How to Add Data and Formulas in Google Sheets: A Step-by-Step Guide

Adding numbers in Google Sheets is like a walk in the park – easy and straightforward. All you need to do is select the cells you want to add, type in a simple formula, and voila! You have your sum. It’s a handy skill that can save you tons of time, whether you’re a student, an accountant, or just someone trying to keep track of their expenses. So let’s dive in and learn how to add in Google Sheets!

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Add in Google Sheets

Adding numbers in Google Sheets is a basic but essential skill. The following steps will guide you through the process of how to add cells, rows, or columns in Google Sheets.

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

Click on the cell where you want your sum total to show up. This is usually at the end of a column or row of numbers that you want to add together.

Selecting the right cell is important because this is where the result of your addition will be displayed. Make sure it’s at the end of the numbers you’re adding, so it’s clear what the sum refers to.

Step 2: Type the sum formula into the cell

Type “=SUM(” into the cell, without the quotation marks.

The SUM formula is Google Sheets’ way of knowing that you want to add numbers together. Make sure to start the formula with an equals sign (=) so Google Sheets recognizes it as a formula.

Step 3: Highlight the cells you want to add

Click and drag your mouse over the cells containing the numbers you want to add.

Highlighting the right cells is crucial. If you select too few, you won’t get the full total. If you select too many, your sum will be too high. Be precise!

Step 4: Press Enter

After highlighting the desired cells, close the formula with a parenthesis “)” and press Enter.

Pressing Enter will execute the formula in Google Sheets. If you’ve done everything right, you should now see the sum of the numbers you selected appear in the cell you chose in step 1.

After completing these steps, the sum of the selected numbers will be calculated and displayed in the cell you’ve chosen. This can help you quickly total up expenses, scores, or any other numbers you’re working with.

Tips for Adding in Google Sheets

  • Always start your formula with an equals sign (=) to let Google Sheets know you’re about to input a formula.
  • Double-check that you’ve selected all the cells you want to add before pressing Enter.
  • Use the fill handle (a small square at the bottom-right corner of a cell) to copy your sum formula to other cells.
  • Remember that you can also add numbers by typing them directly into the SUM formula, separated by commas (e.g., =SUM(1,2,3)).
  • If you’re adding a long column or row of numbers, consider using the “AutoSum” feature located in the toolbar for a quicker result.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I add up a whole column or row without selecting each cell individually?

You can type the cell range into the SUM formula, like “=SUM(A1:A10)” for adding cells A1 through A10.

Can I add non-adjacent cells in Google Sheets?

Yes, you can add non-adjacent cells by holding the Ctrl (Cmd on Mac) key while selecting the cells or typing the cell references into the formula separated by commas.

Can I add cells across different sheets?

Yes, you can add cells across different sheets by specifying the sheet name in the formula, like “=SUM(Sheet1!A1, Sheet2!A1)”.

How do I subtract numbers in Google Sheets?

To subtract numbers, use the minus sign (-) between cell references, like “=A1-A2”.

Can I use the SUM formula for decimal numbers?

Yes, the SUM formula works for decimal numbers just as well as it does for whole numbers.


  1. Select the cell for the sum result.
  2. Type in the SUM formula.
  3. Highlight the cells to add.
  4. Press Enter to get the sum.


So now you know how to add in Google Sheets – simple, right? With these easy steps, you can total up numbers in no time. Remember, the SUM formula is your best friend when it comes to adding in Google Sheets, and don’t forget to double-check your selected cells before hitting that Enter key. Whether you’re putting together a budget, calculating grades, or just keeping track of your daily coffee expenses, this skill will come in handy more often than you think. So go ahead, give it a try, and see how much easier number-crunching can be with Google Sheets. And if you’re ever in doubt, you can always refer back to this guide or the many resources available online. Happy adding!

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