How to Add 2 Cells in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Adding two cells in Excel is a straightforward task that can be accomplished with a simple formula. By using the SUM function or the “+” operator, you can quickly calculate the total of two or more cells. This can be useful for everything from basic arithmetic to complex financial analysis. With this quick overview, you’re ready to dive into the steps necessary to add two cells in Excel.

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Add 2 Cells in Excel

In the following steps, we’ll cover how to use the SUM function and the “+” operator to add two cells together in Excel. These functions are essential for performing basic calculations in your spreadsheets.

Step 1: Select the cell where you want the result to appear

Click on the cell in which you want the sum of the two cells to be displayed.

This cell is where the result of the addition will show up. Make sure it’s empty and not already containing any data that you do not want to overwrite.

Step 2: Type the SUM function or “+” operator

Enter the SUM function ‘=SUM()’ or the “+” operator ‘=’ into the selected cell and select the two cells you want to add.

For the SUM function, you would enter ‘=SUM(A1, B1)’ if you are adding cells A1 and B1. For the “+” operator, you would enter ‘=A1+B1’. Both methods will give you the same result.

Step 3: Press Enter to complete the formula

After entering the formula, press the Enter key on your keyboard to calculate the sum.

Once you press Enter, the sum of the two cells will appear in the cell you selected in step 1. If you need to add more than two cells, you can do so by adding additional cell references separated by commas in the SUM function or additional “+” operators.

After completing these steps, the two cells you selected will be added together, and the result will be displayed in the cell you chose. This is a great way to quickly perform addition without having to use a calculator or do the math in your head.

Tips: How to Add 2 Cells in Excel

  • Double-check your cell references to ensure you’re adding the correct cells.
  • Use the AutoSum feature for a quicker way to sum cells by selecting the cell where you want the result and clicking the AutoSum button.
  • Remember that the SUM function can add more than two cells, so you can use this function for larger calculations.
  • Use the “fill handle” to copy the formula to adjacent cells if you’re performing the same addition for multiple rows or columns.
  • Familiarize yourself with keyboard shortcuts, such as pressing “Alt” + “=” to automatically insert the SUM function.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between the SUM function and the “+” operator?

The SUM function allows you to add multiple cells at once, while the “+” operator is used for adding two cells or numbers.

Can I add more than two cells using the SUM function?

Yes, you can add as many cells as you need by including additional cell references separated by commas within the SUM function.

Can I use the SUM function to add cells across different sheets?

Yes, you can add cells from different sheets by including the sheet name and an exclamation mark before the cell reference, such as ‘=SUM(Sheet2!A1, Sheet3!B1)’.

What if my result shows an error instead of the sum?

An error might occur if there are non-numeric values in the cells you’re trying to add or if there’s a mistake in your formula. Double-check the formula and the cell contents.

Can I add cells that contain text and numbers?

No, the SUM function and “+” operator can only add numeric values. Text will be ignored in the sum.


  1. Select the result cell
  2. Type the SUM function or “+” operator
  3. Press Enter


Adding two cells in Excel is an essential skill that can save you time and increase your productivity. Whether you’re a student, a business professional, or someone who just loves to organize personal data, knowing how to add cells is a fundamental part of using Excel. Once you’ve mastered this simple task, you’ll find that Excel’s capabilities are vast and that there’s always more to learn. So, go ahead and try adding two cells in your next spreadsheet. Who knows what other Excel tricks you might discover along the way?

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