The SUM function can sum up the values in a range of cells. In this guide, we’re going to show you how to use the SUM function and also throw in some tips and error handling methods.

Supported versions

  • All versions




number1 The first number or numbers you want to add. You can put a static number like 4, a cell reference like B6, or a cell range like B2:B8.
[number2] Optional. The second number or numbers you want to add up to 255 numbers.


Example 1

formula simply sums all numbers in the arguments.

Example 2

formula sums each value in referred cells.

Example 3

formula sums values in each cells in referred range. Any valid range can be used with the SUM function.


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  • The SUM function ignores the string values. However, please keep in mind that date or time values are serial numbers for Excel, not strings.
  • Excel's AutoSum feature automatically adds the SUM formula by default. To apply the SUM function automatically:
    • Select the range you want to sum as well as empty cell or cells for the SUM
    • Press Alt + = (equal sign while pressing Alt key) combination
  • To calculate the running totals use the SUM function with a mixed reference: How to calculate running totals in Excel Tables



The column is too narrow for the result of the function. The solution is to increase the width of the column.


If there is an error in referred cells or ranges, the SUM function returns the same error.