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How to sum a column in Excel – 3 easy methods

Here are three easy methods.
Last Updated on May 14, 2024
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Wondering how to sum a column in Excel? This question has been asked by thousands of students around the world.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced user, learning different ways to sum up a column can significantly boost your productivity. This can save you time and effort when working with large sets of data.

To make things easier for you, we’ll walk you through different methods that can help you sum columns in Excel. So, without wasting another second, let’s dive in!


Using the one-click method

The quickest way to sum columns in Excel is by using the one-click method.



Select the columns

This method does not require you to go through a lot of trouble. Instead, just select all the columns, after which you’ll be able to see the sum in the Footer area.

Screenshot of a spreadsheet with a large red arrow pointing at the sum column in Excel, displaying the numbers 22, 23, and 24, alongside cell statistics at the bottom.
Sum in Footer area

Using the AutoSum method

Another popular alternative is the AutoSum method, which automatically carries out the calculation for you.



Click on an empty cell

To try this, click on the first empty cell under the column you want to sum – this avoids any extra, unwanted actions, such as wide range selection.




Click the AutoSum button

Next, click the Home tab, select the Editing Group, and click the button marked ‘AutoSum’.

Screenshot of a spreadsheet software toolbar highlighting the "Sum" button under the "Editing" section for summing a column in Excel.
AutoSum button



Press Enter

Excel will now apply the =SUM function automatically – you can press Enter to see the total of a certain column. Not only is this a fast method, but it also offers a chance to obtain and maintain the Sum result.

Excel spreadsheet showing a SUM function formula with cells in sum column K12 to K14 selected for calculation.
AutoSum result

The manual Sum method

The Sum function can also be entered manually – this allows you to find the total of just a few cells in a particular column.



Select an empty cell

Select an empty cell where you want the sum to appear.



Select the range

Now, in the empty cell, write =sum( and then type the range.

For instance, in this example, we will type =sum(K12:K13:K14) and press enter. This will give us the total sum.

Spreadsheet cells containing the numbers 22, 23, and 24 in a sum column in Excel, with a formula '=SUM(K12:K14)' for calculating their total.
Sum formula

Final thoughts

There are several options available when it comes to summing your columns. If you’re dealing with a large dataset, the one-click method may be suitable. But if you want to select specific columns only, you’ll need to opt for the manual Sum method.

If you’re interested in learning more about Excel, give these guides a read:

Andrew is one of three co-founders of BGFG, the parent company of PC Guide. A keen gamer and PC enthusiast, Andrew dabbles in a bit of writing sometimes - when he gets the chance to!