Excel SUM Function – The Most Popular Function!

The Excel SUM Function is probably the most used Excel Function. It is another function that is great to know, when you need to make calculations or lookup values that are buried in your data or simply compare values or format them. So learning which ones to use and how to use them is imperative if you want to bump up your skill level.

Description of the Excel SUM Function

The Excel SUM Function adds all numbers in a range of cells and returns the result. It can be used as a worksheet function in Excel. As a worksheet function, the SUM function can be entered as part of a formula in a cell of a worksheet.

Excel SUM Function:

Syntax of the Excel SUM Function:

  • =SUM(number1,[number2],...)
  • number1 (Required) - This can be a single number, a cell, or a range of cells
  • number2 (Optional) - This is the second number that you can add. You can specify up to 255 numbers
  • The above arguments must be numerical values. If any text is used, then you may see either the #NAME? or the #VALUE! errors.


  • =SUM(25, 30) = 55
  • =SUM(45, 30, 93, 27) = 195
  • =SUM(A1, B1, C1) = A1 + B1 + C1
  • =SUM(A1:D1) = A1 + B1 + C1 + D1
  • =SUM(A1:B2) = A1 + A2 + B1 + B2
  • =SUM(A1:D1, Z3:Z5) = A1 + B1 + C1 + D1 + Z3 + Z4 + Z5
Excel SUM Function

Download The Example Spreadsheet Here:

The Excel SUM Function

Why use the Excel SUM Function?

You can simply calculate all of the required values by entering the formula:
= num1 +  num2 +  num3 + ...
This is absolutely fine for a small list of numbers, but when you have dozens, hundreds or even thousands of rows or columns of numbers, this quickly becomes inefficient and the Excel SUM Function will rescue you from that monotony.


This is most likely the most used function in Excel. It is indispensable for adding large quantities of numbers all at once or one here, one there, and so on. If you need to add a lot of values together in a single cell, then the Excel SUM Function is your best friend! It doesn't hurt that it is Super Popular either! Hehehe .... *sigh* - I'm such a Dork!  ;-P 

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Joe Austin

Joe Austin is the founder of Potentials Unleashed. He is currently an IT Professional Manager in the Financial Industry and has been using computers since 1978. While mostly self-taught, he is proficient in several computing areas, such as Programming , Web Development, most Microsoft Office programs, Internet Marketing, Spyware / Malware Removal and even 3D Animation & Modeling.

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