Adding numbers manually is okay if you have a small worksheet, but if you have lots of numbers, lots of rows and columns sum and Auto sum comes in handy.

Manually adding the numbers is going to be pretty old and tiring. So, let me show some easier and faster ways of adding numbers.

The sum function is probably the number one most commonly used function in Excel. It’s a pretty simple and straight forward function.

Here is how it works:

Select a cell you want to sum up its range of numbers, type in an equal sign and the name (sum) of the function, below is what happens:

When you type in an equal sign and the name of the function, excel is pretty good at guessing.

A list of different functions matching your criteria pops up, select the function or type it in fully.

Open a parenthesis (, select the range of cells by dragging your mouse over it, close your parentheses), press the “Enter” key.

Double clicking or dragging the auto fill handle fills up the total column for you pretty fast and easy.

You already know about that from the previous tutorial about adding numbers manually.

- Control (Ctrl)+Tilde (~): show formulas in cells

The above shortcut allows you to see each function within the cells and how they relate through cell referencing.

You can see how excel re-wrote the function through column B to D by moving down the rows, which is really great.

Using the sum function is great and a lot easier than adding numbers manually right?

Due to the fact that, the sum function is so common and used so often, excel provides an easier way to use it, rather than typing it in.

Select cell E6, make sure you are on the Home tab on the ribbon bar, under the Editing dialogue box, click the “AutoSum” tool.

Excel correctly put in the formula for you and selects the cells correctly. All you have to do is hit the “Enter” key as usual.

Auto fill down the column, super-fast and easy using the auto fill handle.

The auto sum tool is great but it’s not awesome, kindly watch the video below for reasons why.

But the auto sum tool works perfectly well down the column because you probably add numbers down the column more than across the row.

My advice is for you to be really careful while using the auto sum due to it’s limitation summing numbers across the rows while you intend to sum numbers below the column.

Wait…

Let me even show you a much and easier way, with just a single click of your mouse.

When you have a worksheet, that’s compact, you don’t have any blank columns or rows.

You can add up the numbers very quickly and you don’t have to write even a single formula. Here’s what you’ll do:

Select the cell ranges, including the “Total(s)” column to be populated and just click the ‘AutoSum” and you are done, pretty cool right?

Another super-fast way, is when you have your cell ranges selected, rather than clicking the “AutoSum” tool, just use the shortcut for the auto sum tool.

- Alt +equal sign (=): auto-sum

Don’t forget to use this shortcut when you have a compact worksheet like that, use this feature and get your stuff done fast.

Download file for practice.

You can watch the video below for visual explanation. Thanks, sharing is caring.