Lesson 19 - Excel Autosum Formula

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Lesson 19 - Excel AutoSum Function/Formula


The Excel AutoSum simply makes using the SUM Function even easier, but only under the right conditions. Basically what the AutoSum will do is sum a range that is visibly directly above or to the left of the cell that we use it in (the default is above). It will include all of the visible range until the first blank cell or the first cell containing text. Try these examples.

  • On A Clean Worksheet Put Any Numbers In The Range D5:D10 And F5:J5.
  • Select Cell D15 And Click The AutoSum Icon On The Standard Toolbar. It's The Icon On The Right Of The Globe That Looks Like A Reversed Z.

You should get the formula =SUM(D5:D14). Notice it Start s at cell D5. This is because D4 is the first blank cell. It includes the empty range D11:D14 because it assumes we will want to add numbers within this range at some stage.

Now try this:

  • Delete The AutoSum In Cell D15 Then Scroll Down Until Cell D10 Is No Longer Visible. In Other Words Row 11 Should Be Our First Visible Row.
  • Select Cell D12 And Click The AutoSum Icon
  • You Should See: =SUM() In Cell D12. Push Enter And You Will Get An Error Message.
  • Push Esc Twice To Cancel The Operation.

The reason the AutoSum did not work is because there were no visible cells containing numbers above or to the left.

Try a similar exercise on the numbers in cells F5:J5 and the same thing will happen. Although we could not enter the AutoSum in the second example, it did write the =SUM() formula for us and place the mouse insertion point between the opening and closing parenthesis. This means we could simply select any range that we wanted to sum.


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Go back to:

Lesson 1 - Excel Fundamentals
Lesson 2 - Starting Excel and Excel Workbooks
Lesson 3 - Excel Toolbars and Task Panes
Lesson 4 - Excel Worksheets
Lesson 5 - Excel Cells and Navigating a Worksheet
Lesson 6 - Excel Cut/Copying and Pasting Data
Lesson 7 - Excel Copying with the Fill Handle
Lesson 8 - Excel Paste Special
Lesson 9 - Excel Insert Command
Lesson 10 - Excel's default options
Lesson 11 - Excel's Undo and Redo
Lesson 12 - Excel's Format Painter
Lesson 13 - Excel's Dates and Times
Lesson 14 - Excel's Custom Formats
Lesson 15 - Excel Formulas
Lesson 16 - Excel Cell References
Lesson 17 - Excel: Avoid Typing
Lesson 18 - Excel Formulae Arguments & Syntax

See also:

Lesson 20 - Excel Auto Calculate
Lesson 21 - Excel's Insert Function
Lesson 22 - Excel's Useful Functions
Lesson 23 - Excel's Named Ranges
Lesson 24 - Excel's Constants and the Paste Name Dialog
Lesson 25 - Excel's Calculations
Lesson 26 - Excel Comments Cell
Lesson 27 - Excel Find and Replace
Lesson - 28 - Clear Excel Cell Contents
Lesson 29 - Effective Excel Printing 1
Lesson 30 - Effective Excel Printing 2
Lesson 31 - Sorting in Excel
Lesson 32 - Hide/Show Row/Columns in Excel
Lesson 33 - Auto-Formats in Excel
Lesson 34 - Creating a Basic Excel Spreadsheet
Lesson 35 - Excel Charting Lesson: The Basic Excel Spreadsheet
Lesson 36 - Excel Worksheet Protection
Lesson 37 - Excel IF Formula Nesting
Lesson 38 - Excel Function Now/Today Formulas


See also: Index to Excel VBA Code and Index to Excel Freebies and Lesson 1 - Excel Fundamentals and Index to how to… providing a range of solutions and Index to new resources and reference sheets


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