Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Calculating a Sum
Calculating a Sum
The next step in creating the worksheet is to perform any necessary calculations,
such as calculating the column and row totals.
To Sum a Column of Numbers
As stated in the requirements document in Figure 1– 2 on page EX 4, totals are required for each city,
each fundraising activity, and the organization. The i rst calculation is to determine the fundraising total for the
fundraising activities in the city of Allentown in column B. To calculate this value in cell B9, Excel must add, or
sum, the numbers in cells B4, B5, B6, B7, and B8. Excel’s SUM function , which adds all of the numbers in a range
of cells, provides a convenient means to accomplish this task.
A range is a series of two or more adjacent cells in a column or row or a rectangular group of cells. For
example, the group of adjacent cells B4, B5, B6, B7, and B8 is called a range. Many Excel operations, such as
summing numbers, take place on a range of cells.
After the total lifetime fundraising amount for the fundraising activities in the city of Allentown in column B
is determined, the totals for the remaining cities and totals for each fundraising activity will be determined. The
following steps sum the numbers in column B.
B4:B8 in parentheses
indicates range to be
in formula bar
Click cell B9 to make
it the active cell and
complete the entry
in the previously
• (Home tab | Editing
group) to display a
formula in the
formula bar and
in the active cell
Click the Sum button
range to sum
by a moving
SUM function displayed in active cell
How does Excel know which cells to sum?
When you enter the SUM function using the Sum button, Excel automatically selects what
it considers to be your choice of the range to sum. When proposing the range to sum,
Excel i rst looks for a range of cells with numbers above the active cell and then to the left.
If Excel proposes the wrong range, you can correct it by dragging through the correct range
before pressing the ENTER key. You also can enter the correct range by typing the beginning
cell reference, a colon (:), and the ending cell reference.
Excel calculates sums for
a variety of data types.
For example, Boolean
values, such as TRUE and
FALSE, can be summed.
Excel treats the value of
TRUE as 1 and the value of
FALSE as 0. Times also can
be summed. For example,
Excel treats the sum of
1:15 and 2:45 as 4:00.