Google Sheets: How to Find the Sum of a Column Quickly and Easily

Adding up numbers in a column in Google Sheets is a piece of cake! All you need to do is use the SUM function, which tells Google Sheets to add up a range of cells you select. You can quickly find the total of a list of numbers and keep your spreadsheet organized and efficient. Just a few clicks and you’re done!

Step by Step Tutorial: Finding the Sum of a Column in Google Sheets

Before we dive into the steps, it’s important to know that following these instructions will help you quickly add up numbers in any column of your Google Sheets spreadsheet. Whether you’re working on a budget, tracking expenses, or just need a total, these steps will get you there in no time.

Step 1: Select the cell where you want the total to appear.

Click on the cell at the bottom of the column where you’d like the sum to show up. This is where the total will be displayed once we use the SUM function.

Step 2: Type in the SUM function formula.

Type =SUM( into the selected cell, and then click on the first cell in the column that you want to start adding from.

Step 3: Highlight the range of cells you want to add.

After clicking the first cell, drag the mouse down to the last cell that you want to include in the sum. This tells Google Sheets exactly which numbers you’re looking to add up.

Step 4: Close the formula and press Enter.

Type ) to close the SUM function and then hit Enter on your keyboard. This will perform the calculation and the sum will appear in the cell you selected in step 1.

After completing these steps, the total sum of the numbers in your chosen column will be displayed in the cell you selected. This is a dynamic total, meaning if you change any of the numbers in the column, the sum will automatically update to reflect the new total.

Tips for Finding the Sum of a Column in Google Sheets

  • Double-check the range of cells you’ve selected before pressing Enter to ensure all the numbers you want to add are included.
  • Use the autofill handle to quickly copy the SUM function to other columns.
  • If your column has empty cells or text, don’t worry! Google Sheets will ignore these and only sum the cells with numbers.
  • Remember that the SUM function can also be used to add individual cells that aren’t next to each other by separating cell references with commas.
  • Use the SUM function in combination with other functions to perform more complex calculations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use the SUM function to add up rows as well as columns?

Yes, the SUM function works both horizontally and vertically. You can add up numbers in a row by following the same steps and selecting the range of cells in the row.

What if my column has errors or text?

The SUM function will only add up cells with numerical values. Cells with text or errors will be ignored in the calculation.

Can I sum multiple columns at once?

Absolutely! You can sum across multiple columns by selecting a range that includes all the columns you want to add.

Is there a shortcut to sum a column in Google Sheets?

Yes, you can select the column and then click the “Σ” (sigma) button in the toolbar. This will automatically place the SUM formula in the next empty cell at the bottom of the column.

How do I ensure the sum updates automatically if I add new rows to my column?

Place the SUM formula below the last cell of your column. As long as the new rows are added above the cell with the SUM formula, it will update to include the new data.


  1. Click on the cell where you want the sum to display.
  2. Type =SUM( into that cell.
  3. Highlight the cells in the column to sum.
  4. Close the formula with ) and press Enter.


Mastering the art of finding the sum of a column in Google Sheets can significantly streamline your data management process. Whether you’re a student, business professional, or just someone who loves organizing data, knowing how to quickly total a column is an essential skill. Remember, practice makes perfect. So, go ahead and give it a try on your own spreadsheet. Not only will you save time, but you’ll also gain confidence in using Google Sheets for various tasks. Keep exploring, keep learning, and before you know it, you’ll be the go-to Google Sheets guru! If you still have questions about Google Sheets or how to find the sum of a column, don’t hesitate to seek out more resources or ask for help from more experienced users. Happy summing!