enter**

`=SUM(E: E)`

**Formula Explanation**

**E: E**means the whole column range of the**E**column.

**Example 3: Calculate Sum of the Non-Contiguous Cells**

Now lets we want to get a sum of some selected foods. For this, we can the cell references of that cells in the SUM functionâ€™s argument.

Our task is to find out the total price of the marked foods price.

**Step 1:** Enter the formula in cell **E14** and press **Enter**

`=SUM(E4,E7,E9,E11)`

**Formula Explanation**

- Here
**E4**contains the price for**Burger**,**E7**contains the price for**Sausage**,**E9**contains the price for the Fries,**E11**contains the price for**Candy**.

**Example 4: Calculate Sum using AutoSum**

Excel provides an option named AutoSum to make our calculation easier. Now here we will use AutoSum to calculate the total sum for the previous dataset.

**Step 1: **Go to the cell where you want to print the result

**Step 2:** Now select the **AutoSum** option from the **Editing** section which is under the **Home** tab

**Step 3: **Now press **Enter**

**Example 5: Calculate Sum of Every Nth Row**

Using the **SUM **function in the formula we can calculate the sum of every Nth row in a dataset. N could be 1,2,3,4â€¦â€¦ Now we will calculate the price sum of every third row of the previous dataset.

**Step 1:** Enter the formula in cell **E14 **and press **CTRL + SHIFT + ENTER**

`=SUM(E4:E12*(MOD(ROW(E4:E12),3)=0))`

**Formula Explanation**

- This is an array formula thatâ€™s why you need to press
**CTRL + SHIFT + ENTER** **(MOD(ROW(E4:E12),3)=0)**this will find the rows which are divisible by 3 like 3,6,9 etc.- Lastly, the
**SUM**function will count the total summation of the selected rows. - To explore more about the
**ROW**function you can visit this link:

How to Use ROW Function in Excel (With 8 Examples)

**Example 6: Calculate Sum of Three Largest Numbers**

Letâ€™s say we want to find out the sum of the three top prizes from the dataset. Here we will do that using the **SUM **function.

**Step 1:** Enter the formula and press **CTRL + SHIFT + ENTER**

`=SUM(LARGE(E4:E12,{1,2,3}))`

**Formula Explanation**

**LARGE(E4:E12,{1,2,3})**here LARGE function is used to find out the large values from the**E4:E12**range, and**{1,2,3}**is defining the first 3 values from the selected data. Like $500.00, $300.00, $242.00 etc.- Finally, the
**SUM**function calculates the sum of the selected three values. - If you are interested to explore more about the LARGE function you can check this link:

LARGE Function in Excel

**The Limitations of the SUM Function**

- The cell range provided should meet the dimensions of the source.
- The cell including the output must always be formatted as a number

**Things to Remember**

Common Errors |
When they show |
---|---|

#NAME | This error will show if the argument is not properly passed. |

#VALUE! | This will appear if there is any #VALUE! Error containing cells in the passing range. |

#REF! | This error will happen if a SUM formula is used between different workbooks and closed the source workbook. |

**Conclusion**

This is all about the **SUM **function and its different applications. Overall, in terms of working with time, we need this function for various purposes. I have shown multiple methods with their respective examples but there can be many other iterations depending on numerous situations. If you have any other method of utilizing this function, then please feel free to share it with us.

## Further Readings

- How to use RAND function in Excel (5 Examples)
- How to Use SUMPRODUCT Function in Excel (4 Examples)
- How to Use SUMIF Function in Excel (With 5 Easy Examples)
- How to Use SUMIFS Function in Excel (6 Handy Examples)
- How to Use MOD Function in Excel (9 Suitable Examples)
- How to Use ROUND Function in Excel (With 9 Examples)
- How to Use RANDBETWEEN Function in Excel (4 Examples)
- Solving equations in Excel (polynomial, cubic, quadratic, & linear)
- Exponential Notation E in Excel & How to Turn Off Auto Scientific Notation!
- SUMPRODUCT() function in Excel