MS Excel provides a most useful function namely **the SUM function** 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.

## Overview of Excel SUM Function

**Summary**

Adds all the numbers in each range of cells.

**Syntax**

`=SUM (number1, [number2], [number3], ...)`

**Arguments**

ARGUMENT |
REQUIREMENT |
EXPLANATION |
---|---|---|

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. **The SUM function**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 Easy Examples**

We have taken a concise dataset to explain the steps clearly. The dataset has approximately **7 **rows and **4****Â **columns. Initially, we are keeping all the cells in **General **format and the price columns in **Accounting** format. For all the datasets, we have 4**Â **unique columns which are **Food****, Quantity, Unit Price, **and **Net Price**. Although we may vary the number of columns later on if that is needed.

**1. Using Sum Range**

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

**Steps:**

- First, enter the following formula in cell
**E10.**

`=SUM(E5:E9)`

- Then, press
**Enter**and this will perform the sum.

**2. ****Using ****Entire Column**

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 this using the previous dataset.

**Steps:**

- To begin with, enter the formula in cell
**D10:**

`=SUM(E: E)`

- Now, press the
**Enter**key to get the column sum.

**3. Summing Non-Contiguous Cells**

Now let’s say we want to get a sum of some specific foods. For this, we can use the cell references of that cells in **the SUM function**â€™s argument. Our task is to find out the total price of the marked food’s price.

**Steps:**

- To start with, insert the formula below in cell
**E10:**

`=SUM(E5,E7,E9)`

- Finally, press
**Enter**to confirm the sum operation.

**Read More: Excel SUM with OFFSET & MATCH Functions**

**4. Using AutoSum Feature**

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.

**Steps:**

- For this, select cell
**E10**. - Next, go to the
**Formulas**tab and click on**AutoSum**.

- Now, when you press
**Enter**, you should get the sum of the above values.

**5. Summing 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€¦, etc. Now we will calculate the price sum of every third row of the previous dataset.

**Steps:**

- To begin with this method, type in the formula in cell
**E10**:

`=SUM(E5:E9*(MOD(ROW(E5:E9),3)=0))`

- Finally, press the
**Enter**key and you should get the sum for the specific criteria.

**🔎** **How Does the Formula Work?**

- 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. using the**ROW**function.**=SUM(E5:E9*(MOD(ROW(E5:E9),3)=0)):**This part will count the total summation of the selected rows.

**6. Summing Largest Three Values**

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

**Steps:**

- Firstly, enter the formula below in cell
**E10**:

`=SUM(LARGE(E5:E9,{1,2,3}))`

- After that, confirm the sum by pressing the
**Enter**key from the keyboard.

**🔎** **How Does the Formula Work?**

**LARGE(E5:E9,{1,2,3}):**Here the**LARGE**function will find out the large values from the**E5:E9**range, and**{1,2,3}**is defining the first 3 values from the selected data. Like $500.00, $300.00, $242.00 etc.**SUM(LARGE(E5:E9,{1,2,3})):**Â Finally, the**SUM**function calculates the sum of the selected three values.

**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.

**Download Practice 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.

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