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.

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