Adding Numbers in a Google Sheets Document
Google Sheets, available for free with a Google account, is a great alternative to Microsoft Excel. Sheets comes with lots of powerful features that can help you crunch numbers or simply have a list of things that you need to keep track of. This is a basic tutorial on how to use a formula to add up a list of numbers so let us get started…
Getting to Google Sheets
If you have already seen my other post on how to get to Google Apps, or you know how to get there, great. If you don’t know how, read the tutorial now and then come back to this page.
Creating the Spreadsheet
Now that you’re in Google Sheets, you should see a grid (each block called a cell). Above the cells there are letters. On the left of the cells are numbers. This is how we name each cell. For example, A1 refers to the very first cell in the corner.
For our example, let’s start in the very first spot, A1. Starting in cell A1 and going on down, we’ll input 5 numbers in each cell.
A1 = 120
A2 = 75
A3 = 27
A4 = 65
A5 = 234
Adding the Numbers
Since we have our numbers in the cells, it’s time to add them all up. Now, we could add these numbers up without having an application do it for us, but let’s pretend that there are 200 numbers that we need to add. Now you can begin to see the benefit of having Google Sheets do it for us.
In cell A7 (we’ll leave a blank cell in between) we’ll enter a formula to add up all the numbers. The formula we will be entering is called a function. A function will add up every number that is located in A1 to A5. Then, it will display it wherever the function was placed. The function we will use is
=SUM(A1:A5). This function will now add up every number that is located in A1 to A5 and display it where the function is.
Next, after you type the function into the cell, press the ENTER button and it will display the total of the numbers in that range.
As a result of this example, you should hopefully see the power of a spreadsheet with a function that adds up all the numbers within a given range. Now, imagine having 50 rows of numbers. Change any of the numbers and the total automatically recalculates to show the change.
If you found this post useful (or not), let me know in the comment section below or email me directly via the Contact Me page. Also, if you want to learn more about Google Sheets, visit the official website.