Google Sheets Sum: A Step-by-Step Guide to Finding Totals

Finding the sum of numbers in Google Sheets is a simple task that can be accomplished in just a few clicks. By using the SUM function, you can quickly add up a range of cells and get the total sum. This can be incredibly useful for budgeting, data analysis, or any other situation where you need to tally up numbers.

Step by Step Tutorial: Google Sheets Sum

Before we dive into the steps, let’s clarify what we’re about to do. We’re going to use the SUM function in Google Sheets to add up a range of numbers. The SUM function is a built-in feature that makes calculating totals a breeze.

Step 1: Open your Google Sheet

Open the Google Sheet that contains the data you want to sum up.

Opening your Google Sheet is your starting point. Make sure you’re logged into your Google account and open the Sheet you need.

Step 2: Select the cell where you want the sum to appear

Click on the cell where you would like the total sum to be displayed.

This cell will display your sum once you’ve completed the steps. It can be anywhere on your Sheet that makes sense for your data.

Step 3: Type “=SUM(” into the selected cell

Click on the selected cell and type “=SUM(” without the quotes.

This is where the magic starts! Typing “=SUM(” tells Google Sheets that you’re going to be using the SUM function.

Step 4: Highlight the range of cells you want to sum

Click and drag your mouse over the range of cells that you want to add up.

Make sure you highlight only the cells you want to include in your sum. You can select cells that are next to each other or skip around if needed.

Step 5: Close the parentheses and hit Enter

After highlighting the cells, type a closing parenthesis “)” and hit Enter.

By closing the parentheses and hitting Enter, you’re telling Google Sheets to execute the SUM function and display the total sum in the cell you selected.

After completing these steps, you’ll see the total sum of the selected cells displayed in the cell you chose. This can help you quickly assess the total of expenses, sales, or any other numerical data you’re working with.

Tips for Finding Google Sheets Sum

  • Make sure you’re selecting the correct range of cells to sum up; it’s easy to accidentally include an extra cell or miss one.
  • You can use the SUM function across different sheets within the same Google Sheets file by specifying the sheet name.
  • If you need to sum up non-adjacent cells, you can use the SUM function and add each cell reference separated by commas.
  • For a quick sum of a range of cells, you can also highlight the cells and look at the bottom right corner of Google Sheets for a quick sum without using the SUM function.
  • Remember that you can undo any action in Google Sheets by pressing Ctrl+Z (Cmd+Z on Mac) if you make a mistake.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I sum up cells that contain text and numbers?

No, the SUM function only adds up cells that contain numerical values. If a cell contains text, it will be ignored in the sum.

What if my sum isn’t adding up correctly?

Make sure you’ve selected the correct range of cells and that there are no typos in your formula. Also, check that all the cells you want to include contain numerical values.

Can I use the SUM function to add up entire columns or rows?

Yes, you can sum up entire columns or rows by using the column letter or row number in your SUM function (e.g., =SUM(A:A) or =SUM(1:1)).

How do I sum up cells with specific criteria?

For more advanced sums, you can use the SUMIF or SUMIFS function to sum cells based on certain criteria.

Can I sum up numbers from different Google Sheets files?

No, the SUM function only works within the same Google Sheets file. However, you can import data from another file and then sum it up.


  1. Open your Google Sheet.
  2. Select the cell for the sum to appear.
  3. Type “=SUM(” in the selected cell.
  4. Highlight the cell range to sum.
  5. Close the parentheses and hit Enter.


Now that you know how to find a Google Sheets sum, you’re well on your way to becoming a Google Sheets pro. This simple yet powerful function can save you a lot of time and help you manage your data more effectively. Whether you’re creating a budget, analyzing business data, or working on a school project, knowing how to quickly sum up numbers is an essential skill in today’s data-driven world. So go ahead, open up your Google Sheets, and start summing – it’s easier than you think! And if you ever get stuck, just remember that practice makes perfect and the internet is full of resources to help you master Google Sheets. Happy summing!

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