Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Creating a Total with the SUM Function
5. Type the first argument. In case you’ve
forgotten that SUM is waiting for you to type
the range you want summed, just take a look
at the ScreenTip that now appears below the
result cell, as shown in Figure 3-4. As you
enter each argument for a function, it
appears in bold in this ScreenTip so you can
always keep track of exactly which argument
you are entering. In this case, you can type a
range address as the second argument, or
drag over the range to select it. Remember
that a range address can be a single cell
address, or a group of contiguous cells.
Repeat Step 6 to add as many ranges to the
SUM function as you like.
8. When you’re through entering arguments,
type the closing parenthesis and press Enter.
The selected ranges are summed, and the
result appears in the cell you selected in
You can also skip the typing business and
press Enter or Tab to let Excel add that
closing parenthesis for you.
For example, you might type =SUM(A1:A40,
C1:C40) to add the values in the ranges A1
through A40 and C1 through C40.
Formula AutoComplete prompts you to enter
the correct arguments for a function.
6. If you want to enter a second argument
(another range to sum), type a comma, and
then type the second range address or drag
to select the range. As soon as you type the
comma, the second argument is bolded in
the ScreenTip. Notice in Figure 3-4 that some
of the SUM arguments appear in square
brackets, as in [number2]. The square
brackets indicate that an argument is optional,
which means that you do not need to enter it
if you don’t want to. Which in this case,
means that you do not need to enter more
than a single range to sum for the SUM
function to work. If an argument is not displayed
in square brackets, it is required.