Adds all the numbers in a range of cells.


SUM(number1,number2, ...)

Number1, number2, ...     are 1 to 30 arguments for which you want the total value or sum.


  • Numbers, logical values, and text representations of numbers that you type directly into the list of arguments are counted. See the first and second examples following.
  • 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. See the third example following.
  • Arguments that are error values or text that cannot be translated into numbers cause errors.


The example may be easier to understand if you copy it to a blank worksheet.

ShowHow to copy an example

  1. Create a blank workbook or worksheet.
  2. Select the example in the Help topic.

 Note   Do not select the row or column headers.

Selecting an example from Help

Selecting an example from Help
  1. Press CTRL+C.
  2. In the worksheet, select cell A1, and press CTRL+V.
  3. To switch between viewing the results and viewing the formulas that return the results, press CTRL+` (grave accent), or on the Formulas tab, in the Formula Auditing group, click the Show Formulas button.
Formula Description (Result)
=SUM(3, 2) Adds 3 and 2 (5)
=SUM("5", 15, TRUE) Adds 5, 15 and 1, because the text values are translated into numbers, and the logical value TRUE is translated into the number 1 (21)
=SUM(A2:A4) Adds the first three numbers in the column above (40)
=SUM(A2:A4, 15) Adds the first three numbers in the column above, and 15 (55)
=SUM(A5,A6, 2) Adds the values in the last two rows above, and 2. Because nonnumeric values in references are not translated, the values in the column above are ignored (2)
Applies to:
Excel 2003