# SUM function

This article describes the formula syntax and usage of the **SUM** function (function: A prewritten formula that takes a value or values, performs an operation, and returns a value or values. Use functions to simplify and shorten formulas on a worksheet, especially those that perform lengthy or complex calculations.) in Microsoft Excel.

## Description

The **SUM** function adds all the numbers that you specify as arguments (argument: A value that provides information to an action, an event, a method, a property, a function, or a procedure.). Each argument can be a range (range: Two or more cells on a sheet. The cells in a range can be adjacent or nonadjacent.), a cell reference (cell reference: The set of coordinates that a cell occupies on a worksheet. For example, the reference of the cell that appears at the intersection of column B and row 3 is B3.), an array (array: Used to build single formulas that produce multiple results or that operate on a group of arguments that are arranged in rows and columns. An array range shares a common formula; an array constant is a group of constants used as an argument.), a constant (constant: A value that is not calculated. For example, the number 210 and the text "Quarterly Earnings" are constants. An expression, or a value resulting from an expression, is not a constant.), a formula (formula: A sequence of values, cell references, names, functions, or operators in a cell that together produce a new value. A formula always begins with an equal sign (=).), 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.

## Syntax

SUM(number1,[number2],...)

The SUM function syntax has the following arguments (argument: A value that provides information to an action, an event, a method, a property, a function, or a procedure.):

**number1**Required. The first number argument that you want to add.**number2,,...**Optional. Number arguments 2 to 255 that you want to add.

## Remarks

- 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.

## Example

The workbook below shows examples of this function. Inspect them, change existing formulas, or enter your own formulas to learn how the function works.

To work more in-depth with the example data in Excel, download the embedded workbook to your computer, and then open it in Excel.