What is Excel AutoSum?
AutoSum is a tool in Excel that allows users to quickly calculate the SUM of data in their worksheet. The AutoSum button can be found in Home - Editing group, and also in Formulas - Function Library group.
If you click the little arrow on the right side of the AutoSum button you can access several other types of functions; AVERAGE, COUNT, MAX and MIN. Selecting one of these functions and an appropriate formula will be applied to your data.
How does AutoSum work?
Whilst a cell is active click the AutoSum button, Excel will then analyze the data surrounding the active cell; from this analysis it will propose a SUM formula. If the range proposed by Excel is correct then you can press Enter to accept and the formula is inserted. If Excel guessed your range incorrectly you and simply select the range to be summed and press Enter. Alternatively, press Esc to cancel.
- To enter a simliar SUM formula into a range of cells, select the entire range before clicking the AutoSum button.
- To sum across a table (or down a table) select the range of numbers plus an additional column (and row). Click the AutoSum button and Excel will insert the formulas that add the rows and columns. (The above image demonstrates how this approach is used to calculate the totals for each row in the table).
- Unless you applied an alternative number format to the cell which will hold the SUM formula, AutoSum will apply the same number format as the first cell in the range.
- You can create a SUM formula that uses only some of the values in a column, you do this by selecting the cells to be summed and then clicking the AutoSum button. Excel will then insert the SUM formula to the first empty cell below the selected range. The range selected must be contiguous.
You can learn this and many more tips and tricks on our Microsoft Excel Courses.