If you want to add up your column values in Google Sheets, you’ll need to use SUM. This guide will show you how.
Spreadsheets are designed to allow you to quickly analyze big sets of data. A quick and easy way to do it is to find totals for numerical data.
A spreadsheet can instantly find the sum of a column of data, automatically updating that sum when data is changed or new data is added. There are a few different ways you can achieve this in a Google Sheets spreadsheet.
If you’re unsure, here’s how to sum a column in Google Sheets.
How to Sum a Column Using the Status Bar
If you just want to know what the sum of a column is without adding the answer to your spreadsheet, you can use the status bar. You can use this to quickly sum up any column in your sheet once you’ve set it up.
To sum a column in Google Sheets using the status bar:
- Highlight the cells in the column you want to sum or press the column letter to select the entire column.
- At the bottom right of your screen, press the status bar dropdown. This will only appear when you have selected multiple cells that contain data.
- From the dropdown, select Sum.
Once you’ve enabled it, the status bar will display the sum of your selected column.
How to Sum a Column Using the SUM Function
Using the status bar allows you to quickly see the total sum of a column, but it doesn’t add it to your spreadsheet. If you want the sum of a column to appear in a cell, you can use the SUM function.
To sum a column using the SUM function:
- Select an empty cell and click the formula bar to make the blinking cursor active.
- Type =SUM(
- If Formula Suggestions are turned on, Google Sheets will guess the data you want to sum and fill the cell range for you.
- Press Enter to accept the suggestion and calculate the SUM value.
- If the range isn’t correct, highlight the cells you want to sum, type a closed bracket, and press Enter to find the sum value instead.
How to Sum an Entire Column Using the SUM Function
One issue with the above method is that it uses a static range. If you add further data to your column, your formula won’t include it. You can get around this by summing an entire column so that any data added to the column will automatically be included in your sum.
If you want to do this, the cell where you enter your formula will need to be in a different column, as otherwise, you will create a circular reference.
To sum an entire column in Google Sheets:
- Click in the cell where you want the sum to appear. This must be in a different column to your data.
- Type =SUM(X:X), replacing X:X with the column letter (eg. A:A for column A).
- Press Enter to show your value.
When you add any additional values to your column, your sum will automatically update to include these values. It will ignore any text.
Using Google Sheets Functions
Learning how to sum a column in Google Sheets makes use of one of the most commonly used functions in Google Sheets.
There are plenty of other functions that can be incredibly useful in a Google Sheets spreadsheet, however. For example, the SUMIF function in Google Sheets allows you to sum only those cells that meet specific criteria. The COUNTIF function works in a similar way but counts the cells that meet your criteria, rather than summing them.
You can also combine IF statements in Google Sheets to create complex formulas.