How to Quickly Sum and Get Totals of Entire Table Columns in Excel Sheets

Summing columns in Excel is a common task for many users. Getting a total for an entire column allows you to quickly see sums, averages, and other aggregate measures in your data. Fortunately, Excel provides several easy ways to sum columns. In this article, I’ll cover the various methods you can use to sum columns in Excel.

Using the AutoSum Feature

One of the quickest ways to sum a column in Excel is with the AutoSum feature:

  1. Click on the cell where you want the total for the column to appear
  2. Go to the Home tab on the ribbon
  3. Click the AutoSum button (Σ)
  4. Press Enter

Excel will automatically total the numbers based on the column of data above your selected cell and display the sum.

You can also use AutoSum to total multiple columns at once by selecting multiple cells before clicking the AutoSum button.


  • Extremely fast way to sum columns
  • Automatically detects range to sum
  • Can sum multiple columns at once


  • Only sums numbers directly above selected cell
  • Doesn’t work if there are gaps in the column data

Using the SUM Function

The SUM function allows you to specify the exact range to sum. This gives you more flexibility compared to AutoSum. Here are the steps:

  1. Select the cell where you want the sum to appear
  2. Type =SUM(
  3. Select the cell range you want to sum
  4. Type )
  5. Press Enter

For example, to sum cells A1 to A10, you would use =SUM(A1:A10)

You can also sum non-contiguous ranges by selecting the first range, holding Ctrl and selecting the other ranges before pressing Enter.


  • Can specify any cell range to sum
  • Works with non-contiguous ranges
  • More flexibility than AutoSum


  • Requires some manual work to select ranges
  • Easy to make mistakes in range selection

Using the Status Bar

You can get a quick sum of a column using Excel’s status bar at the bottom:

  1. Select the entire column of numbers (click column header letter)
  2. Look at the status bar for the Sum value

This method provides an instant total without inserting a formula into your spreadsheet.


  • Extremely fast way to view column total
  • Doesn’t require inserting formulas
  • Easy way to check totals when data changes


  • Total only shows while column selected
  • Total doesn’t appear in the spreadsheet

Convert Range to Excel Table

When you convert data into an Excel Table, you get access to easy column totals:

  1. Select entire data range
  2. Go to Insert tab and click Table
  3. Check the Total Row box in the Table Tools Design tab

This will instantly give you a row with sums for each column without using any formulas. The totals also update automatically when data changes.


  • Provides an instant total row
  • Totals update automatically as data changes
  • No need to write formulas


  • Only works for Excel Tables, not regular ranges
  • Can only sum entire columns

Use Power Query (Get & Transform)

Power Query lets you automate column totals through a refreshable query:

  1. Select column you want to sum
  2. Go to Data tab and click Get & Transform Data > From Table/Range
  3. Right-click the column in the Query Editor and select Sum
  4. Close & Load the query as a new sheet or connection

Now you can refresh the query anytime to update the sums.


  • Totals update automatically when refreshed
  • Can create multiple sums based on filters
  • Very flexible calculations


  • More complex to set up than other methods
  • Requires loading the data to a new location


As you can see, Excel provides a number of straightforward ways to get totals for entire columns. The AutoSum feature and Excel Tables offer the quickest ways to add totals directly within your existing spreadsheet. Power Query lets you automate and customize column sums through refreshable queries. Ultimately, the best method depends on your specific needs. Learning all these techniques will allow you to quickly sum columns in any situation.

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