Microsoft Office Tutorials and References

In Depth Information

**Creating a Total with the SUM Function**

As you might gather
from the examples

so far, SUM is by far the most popular function.

In fact, you will most likely use the SUM function

in just about every workbook you create.

The SUM function is used to total the values in

a range of cells. In fact, you can enter as many

ranges as you want as arguments to the SUM

function, as long as you remember to separate

those arguments with commas. For example,

take a look at the payroll worksheet shown in

Figure 3-2. In order to calculate the net pay, you

must take an employeeâ€™s gross pay, minus a

bunch of deductions. The first set of deductions

is for taxes, which for the first employee are

found in the range I8:K8. Next comes the

medical deduction in cell M8, and then the

401(k) and long-term disability deductions in

the range O8:P8. So when you enter all these

arguments, the SUM function becomes

=SUM(I8:K8,M8,O8:P8), with each of the three

arguments (a range, a single cell address, and

then another range) separated by commas.

Notice in Figure 3-2, the actual formula is

=H8-SUM(I8:K8,M8,O8:P8), which takes the

gross pay minus all the deductions totaled up

to calculate the net pay.

Figure 3-2

The SUM function allows you to enter multiple

ranges to be summed.

Probably because the SUM function is so popular,

Excel provides you with several ways in which

you might enter it. For example, you might

enter the SUM function manually, by typing in

its formula. You might decide to enter the SUM

function with the aid of a wizard, or you might

use something called the AutoSum button to

enter it quickly into a cell. You learn all these

methods in this section.

Like all Excel formulas, when you change the

values in the cells referenced by the SUM

function, the result automatically changes. This

makes SUM an even more powerful tool when

used in a worksheet where the values change

often, such as a budget worksheet.