- How to Add Numbers in Google Sheets: Step by Step
- Select Cells to See Automatic Sum
- Add Numbers with the SUM Function
- How to Automatically Add a Series of Numbers in Google Sheets?
There are many ways to add numbers in Google Sheets, whether you want to add up numbers in your spreadsheet or add a series of numbers to it. In addition to the plus sign, which you can always use in your formulas, there are a few built-in functions that you can use to add up your numbers. One of these functions - ADD - is very limited, as it can only add two scalar values; for this reason, it will not be covered in this guide. The SUM function is very flexible and can be used to sum multiple values or arrays of values. Moreover, you can combine the plus sign with ARRAYFORMULA to instantly perform multiple sum operations with numbers in different columns. Finally, you will learn how to use the autofill options to add different types of series to your spreadsheet.
In this guide, you will learn different ways to add numbers in Google Sheets. You will learn how to select cells and instantly see the sum of those numbers. You will also learn how to add numbers by using the plus sign and the SUM function. Additionally, you will learn to combine the plus sign with the ARRAYFORMULA function to quickly add the values in one column or row to the corresponding values in another column or row. Finally, you will learn to use autofill to automatically complete a series of numbers, dates, or alphanumeric values ending in a number.
How to Add Numbers in Google Sheets: Step by Step
There are many different ways to add numbers in Google Sheets. Below, you have step-by-step instructions on how to add numbers using the plus sign, the SUM function, and ARRAYFORMULA with the plus sign. Before that, however, you’ll learn how to see the sum value of multiple cells by simply selecting them.
Select Cells to See Automatic Sum
When you need to see the sum so quickly that you don’t even have time to type, the quickest way is to select the cells containing the values you want to add.
1. Select Cells
Select the cells containing the numbers you want to add up. If they’re not in adjacent cells, hold down Ctrl (Windows) or Cmd (Mac) while selecting them.
2. Automatic Sum
As soon as you select more than one cell, you’ll see a button with the sum value next to the ‘Explore’ button on the bottom-right corner of your spreadsheet.
3. More Automatic Calculations
Click on the button with the sum to see other quick calculations: average, minimum, maximum, count (cells), and count (numbers).
Add Numbers with the Plus Sign (+)
The method shown above is the quickest way to see the sum of your values. However, the value is not returned anywhere in the spreadsheet. You can write a formula in an empty cell if you want to reuse the sum in a different calculation.
In an empty cell, type the equal sign followed by the first number. Add a plus sign, then add the second number, and so on.
If the numbers are already in your spreadsheet, you can select the cells instead of typing the numbers.
Add Numbers with the SUM Function
As mentioned above, Google Sheets has a built-in function called ADD, but it only accepts two scalar values. For this reason, SUM is a much more popular function, as are SUMIF and SUMIFS. You can use SUM by typing it into your formula and selecting the cells you want to add. Alternatively, you can select the cells first, then add the function from the toolbar or the menu.
- 1. Select the cells you want to add, and from the toolbar, select functions and then SUM.
- 2. You can also insert the SUM function from the menu. Go to Insert > Function > SUM.
- 3. The sum is automatically inserted below the selected column of cells. If you select a row instead of a column, the sum will be inserted to the right of the selected cells.
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Add Columns with ARRAYFORMULA & Plus Sign
If you need to add the numbers in one column or row to those in another, you can use SUM with ARRAYFORMULA.
- 1. In an empty cell, type the equal sign and select the first column of values.
- 2. Add the plus sign and select the second column of values.
- 3. Press Ctrl + Shift + Enter (Windows) or Cmd + Shift + Enter (Mac): the ARRAYFORMULA will be wrapped around your formula automatically.
- 4. Press ‘Enter’ to see the results.
How to Automatically Add a Series of Numbers in Google Sheets?
Highlight the cells with the first few values in your series, then grab the fill handle and drag it down (or right) to continue the series. This works for numbers as well as dates, and you can also use it with text values that end with a number.
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Add a Series of Consecutive or Sequential Numbers
For example, let’s start with a simple series of consecutive numbers that increase by one digit. Type in the first two or three numbers and select them.
Grab the fill handle and drag it down as far as you need.
However, you can easily complete a series where the numbers increase by whatever number of digits you want.
Add a Series of Dates
If you want to add a consecutive list of dates that increases by a single day, you just need to type in the first date.
Grab the fill handle and drag it down to complete the series.
Add a Series of Alphanumeric Values
It’s also possible to use autofill to complete a series of alphanumeric values that end with a number.
Type in the first value in your series.
Grab the fill handle and drag it down as far as you need.
There are many ways to add up or add numbers in Google Sheets. You now know that the quickest way to see the sum of a set of values is to select them, as Google Sheets will automatically show you the sum of those values. You also know that if you click on the button containing the sum, you also get instant access to the average, the minimum, the maximum, the count of cells, and the count of numbers.
However, while this method displays those values, you can’t reuse them in your spreadsheet. Instead, you can use the plus sign or the SUM function to calculate the sum inside a cell. Additionally, you know how to combine the plus sign and the ARRAYFORMULA function to sum the values of the cells in one column to the values of the corresponding cells in another column. Finally, you know how to use the autofill feature to quickly complete a series of numbers, dates, or alphanumeric values.
To learn how to sum values based on one or multiple criteria, check out our guide on SUMIF & SUMIFS in Google Sheets: Formula & Examples.