Excel Addition Formula

The Excel + Operator

  A B
1 = 2 + 7 + 1  

The simplest type of Excel addition formula is made up of the = sign, followed by two or more numbers, with the + operator in between them.

For example, to add together the numbers 2, 7 and 1, type the following into any Excel cell:

= 2 + 7 + 1

which returns the result 10.

  A B
1 = B1 + B2 + B3 2
2   7
3   1

As with all Excel formulas, instead of typing the numbers directly into your addition formula, 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 (which contain the values 2, 7 and 1). Again, the formula returns the value 10.

The Excel Sum Function

Instead of using the + operator, you can use the Excel Sum Function to perform addition in Excel. The syntax 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.

  A B
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 (i.e. the values 2, 7 and 1). 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 above example spreadsheet, 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.

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