Excel Addition Formula

The Excel + Operator

1= 2 + 7 + 1 

The simplest Excel addition formula is made up of the = sign, followed by two or more numbers, with the + operator in between them. This is shown in the above spreadsheet on the right.

The excel addition formula in the example spreadsheet calculates the sum of the three numbers 2, 7 and 1 and returns the result 10.

1= B1 + B2 + B32
2 7
3 1

As with all Excel formulas, instead of typing in the numbers directly, you can use references to cells containing numbers.

The Excel addition formula in cell A1 of the above spreadsheet on the right adds together the contents of cells B1, B2 and B3. Again, the formula returns the value 10.

The Excel Sum Function

Instead of using the + operator Excel provides a built-in Sum Function that can be used to perform addition in Excel. The format of this function is:

=SUM( number1, [number2], ... )

where number1, [number2], etc. are one or more numbers (or references to cells containing numbers) that you want to add together.

1=SUM( B1, B2, B3 )2
2 7
3 1

An example of the Excel Sum function is shown in cell A1 of the above spreadsheet on the right.

In this example, the Sum function is used to add together the three values in cells B1, B2 and B3. Once again, the function returns the value 10.

Supplying a Range of Cells to the Sum Function

You can also supply one or more ranges of cells to the Excel Sum function (rather than typing in each individual value or cell reference).

For example, in the spreadsheet used above, in order to find the sum of the values in cells B1 - B3, you could simply type the formula:

=SUM( B1:B3 )

This is much quicker than typing multiple cell references, particularly if you have a large set of values that you want to add together.

For further information and examples of the Excel Sum function, see the Excel Sum Function page.