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AutoSum Function (Excel)

Guest Author - Chris Curtis

Excel provides the AutoSum function for creating equations that sum a column or row of numbers. You will find the AutoSum button on the Standard Toolbar. It is designed to “guess” at the range of data you want to sum by looking for numerical data above or to the left of the formula cell. It will continue to select cells to include in the range until it “sees” a blank cell, a cell containing text, or a cell containing a formula. When numerical data is found both above and to the left of the formula cell, Excel will select a range in the direction of the closest series of numbers. You can adjust the range, if necessary, by clicking on the first cell you want included in the range and dragging across the selection to the last cell you want to include. Pre-selection of the cells to be added and the destination cell for the result will override Excel's “guess” function and assure that the correct range is selected for your formula.

To use the sum button, you select the cell below or to the right of the column or row of numbers you want to sum, and click on the AutoSum button

Illustration #1 Worksheet


You can enter multiple sum formulas in a worksheet, by selecting the range where you want the formulas and clicking on the AutoSum Button.

Illustration #2 Worksheet



Another technique is to select a range that includes the values you want to sum and the row where you want the formulas inserted, and then click on the AutoSum button.

Illustration #3 Worksheet



Totaling both the columns and row simultaneously is easy. Pre-select the entire range to include the data and the row and column cells where you want the formulas inserted.

Illustration #4 Worksheet



Need grand total when sub-totals exist? AutoSum can handle it for you. Subtotals must be inserted first, then pre-select the entire range including the data, sub-total rows, grand total rows, and total column. Excel ignores the values and adds the subtotals.

Division Subtotals Worksheet


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Content copyright © 2014 by Chris Curtis. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Chris Curtis. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Laura Nunn for details.

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