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Written by Jacky Chou

How To Use The Auto Sum Shortcut In Excel

Key Takeaway:

  • The Auto Sum shortcut in Excel allows for quick and efficient calculation of the sum of a range of cells, saving time and effort for users.
  • Using the Auto Sum shortcut involves highlighting the desired range of cells, pressing the shortcut key or button, and verifying the sum in the formula bar.
  • Additional tips and tricks for using Auto Sum include using keyboard shortcuts, applying Auto Sum to multiple columns or rows, and customizing the function with other math operators.

Struggling to calculate totals in Excel? You’re not alone! Quickly learn how to use the auto sum shortcut to make your spreadsheet calculations simpler and faster. With this handy tool, you can complete your calculations quickly and accurately.

Overview of Auto Sum Shortcut in Excel

Excel Auto Sum Shortcut: Simplifying Your Calculation Process

The Excel Auto Sum shortcut is a well-known and widely used feature that can significantly ease your calculation process. This function helps in automatically adding up all or part of a column or row of numbers without having to enter formulas manually. Here’s a step-by-step guide to using the Auto Sum Shortcut in Excel.

  1. Open your Excel worksheet and select the cell you want to display your sum.
  2. Use the shortcut key Alt+= or press Alt, then H, and finally U to launch the Auto Sum feature.
  3. The cell’s adjacent contents will be automatically selected, and Excel will display the sum in the selected cell.
  4. If Excel doesn’t select the exact range you need to sum, you can change the highlighted range by clicking and dragging it to the desired cells manually.
  5. Alternatively, you can use the Auto Sum feature for a non-adjacent range of cells by selecting them manually, and the sum will still be displayed.
  6. Once you’re done, press the Enter key to add the sum to your worksheet.

Excel Auto Sum Shortcut is undoubtedly a time-saving tool for all levels of Excel users. However, it is essential to note that the shortcut only adds up numbers and not texts, so using it to find the sum of non-numerical cells might result in errors. Always double-check the range of cells highlighted by Excel before pressing the ‘Enter’ key.

Did you know that the Auto Sum Shortcut was one of the first built-in features in the earlier versions of Excel, released over 35 years ago in 1985? The shortcut has evolved and improved over the years, and its simplicity has contributed to its longevity and popularity among Excel users.

Overview of Auto Sum Shortcut in Excel-How to Use the Auto Sum Shortcut in Excel,

Image credits: by James Duncun

Steps to Using the Auto Sum Shortcut

Sum up your Excel work with ease! Use the Auto Sum Shortcut. Highlight the desired range of cells. Then, press the shortcut. Finally, check the Formula Bar to ensure your results are accurate. It’s easy to calculate large data sets this way!

Steps to Using the Auto Sum Shortcut-How to Use the Auto Sum Shortcut in Excel,

Image credits: by Yuval Washington

Highlight the Range of Cells

To utilize the Auto Sum Shortcut, it is essential to select a range of cells.

In order to ‘Highlight the Range of Cells,’ follow these three steps:

  1. Click on the cell positioned at the top-left edge of your intended range.
  2. Drag your mouse cursor across all cells until you reach the cell at the bottom-right edge of your intended range.
  3. Release your mouse button to highlight the required cells- they will be outlined in black on your worksheet.

It’s important to ensure that you select only those cells that contain information you wish to calculate using Auto Sum.

To optimize your usage, keep in mind unique details such as selecting non-adjacent ranges either by holding down ‘Ctrl’ while selecting, or by highlighting each individual group of required cells separately.

According to Microsoft Office Support, another related shortcut involves pressing Alt and equals signs (=) simultaneously when intending to Auto Sum.


Pressing the Auto Sum shortcut is like having a financial wizard at your fingertips, minus the Hogwarts acceptance letter.

Press the Auto Sum Shortcut

The Auto Sum Shortcut is a useful feature in Excel that helps users to quickly add up values in a selected range of cells. To access this feature, locate the recommended formula icon, which is represented by an ‘E’ symbol on the top navigation bar and click on it.

Here are six easy steps to follow when using the Auto Sum Shortcut:

  1. Select the cell where you would like your answer to appear
  2. Highlight the range of cells you wish to sum
  3. Press Alt + = or hold down ALT and then press + followed by =. Alternately, press the Auto Sum button from Home > Editing group.
  4. Excel will automatically insert the SUM function with the selected range as an argument in your chosen cell.
  5. Click enter or tab to see your answer displayed in your chosen cell.
  6. You can also drag select a range of adjacent cells and press enter or tab key.

In addition, it is important to note that if there are any blank cells within your selected range or non-numeric value cells, Excel will automatically ignore these cells and only sum up numeric values for accurate calculations.

A user once shared their story about how they spent hours manually adding up values in a spreadsheet before discovering the Auto Sum Shortcut. They were ecstatic when they found out how easy it was to use and saved them valuable time that could be better spent analyzing data.

Double-check your math like a paranoid accountant by verifying the sum in the formula bar.

Verify Sum by Checking Formula Bar

To ensure accuracy and confirm the validity of your calculation, you should verify the sum by checking the formula bar. The formula bar shows all the formulas in use within a cell and highlights any errors that may arise.

Follow these 5 steps to Verify Sum by Checking Formula Bar:

  1. Select the cell containing the sum you want to verify.
  2. Look at the formula bar at the top of the Excel worksheet.
  3. The formula bar displays all of the formulas in use for that particular cell.
  4. Make note of any specific formulas or changes necessary based on what is displayed in the formula bar.
  5. Verify that the calculated result matches up with what is displayed in your chosen cell as well as what is shown in your formula bar.

It’s important to bear in mind that by checking your results through this method, you avoid erroneous calculations that can occur through manual entry into cells. It saves time and ensures accuracy.

Knowing how to verify sums using this method can save significant time while simultaneously improving accuracy. So, be sure to always cross-check calculations via this approach before sharing reports with colleagues or clients.

Make Excel your obedient servant with these bonus tips for the Auto Sum Shortcut.

Additional Tips and Tricks for Using Auto Sum Shortcut

Mastering the auto sum shortcut in Excel requires extra help. So, here’s a section to assist you! It’s titled ‘Additional Tips and Tricks for Using Auto Sum Shortcut’. It has sub-sections to help you out. These are:

  1. Using the Keyboard Shortcut
  2. Auto Sum for Multiple Columns or Rows
  3. Customizing Auto Sum with Other Functions

With this, you can solve your Excel problems!

Additional Tips and Tricks for Using Auto Sum Shortcut-How to Use the Auto Sum Shortcut in Excel,

Image credits: by Yuval Washington

Using the Keyboard Shortcut

To maximize your efficiency when using Excel, it is important to master the various keyboard shortcuts available. One of the essential shortcuts to know is the auto sum shortcut, which allows you to quickly calculate totals for columns or rows of data without having to manually enter formulas.

Here are five simple steps for using the auto sum shortcut:

  1. Place your cursor in the cell where you want your total to appear.
  2. Press ALT and = simultaneously on your keyboard.
  3. Excel will automatically select what it thinks is the range of cells you want to sum. If Excel’s selection isn’t correct, you can manually adjust by selecting the range you want.
  4. Press ENTER on your keyboard to complete the calculation.
  5. The total will appear in the cell where your cursor was located.

It’s worth noting that while this shortcut may seem straightforward, it can save a significant amount of time when working with larger sets of data.

In addition, if you frequently need to use this shortcut across multiple sheets in an Excel file, consider customizing your Quick Access Toolbar by adding a button for AutoSum. This will allow you even quicker access to this powerful tool without having to navigate drop-down menus.

By becoming proficient with keyboard shortcuts like AutoSum, you can drastically enhance your productivity and competency with Microsoft Excel.

Unleash your inner mathlete and sum up multiple columns or rows with the Auto Sum shortcut, freeing up time for more important things like binge-watching Netflix.

Auto Sum for Multiple Columns or Rows

For increased efficiency, use the Auto Sum Shortcut for multiple columns or rows with ease in Excel. Simply select the range of numbers you want to add and press Alt + =.

Using actual data, create a table with columns and rows to demonstrate the functionality of Auto Sum for multiple columns or rows. With this feature, you can quickly tally up totals for large sets of numerical data without having to manually enter formulas into each cell.

Additionally, take advantage of other calculations available through this shortcut such as Average and Count. These additional features can save time and streamline workflow when working with large datasets.

Pro Tip: Customize your Auto Sum Shortcut by clicking on the arrow next to the Auto Sum button and selecting your preferred calculation option from the dropdown menu.

Auto Sum may be basic, but add some customization with other functions and it never gets old.

Customizing Auto Sum with Other Functions

For those who are proficient in using Auto Sum Shortcut, customizing it with other functions can bring new functionality to their Excel worksheets. By combining the Auto Sum Shortcut with various other functions, users can effectively create custom formulas tailored to their needs. Here are five easy steps to follow:

  1. Highlight a range of cells in which you want to perform the calculations.
  2. Press Alt + = on your keyboard or click on the Sigma symbol (Σ) in the “Editing” tab.
  3. Select a function from the drop-down menu that appears above the selected cells after pressing Alt + =.
  4. Type in additional values or cell references after the function name inside parentheses if necessary.
  5. Hit Enter to see the calculated results displayed in the last row or column of your selected range of cells.

Customizing Auto Sum with other functions can also involve adding text labels, formatting numbers as percentages, or changing cell colors depending on calculation criteria. This technique is usually useful for managing complex financial projections or data analysis tasks.

To go further, users can also make use of Excel’s formula auditing tools like Trace Precedents and Trace Dependents that help identify bugs and ensure accuracy before finalizing their worksheet.

Five Facts About How to Use the Auto Sum Shortcut in Excel:

  • ✅ The Auto Sum shortcut is represented by the symbol ∑. (Source: Excel Easy)
  • ✅ The shortcut allows users to quickly sum a range of cells without manually typing the formula. (Source: Tech Community)
  • ✅ The shortcut can be accessed by pressing Alt + = on a PC or Command + Shift + T on a Mac. (Source: TechJunkie)
  • ✅ The shortcut also works for other functions, like average, count, and minimum/maximum. (Source: Excel Campus)
  • ✅ The shortcut can save users time and improve efficiency when dealing with large amounts of data in Excel. (Source: Ablebits)

FAQs about How To Use The Auto Sum Shortcut In Excel

How do I use the Auto Sum Shortcut in Excel?

To use the Auto Sum Shortcut in Excel, you need to select the cell where you want to see the sum, and then press the following keys simultaneously: ALT and = (the equal sign).

What does the Auto Sum Shortcut do in Excel?

The Auto Sum Shortcut in Excel automatically calculates the sum of a range of cells. It is a quick and convenient way to add multiple numbers at once.

Can I use the Auto Sum Shortcut for non-numeric values?

No, the Auto Sum Shortcut in Excel is designed to add numeric values only. If you try to use it for non-numeric cells, you will see an error message.

Can I customize the Auto Sum Shortcut in Excel?

Yes, you can customize the Auto Sum Shortcut in Excel by selecting the cells you want to sum manually. Simply click and drag to select the cells you want to include in the sum, and then press the ALT and = keys simultaneously.

What is the difference between the Auto Sum Shortcut and the AutoCalculate feature in Excel?

The Auto Sum Shortcut and AutoCalculate feature both calculate the sum of a range of cells in Excel, but the AutoCalculate feature provides more options and can perform other calculations as well, such as averages, counts, and maximum and minimum values.

Can I undo the Auto Sum Shortcut in Excel?

Yes, you can undo the Auto Sum Shortcut in Excel by pressing the CTRL and Z keys simultaneously, or by clicking the Undo button on the toolbar. This will remove the sum from the selected cell and return it to its previous value.

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