In this comprehensive guide, we will explore everything you need to know about the SUM formula in Google Sheets. The SUM formula is a fundamental and versatile function that allows you to add up a series of numbers, cells, or ranges. Whether you're a beginner or an advanced user, this article will provide you with valuable insights, examples, tips, and tricks to help you get the most out of the SUM formula.

SUM Syntax

The syntax for the SUM formula in Google Sheets is quite simple:

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


  • value1 is the first number, cell reference, or range that you want to add.
  • value2, ... (optional) are additional numbers, cell references, or ranges that you want to include in the sum. You can add up to 30 arguments in the SUM formula.

SUM Examples

Let's dive into some examples to see how the SUM formula works in different scenarios:

Example 1: Adding individual numbers

You can use the SUM formula to add individual numbers directly:

=SUM(5, 10, 15)

This formula will return the sum of the numbers 5, 10, and 15, which is 30.

Example 2: Adding cell references

You can also use the SUM formula to add the values of specific cells. For instance, if you have the following values in cells A1, A2, and A3:

A1: 5

A2: 10

A3: 15

You can use the following formula to add them:

=SUM(A1, A2, A3)

This formula will return the sum of the values in cells A1, A2, and A3, which is 30.

Example 3: Adding ranges

The SUM formula can also be used to add a range of cells. Using the same values as in Example 2, you can add the range A1:A3 with the following formula:


This formula will return the sum of the values in the range A1 to A3, which is 30.

SUM Tips & Tricks

Here are some tips and tricks to help you get the most out of the SUM formula:

Tip 1: Using SUM with other functions

You can combine the SUM formula with other functions to perform more complex calculations. For example, you can use the SUM and AVERAGE functions together to calculate the sum of the average values of two ranges:


Tip 2: Using SUM with conditional functions

You can use the SUM formula with conditional functions like SUMIF or SUMIFS to add values that meet specific criteria. For example, you can use the following formula to add all the values in the range A1:A10 that are greater than 10:

=SUMIF(A1:A10, ">10")

Common Mistakes When Using SUM

Here are some common mistakes that users make when using the SUM formula:

Mistake 1: Incorrect cell references or ranges

Make sure you are using the correct cell references or ranges in your SUM formula. Double-check your formula to ensure you are not accidentally including or excluding cells that should or should not be part of the sum.

Mistake 2: Forgetting to include all arguments

Ensure that you include all the necessary arguments in your SUM formula. If you forget to include an argument, the formula will not return the correct result.

Why Isn't My SUM Formula Working?

If your SUM formula isn't working as expected, consider the following troubleshooting steps:

Step 1: Check for errors in the formula

Make sure your formula is entered correctly, with the correct syntax and cell references. Look for any typos or missing arguments.

Step 2: Check for circular references

A circular reference occurs when a formula refers to itself, either directly or indirectly. This can cause errors in your calculations. Check your formula and the cells it references to ensure there are no circular references.

Step 3: Check for hidden or filtered rows

If your SUM formula is not returning the expected result, make sure that you are not accidentally excluding any hidden or filtered rows in your range.

SUM: Related Formulae

Here are some related formulae that you might find useful when working with the SUM formula:


The SUMIF formula allows you to add values in a range that meet a specific criterion. For example:

=SUMIF(A1:A10, ">10")


The SUMIFS formula allows you to add values in a range that meet multiple criteria. For example:

=SUMIFS(A1:A10, B1:B10, ">10", C1:C10, "<20")


The SUMPRODUCT formula multiplies corresponding elements in the given arrays and returns the sum of those products. For example:



The DSUM formula adds the values in a range based on criteria specified in a separate criteria range. For example:

=DSUM(A1:C10, "Amount", E1:F2)


You can use the ARRAYFORMULA function with SUM to perform calculations on arrays or ranges. For example:


With this comprehensive guide, you should now have a solid understanding of the SUM formula in Google Sheets, including its syntax, examples, tips, and tricks. By mastering the SUM formula, you can perform a wide range of calculations and improve your overall efficiency in Google Sheets.

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