How to Add Numbers in Google Sheets: A Simple and Effective Guide 

Published: December 12, 2023 - 4 min read

Krishna Bheda

One of the most common tasks you might need to perform in Google Sheets is adding up numbers. Whether you’re calculating a budget, tracking expenses, or analyzing sales data, adding up numbers is a fundamental skill that you’ll need to master.

Fortunately, adding up numbers in Google Sheets is a straightforward process that can be accomplished in a variety of ways. 

Basic Summation Techniques

When working with Google Sheets, there are two basic techniques for adding numbers: using the SUM function and manual addition. Both of these techniques are simple and easy to use.

Using the SUM Function

The SUM function is a built-in function in Google Sheets that allows you to quickly add up a range of cells. To use the SUM function, simply select the cell where you want the sum to appear, type “=SUM(” and then select the range of cells that you want to add up. For example, if you want to learn how to add sum of cells in google sheets of  cells A1 through A5, you would type “=SUM(A1)”.

One of the advantages of using the SUM function is that it automatically updates the sum if you change any of the values in the range. This can save you a lot of time if you need to make changes to your data.

Manual Addition

Manual addition is another simple technique for adding numbers in Google Sheets. To use manual addition, simply select the cell where you want the sum to appear and then type the formula using the plus sign (+) to add up the values. For example, if you want to add up the values in cells A1 through A5, you would type “=A1+A2+A3+A4+A5”.

While manual addition may take more time than using the SUM function, it can be useful if you only need to add up a small number of values or if you want to perform other calculations in the same formula.

Advanced Summation Methods

Summing Across Sheets

In some cases, you may have data spread across multiple sheets in the same Google Sheets file. To add up the values from these sheets, you can use the SUM function with the sheet name and cell range specified. For example, to add up the values in cell A1 from Sheet1 and cell A1 from Sheet2, you would use the following formula:

=SUM(Sheet1!A1, Sheet2!A1)

You can also use the SUM function with a named range that spans multiple sheets. To create a named range, select the cells you want to include and click “Data” > “Named ranges”. Give the range a name and select the sheets you want to include. Then, you can use the named range in the SUM function. For example, if you named a range “MyRange” that includes cells A1 through A5 on Sheet1 and Sheet2, you would use the following formula to add up the values:


Conditional Sums with SUMIF

Sometimes, you may only want to add up values that meet certain criteria. In this case, you can use the SUMIF function. The SUMIF function takes three arguments: the range to check, the criteria to check for, and the range to sum. For example, if you wanted to add up all the values in column A that are greater than 10, you would use the following formula:

=SUMIF(A:A, “>10”)

You can also use the SUMIF function to add up values based on multiple criteria. For example, if you wanted to add up all the values in column A that are greater than 10 and less than 20, you would use the following formula:

=SUMIFS(A:A, A:A, “>10”, A:A, “<20”)

The SUMIFS function takes multiple arguments: the range to sum, the range to check for the first criteria, the first criteria, the range to check for the second criteria, and the second criteria. You can add more criteria by adding additional pairs of ranges and criteria.

In conclusion, Google Sheets offers many simple and  advanced summation methods to help you add up values in your spreadsheets. Use these techniques now to save time and get more accurate results.

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Krishna Bheda Growth Marketer
Krishna Bheda is a growth marketer passionate about B2B SaaS and PLG. Specifically, Coefficient's ability to automate data and empower individuals to accelerate analyses and strategy, hits close to home. With a background in Economics and Statistics, working in the data space is a dream.
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