Use AutoSum: MS Excel

Dennis Faas's picture

Suppose your Excel worksheet has a long list of numbers to add. You can sum them instantly using Excel's AutoSum feature. Don't count on your fingers or pull out a calculator; Excel can calculate more quickly and accurately.

Even more importantly, whenever a number changes, Excel instantly recalculates and displays the corrected sum.

You can use either of these two methods to total the numbers using Excel:

  1. Click the cell below the list to make it the active cell.
  2. Click the AutoSum button. Excel surrounds the cells it thinks you want to total with a moving border.
  3. Press Enter or click the check mark on the formula bar to accept the suggestion.

And, below is an even faster method:

  1. Click and drag to select all the cells you want to total, Selected cells are shown with shading and a bold border.
  2. Click the AutoSum button or press the shortcut key Alt+=.

The status bar displays the sum of cells you select, but only while they are selected.

The numbers are automatically totaled, and the total is placed either in the active cell (if you used the first method), or in the cell just below the list. Like the numbers it adds, the result is right-aligned within the cell.

Riding behind the sum is a formula. You can always see the formula for the active cell in the formula bar.

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