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5 Ways to Total a Column in Excel

July 31, 2023 1.1K views

It can be challenging to quickly calculate the total value of a column in Excel due to the data being spread across multiple rows and columns, especially when dealing with large files.

Additionally, scrolling down to view more rows can prevent users from losing sight of the column headings, leading to confusion and errors in data analysis.

It is advisable to sum the columns to get the work done, but how can we total a column in Excel to quickly and accurately calculate the sum of values in a particular column?

This article will give you a detailed guide on how to total a column in Excel using 5 easy ways.

How to total a column in the Excel formula?

Step 1: Open Excel and click on the cell where you want to add up all the values.

Step 2: Click on the Summation symbol in the upper right corner.

how to total a column using autosum

Step 3: Click on it to have the sum of your selected column.

how to total a column using SUM

How to Sum a Column in Excel Based on Criteria?

Excel allows using its formulas based on specific criteria. It will enable you to add up values that meet a specified condition or criteria, providing a way to perform conditional summing. Below are the details of using the Sum function based on specific criteria.

Syntax

SUMIF(range, criteria, [sum_range])

Range: This is the range of cells that you want to evaluate against the criteria.

Criteria: This is the condition or measure to determine which cells to include in the sum, like a number, text, logical expression, or cell reference.

sum_range: This is the range of cells you want to sum if they meet the specified criteria.

Example

Suppose you want to sum only the values less than 100 in a column containing numbers. You can use the following formula: =SUMIF(B2:B25,"

  • In this example, we will sum all the salaries of employees tover70,000. We will use the following formula:
    =SUMIF(B2:B5,">70000")

how to total a column using SUMIF

  • It will sum up all the salaries over 70,000, giving us the following result.

total a column in Excel

  • The red box summarises all the values, while the green box shows a summation with specific criteria.

How to Total a Column with Pivot Tables?

  • Create a pivot table of your data and click on Analyze Pivot Table.

how to total a column using Pivot Table

  • Select Field Settings from the Pivot table options.

sum a column in Excel

  • Click on Sum to get the sum of all the data in the column. If your data has more than one entry, go to Sub Totals.

  • To subtotal an outer row or column label using the default summary function, click Automatic and to remove subtotals, click None.

how to sum a column subtotals

How to Add SUM with a shortcut?

  • Select an empty cell on your Excel sheet to summarise the column.

  • Write the sum function as “=SUM(“ in the formula bar.

  • Highlight the cells by pressing “CTRL + SHIFT + Down Arrow.”

  • After selecting all the columns you want to add together, the formula bar would have received the range as “=SUM(F8:F2203).

summing a column using shortcuts

  • Press Enter on your keyboard to total the column in Excel.

Benefits of Total a Column in Excel

Different methods to total a column in Excel are advantageous in multiple aspects. Below are some of the significant benefits associated with it.

Quick and Easy Calculation

Using the total column in Excel allows you to quickly and easily calculate the sum of a column of numbers without manually adding each value. It takes little time and effort.

Increased Accuracy

When manually adding up values, there is always the risk of making mistakes. Using the total column in Excel eliminates this risk and increases the accuracy of your calculations. Moreover, there are different options alongside sum when using the automated method.

Dynamic Updating

One of the most attractive benefits is its dynamic updating feature. If you add or remove values from the column, the total column will automatically update to reflect the new total.

Efficiency and Time Savings

Using formulas to total a column saves time and effort compared to manual calculations, especially when dealing with large datasets. This method can help you make massive calculations within seconds.

Versatile to Use

You can duplicate an AutoSum formula effortlessly from one cell to another, witnessing the procedure dynamically adapt to the new cell. Alternatively, you can wield your capability to select multiple cells simultaneously and unleash the force of AutoSum, swiftly calculating the sums of both columns in one go.

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How to resolve common errors when using SUM formulas?

Error in the SUM Formula can lead to different types of errors. Here we will discuss all the mistakes and their fixes.

#VALUE! Error

This error occurs when one or more of the cells referenced in the SUM formula contains non-numeric values like texts or spaces. To omit this error, you must ensure all the cells have numeric values.

#REF! Error

It occurs when the referenced cells in the SUM formula are deleted, moved, or no longer exist. To fix it, check the cell references in the formula and ensure they are accurate and valid.

#DIV/0! Error

This error appears when the SUM formula attempts to divide a value by zero. To handle this error, you can modify the formula to include an IF statement to check for zero denominators.

#NAME? Error:

This error happens when Excel doesn't recognize a function or formula name used within the SUM formula. To resolve it, double-check the spelling of the function or formula name and ensure it is entered correctly.

FAQs about a total column in Excel

1. What is the difference between SUM and SUMIF?

The main difference between SUM and SUMIF is that SUM adds up all the values in a given range,  while SUMIF adds up values based on a specific condition or criteria. SUMIF requires an additional criteria argument to determine which cells to include in the sum.

2. Can I filter the column and still see the total?

Yes, you can filter a column in Excel and still see the total using the SUBTOTAL function or by creating a Pivot Table. The accommodation will only consider the values that meet the filter criteria, providing an accurate sum based on the filtered data.

3. How can I add a running total to my Excel worksheet?

To add a running total to your Excel worksheet, you can use the SUM function in combination with a relative reference. In a new column, enter a formula that adds the current cell to the sum of the previous cell.

Summary

Microsoft Excel is an excellent spreadsheet processing tool; you can perform large and complex calculations in seconds with its functions and formulas. If an extensive data set with 100 thousand values needs addition manually, it will take a lot of time and effort with the possibility of errors. For this purpose, you should use the earlier methods to total a column in Excel. All these methods, including SUM and SUMIF functions, auto sum, and the pivot table, are straightforward to use.

If you find Excel with overwhelming features that don’t suit you as a beginner, you can try WPS Office. WPS Office is a free software with a potent spreadsheet processing tool that is reverse compatible with MS Excel. It has additional features like a tabbed interface, cloud integration, customizable quick access toolbar, and multi-language support. Additionally, all the above methods are applicable in WPS Office as well.

15 years of office industry experience, tech lover and copywriter. Follow me for product reviews, comparisons, and recommendations for new apps and software.