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jethro's picture

Excel function of the Week - Sum

While looking at previous posts to choose a different function for this weeks post I noticed that I have never written a post specifically about the most commonly used function in Excel, the SUM function.

ExcelSo today’s post remedies that. Note this post is based on Excel 2010. Most of this is still relevant in Excel 2003 and Excel 2007 is largely the same as 2010. The main difference is the ribbon references in Excel 2007/2010 vs the toolbar in 2003.

First the Official Excel Help information.


The SUM function adds all the numbers that you specify as arguments. Each argument can be a range, a cell reference, an array, a constant, a formula, or the result from another function. For example, SUM(A1:A5) adds all the numbers that are contained in cells A1 through A5. For another example, SUM(A1, A3, A5) adds the numbers that are contained in cells A1, A3, and A5.


The SUM function syntax has the following arguments:
number1    Required. The first number argument that you want to add.
number2,,...    Optional. Number arguments 2 to 255 that you want to add.


If an argument is an array or reference, only numbers in that array or reference are counted. Empty cells, logical values, or text in the array or reference are ignored.
If any arguments are error values, or if any arguments are text that cannot be translated into numbers, Excel displays an error.