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Adding numbers using Sum and AutoSum

From: Excel 2010 Essential Training

Video: Adding numbers using Sum and AutoSum

If you completed the exercise in the movie about adding numbers manually, you have a worksheet that looks pretty much like this. Well, cherry picking numbers is okay when you have the small worksheet like this, but if you have a lot of numbers, if you have lots of rows and lots of columns, adding those numbers manually is going to get pretty old pretty quickly. So let's show you some easier and faster ways of adding numbers. Let's select all the numbers down here in the Total column and just press Delete on the keyboard, and let's select these cells here across the Total row and again press Delete on your keyboard.

Adding numbers using Sum and AutoSum

If you completed the exercise in the movie about adding numbers manually, you have a worksheet that looks pretty much like this. Well, cherry picking numbers is okay when you have the small worksheet like this, but if you have a lot of numbers, if you have lots of rows and lots of columns, adding those numbers manually is going to get pretty old pretty quickly. So let's show you some easier and faster ways of adding numbers. Let's select all the numbers down here in the Total column and just press Delete on the keyboard, and let's select these cells here across the Total row and again press Delete on your keyboard.

Let's do this a different way. Let's click up here in Cell E6, and we're going to add the numbers, and here we're going to see a function. And we're going to use the Sum function and as it sounds, the Sum function adds numbers. It's probably the number one most commonly used function in Excel. So type in an equal sign and now you have to type the name of the function, which is Sum. And when you do that, you see you get a little pop-up help. Let's just ignore that for now. Open up your parenthesis and you see it's giving you some help. Here is what we do.

We simply drag across these three numbers. So we're telling Excel, give us the sum of B6:D6. That is B6 through and including D6. Be very careful that you don't drag onto E6, because if you do, you're going to get an error. It's basically saying what's the total of B6 through E6 including E6. It doesn't really make a lot of sense. So just press Enter, and there you have the sum. If you click there, you can see in the Formula bar, there you go.

Let's try that one more time just for practice. So I'll add across the row for Los Angeles. So we'll say equals. Sum, open up the parenthesis, drag across these three numbers, make sure it's only those three numbers. See where those marching ants are going? Just around those three numbers. And this time let's press Ctrl+Enter, so we enter and stay on the same cell. Put your mouse pointer on the Auto Fill handle, see your mouse pointer becomes a crosshair, and double-click. And it fills it all in.

Let's take a look, make sure this is right. If you press Ctrl+Tilde. The Tilde key is to the left of the 1 and above your Tab key. So you could see here, Excel rewrote these functions so it's always =SUM of Column B through Column D, but Excel rewrote which row it is, which is really great. So just press Ctrl+Tilde so we get back. And let's do the Sum function for January. Click on cell B14 and let's type =SUM, open up the parenthesis, and drag down these numbers in the January column.

And again, press Ctrl+Enter. So we have the number. Put your mouse pointer on the dot so we get that crosshair, and when you get that crosshair, just drag across to Column E to the Totals column, and there you go. Well, that's great. That's a lot easier and a lot faster than adding it manually, but wait, there's an even easier way of putting in the Sum function. Once again, let's select all those numbers in Column E and delete. Select these numbers across the Total row and delete. Now, let's go back where we started in Cell E6.

Well, because the Sum function is so common, it's used so often, Excel gives us an easier way of using it rather than typing it in. So let's make sure we're on Cell E6. Also, we want to be on the Home tab. And over here on the right side, you see we have the AutoSum tool. Now, just click the AutoSum tool and look at that. Excel puts in the formula for us, correctly selects those cells, and just press Enter. Press the AutoSum tool again and again Excel fills those numbers in correctly. Press Enter.

Well, the AutoSum tool is great, but it's not perfect. Look what happens here. Right now when we're in Cell E8, we have three numbers to the left, we have two numbers above. When you click the AutoSum tool, look at what it's doing. Excel can't read our minds. It says hey, you probably add numbers down more often than you add numbers across. So let's take those numbers . Well, that's obviously the wrong answer. Well, you don't have to panic. All you have to do is leave the formula open, leave the marching ants there and just manually drag across the correct numbers, and Excel rewrites the formula as it's open for editing, which is great, and just press Enter.

And if you do it down here again, and click the AutoSum tool, again Excel makes that mistake of trying to add the incorrect numbers, but not a big deal. You can drag across the correct numbers and fix it. Now, you don't have to worry about that too much, because if you remember to Auto Fill, and you take the Auto Fill handle on the number and drag or double-click, then Excel does put in the correct numbers. So you don't have to worry about that. Well, let's use the sum function going down the column. So click in Cell B14, I am going to type =Sum, open up the parenthesis, drag down the numbers in January, and you can see where the marching ants are, then I'm just going to press Ctrl+Enter so we have that number.

So let's go to February and this time let's click the AutoSum tool and great! But a little bit of difference though is when you click the AutoSum tool, you notice that Excel picks up that blank cell where it didn't pick up the blank cell over here if you typed it manually. Well, the number is going to be correct because an empty cell has a value of zero, but Excel tends not to like when it thinks your formulas are inconsistent. Like if you're adding more cells in one place than in another. So you might want to manually drag that.

But the AutoSum tool can get a little confused here. If you click in Cell D14 and click AutoSum, look what it's doing. Again, it's doing incorrectly the opposite of what it did before. So you may have to manually drag those correct numbers to put it in. But honestly, you really don't have to worry about this too much. Let's just select those two numbers and delete. If you take the first number that you did in January and get the AutoSum handle and drag to the right, then it will give you the correct numbers. So you really want to be careful when you're using the AutoSum just to make sure that it's giving you the right answer.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Excel 2010 Essential Training
Excel 2010 Essential Training

80 video lessons · 129536 viewers

Bob Flisser
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 35s
    1. Welcome
      57s
    2. Using the exercise files
      38s
  2. 19m 31s
    1. Exploring three common uses for Excel
      3m 17s
    2. Touring the interface
      3m 38s
    3. Finding the commands you need
      3m 51s
    4. Using Backstage view or the File tab
      3m 25s
    5. Maintaining file compatibility
      5m 20s
  3. 21m 23s
    1. Creating a worksheet
      5m 23s
    2. Techniques for copying and pasting
      3m 57s
    3. Entering data automatically with Auto Fill
      4m 37s
    4. Targeting large data groups
      4m 26s
    5. Changing a worksheet's structure
      3m 0s
  4. 47m 50s
    1. Understanding formulas and functions
      4m 41s
    2. Entering data in a worksheet
      3m 22s
    3. Adding numbers manually
      5m 1s
    4. Adding numbers using Sum and AutoSum
      6m 11s
    5. Adding a whole worksheet
      1m 48s
    6. Working with numbers in columns
      4m 53s
    7. Preventing errors using absolute references
      5m 57s
    8. Working with times and dates
      3m 8s
    9. Using IF
      4m 49s
    10. Using SUMIF and AVERAGEIF
      4m 15s
    11. Naming and using cell ranges
      3m 45s
  5. 33m 57s
    1. Formatting numbers and dates
      7m 6s
    2. Applying fonts, background colors, and borders
      4m 35s
    3. Adjusting columns, rows, and text
      5m 2s
    4. Using conditional formatting
      4m 6s
    5. Using custom conditional formatting
      5m 49s
    6. Adding pictures and shapes
      7m 19s
  6. 25m 27s
    1. Inserting SmartArt
      6m 54s
    2. Coordinating a look using themes
      3m 22s
    3. Applying built-in styles
      3m 16s
    4. Creating and sharing styles
      5m 33s
    5. Using templates
      4m 9s
    6. Creating and using original templates
      2m 13s
  7. 13m 23s
    1. Making the pieces fit
      4m 57s
    2. Inserting headers and footers
      3m 51s
    3. Printing and PDFs
      4m 35s
  8. 34m 3s
    1. Finding and replacing data
      3m 12s
    2. Freezing panes
      3m 0s
    3. Repeating row and column titles
      3m 34s
    4. Creating multiple custom worksheet views
      5m 18s
    5. Hiding or grouping rows and columns
      5m 31s
    6. Managing worksheets
      7m 23s
    7. Calculating formulas across worksheets
      6m 5s
  9. 36m 34s
    1. Importing and exporting data in Excel
      8m 2s
    2. Setting workbook permissions
      6m 44s
    3. Inserting and editing comments
      6m 49s
    4. Sharing a workbook
      1m 25s
    5. Tracking changes
      3m 5s
    6. Saving files in shared locations
      10m 29s
  10. 27m 30s
    1. Splitting cell data into multiple cells
      2m 22s
    2. Joining data from multiple cells
      4m 18s
    3. Basic and multi-field sorting
      6m 30s
    4. Using tables to sort and filter data
      4m 31s
    5. Inserting automatic subtotals
      3m 46s
    6. Creating lookup tables
      6m 3s
  11. 32m 56s
    1. Using auditing to diagram
      6m 3s
    2. Using evaluation in Excel
      2m 2s
    3. Working with Goal Seek
      5m 29s
    4. Using data tables in formulas
      6m 2s
    5. Using scenarios in formulas
      5m 28s
    6. Exploring the Analysis Toolpak
      7m 52s
  12. 18m 1s
    1. Discovering PivotTables
      2m 22s
    2. Creating a basic PivotTable
      2m 46s
    3. Modifying a PivotTable
      6m 57s
    4. Creating and modifying a PivotChart
      5m 56s
  13. 26m 58s
    1. Choosing chart types
      1m 55s
    2. Inserting Sparklines
      3m 54s
    3. Creating a column chart
      3m 23s
    4. Modifying a column chart
      5m 47s
    5. Creating and modifying a pie chart
      6m 45s
    6. Placing Excel charts into other Office applications
      5m 14s
  14. 21m 53s
    1. Understanding macros
      3m 5s
    2. Recording and using a simple macro
      11m 58s
    3. Editing a macro
      6m 50s
  15. 20m 33s
    1. Customizing the Quick Access toolbar
      3m 30s
    2. Customizing the Ribbon bar
      8m 44s
    3. Setting Excel options
      8m 19s
  16. 16s
    1. Goodbye
      16s

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