Adding some cells from a row, column or array is one of the most common things one can do in Google Sheets. The **SUM** function in Google Sheets can be utilized in such cases. The **SUM** function can add numbers, numbers stored as texts, or unique numbers stored for text values. Here, in this article, I will demonstrate a few examples of how to use the **SUM** function in Google Sheets.

**Table of Contents**hide

## A Sample of Practice Spreadsheet

## What Is SUM Function in Google Sheets?

The **SUM** function is used to return the sum of a series of numbers and/or cells.

#### Syntax

The **SUM** function’s syntax is as follows:

`=SUM (value1, [value2, ...])`

#### Arguments

Argument | Requirement | Function |
---|---|---|

`value1` |
Required | The first number or range to add together |

`[value2]` |
Optional | Additional numbers or ranges to be added to value1 |

#### Output

The formula **SUM (3,5,8)** will have an output of **16**.

## 6 Examples to Use SUM Function in Google Sheets

First, let’s know about our dataset. We have considered the performance of students from four different schools. Here, we can apply the **SUM** function to determine the total number of students from various categories. Now, let’s go through the examples.

### 1. Add Values Directly

Here, we will calculate the total number of students who have outstanding performance.

__Steps:__

- For that, go to
**Cell C10**(where you want to calculate the total) and type the following formula, and press**Enter**key-

`=SUM (16,11,21,7)`

### 2. Sum Up Cells of a Row

Entering every value like in the previous method isn’t very efficient in large datasets. Also, changing any value from the dataset will not change the value of the output. We can insert the values as a range instead to create a more flexible and dynamic dataset.

Here, I’ll be calculating the total number of students in the School of Science.

__Steps:__

- For that, go to
**Cell G6**and type in the following formula and then press**Enter**key-

`=SUM (C6:F6)`

Here, the array **C6:F6** indicates the value of every cell from **Cell C6** to **Cell F6**.

### 3. Add Cells of a Column

Here, we will use the **SUM** formula to calculate the total number of students in consideration.

__Steps:__

- Follow
**the previous method**to calculate the total number of students in the School of Science. Then use the**Fill Handle**icon to copy the formula into other cells of the column.

- This will calculate the total number of students in other schools.

- Now, in
**Cell G10**, type in the following formula and press**Enter.**This will calculate the total number of students in consideration-

`=SUM(G6:G9)`

### 4. Add Specific Cells

We can use the **SUM** function to exclude a few cells while adding the values from a range. For example, let’s calculate the number of students who have outstanding performance but are not from the School of Economics.

__Steps:__

- To calculate this, go to
**Cell G12**and type in the following formula and then press**Enter**Key-

`=SUM(C6:C7,C9)`

### 5. Sum Up Cells of an Array

We can include both rows and columns in our range for the **SUM **formula.

__Steps:__

- Instead of method 3, we can type the following formula in
**Cell G10**and press**Enter**key to calculate the total number of students in consideration-

`=SUM(C6:F9)`

### 6. Sum Unique Numbers Stored for Text Values

We can use the **SUM** function combined with **the VLOOKUP function** and **the ARRAYFORMULA function** to add unique numbers stored for text values. For that, we have taken a new dataset where the result for 4 different games is shown for 5 different clubs. The points assigned for each type of result are also indicated in a different table. We need to calculate the total points for each club.

__Steps:__

- Select
**Cell G5**and type in the following formula and then press**Enter**key.

`=ARRAYFORMULA(SUM(VLOOKUP(C5:F5,$I$5:$J$7,2,0)))`

__Formula Breakdown:__

**VLOOKUP(C5:F5,$I$5:$J$7,2,0)**

The **VLOOKUP **function searches down the first column of the range **I5:J7** for search key **C5:F5** and return specified cells from 2nd column of the range.

**SUM(VLOOKUP(C5:F5,$I$5:$J$7,2,0))**

Next, the **SUM** function returns the sum of the numbers returned by the **VLOOKUP** function.

**ARRAYFORMULA(SUM(VLOOKUP(C5:F5,$I$5:$J$7,2,0)))**

After that, the **ARRAYFORMULA** function helps the non-array function **VLOOKUP** to return an array to the **SUM** function.

- Now, use the
**Fill Handle**to copy the formula in other cells of the column.

- Thus, we can sum unique numbers stored for text values.

## How to Automatically Add Numbers in Google Sheets

One can add numbers automatically with every entry in the datasheet if he/she types the formula before entering the values.

__Steps:__

- Select
**Cell G5**and type in the following formula and press**Enter**key. Since there is no entry yet in the array**C6:F6**the output is**0**.

`=SUM(C6:F6)`

- Now, select
**Cell C6**and start entering data for the array. As soon as you enter the data in**Cell C6**and press**Enter**or**Tab**key, the value in**Cell G10**will change.

- Each time you enter/change a value in that array, the value in
**Cell G6**will also change.

## What to Do When SUM Function Is Not Working in Google Sheets

Sometimes some formulas in Google Sheets might not show the required result although every argument of the formula has been inserted correctly. There can be various reasons behind this problem. But here we discuss one of the most common instances where the **SUM** function doesn’t provide the required output and how we can solve this problem.

__Steps:__

- Here, in this datasheet, we have inserted the arguments correctly in the
**SUM**function; but instead of the accurate output of**65**, the**SUM**function has provided us with an output of**0**.

- But if you select the array of the argument and go to the
**More Formats**option from the**Clipboard**, you will see that instead of**Number**or**Automatic**, the data format is**Plain Text**. This is the reason behind an output of**0**.

- Now, we can change the format to
**Automatic**or**Numbers**. But instead of changing the dataset, we can combine the**SUM**function with the**ARRAYFORMULA**function and**the VALUE function**to calculate the sum. For that, select**Cell G5**and type in the following formula, and then press**Enter**key.

`=ARRAYFORMULA(SUM(VALUE(C6:F6)))`

__Formula Breakdown:__

**VALUE(C6:F6)**

The **VALUE** function converts the string entries into numbers.

**SUM(VALUE(C6:F6))**

Then the **SUM** function adds the numbers returned by the **VALUE** function.

**ARRAYFORMULA(SUM(VALUE(C6:F6)))**

Finally, the **ARRAYFORMULA** function helps the non-array function **VALUE** to return an array to the **SUM** function.

## Things to Be Considered

- Use
**Comma**(,) between arguments of the**SUM**function. - Use the
**ARRAYFORMULA**function in cases where a non-array function has to return an array.

## Conclusion

This concludes our article to learn about how to use the SUM function in Google Sheets. I hope the provided examples will be sufficient for your requirements. Feel free to leave any comments or advice in the comment box.