Adding Up. How to Sum Numbers in Google Sheets

How to Sum Numbers in Google Sheets #

Google Sheets is a powerful tool for managing and analyzing data, and one common task is adding up numbers. Whether you want to calculate the total of a column, a row, or a range of cells, Google Sheets provides several straightforward methods to achieve this. In this article, we will explore both manual and scripting methods to sum numbers in Google Sheets, along with use case examples.

Manual Method #

To add up numbers manually in Google Sheets, follow these steps:

  1. Open your Google Sheets document and navigate to the sheet where you want to perform the calculations.

  2. Identify the range of cells that you want to sum. For example, if you want to sum all the numbers in column A from row 2 to row 10, select the cell where you want the total to appear.

  3. In the selected cell, type the following formula: =SUM(A2:A10). Replace A2:A10 with the actual range you want to sum. The formula starts with the SUM function, followed by the range enclosed in parentheses.

  4. Press Enter, and the total sum will appear in the selected cell. The formula will recalculate automatically whenever the numbers in the range change.

Google Apps Script Method #

If you need to sum numbers dynamically or perform more complex calculations, you can use Google Apps Script to create custom functions. Here's an example script to sum a range of cells using a custom formula:

  1. Open your Google Sheets document and navigate to the sheet where you want to add the custom formula.

  2. Click on the "Extensions" tab in the menu bar and select "Apps Script" from the drop-down menu. This will open the Google Apps Script editor in a new tab.

  3. In the Apps Script editor, delete any existing code and replace it with the following script:

function sumRange(range) {
var sum = 0;
range.forEach(function(row) {
row.forEach(function(cell) {
if (cell && typeof cell === 'number') {
sum += cell;
return sum;
  1. Save the script by clicking on the floppy disk icon or pressing Ctrl + S.

  2. Return to your Google Sheets document, and you can now use the sumRange custom function in your formulas. For example, to sum the range A2:A10, you can simply type =sumRange(A2:A10) in any cell, and the total sum will appear.

Use Case Examples #

  1. Summing sales data: If you have a column of sales figures and want to calculate the total, you can use the SUM function or the custom sumRange function.

  2. Tracking expenses: Summing up a row of expenses for different categories allows you to see the total amount spent in each category.

  3. Calculating monthly budgets: By summing expenses, income, and savings in separate columns, you can easily calculate your total monthly budget.

  4. Aggregating survey responses: If you have a table of survey responses with numerical ratings, you can use the SUM function to calculate the average or total score.

In conclusion, adding up numbers in Google Sheets is a simple yet essential operation for performing calculations and analyzing data. Whether you prefer manual formulas or custom scripting, Google Sheets provides versatile solutions to meet your needs. Start exploring the power of number-summing functions in Google Sheets and improve your productivity when working with data.

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