You can perform many different mathematical operations in Google Sheets, including the addition of numbers. You can add numbers across columns or rows, or even numbers in different cells. Here’s how it’s done.

Add Numbers in a Single Cell

You can quickly add numbers in a single cell by using the =#+# formula. For example, if you wanted to get the sum of 2+2, you’d enter:

=2+2

The formula to add numbers in a single cell.

Press Enter to return the result.

The result of the sum of a single cell.

That’s all there is to it!

Add the Numbers of a Single Column or Row Using the SUM Function

You can quickly get the sum of numbers in a single row or column by using the SUM function. Let’s say we want to get the sum of the numbers in cells A2 through A6. First, select the cell that you’d like to calculate the sum in, and enter this formula:

=SUM(A2:A6)

The SUM function in cell C2.

This function tells Google Sheets that you want to get the sum of the numbers from A2 through A6. Be sure to use a colon (:) between the cell numbers. If you use a dash (-) which is often used to describe “everything in between,” then Google Sheets will subtract the input cells instead.

Once you’ve entered the correct formula, press Enter and the result will appear.

The sum of the numbers in column A.

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Similarly, you can add the numbers in a row by taking a similar approach. Let’s say that, instead of adding the numbers from Column A, we want to add the numbers in Row 2 (A2 through E2). Select the cell you want to calculate the sum in and then enter this formula:

=SUM(A2:E2)

The sum function for a row of numbers.

Press Enter the display the results.

The result of the sum of the row of numbers.

Add the Numbers of Multiple Columns or Rows Using the SUM Function

You don’t have to reenter the formula multiple times. If you want to quickly get the sum of multiple rows or columns, you can enter the formula once and then use the drag-and-drop method to quickly get the results.

First, enter the SUM function in the cell to get the sum of the first row (or column). So, if you want to get the sum of cells A2 through C2, you’d enter:

=SUM(A2:C2)

The sum of row A2.

Press Enter to get the result. Then, simply click the bottom-right corner of the cell and drag it down. Google Sheets will automatically update the SUM formula for each row (or column).

Add the Numbers of Different Cells Using the SUM Function

You can get the sum of numbers from cells in different columns and rows by simply replacing the colon (:) with a comma (,) in the SUM formula.

For example, if you want to get the sum of cells A2, B3, C5, and D4, you’d enter:

=SUM(A2,B3,C5,D4)

The sum function for multiple cells.

Press Enter to get the result.

The result of the sum of multiple cells.

Google Does the Hard Work For You

If you just need a quick answer and don’t really have time to enter a formula, Google understands. All you need to do is highlight the cells you want to get the sum for by clicking and dragging your cursor over them.

Selected cells in Sheets.

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Once selected, Google Sheets automatically adds them for you. Just take a look at the bottom-right corner of the window!

Googles auto sum feature.

Neat, right?

Google Sheets is a fantastic tool for these basic mathematical operations. In addition to adding, you can also subtract, multiply, and divide numbers. Who needs a calculator?

RELATED: 9 Basic Google Sheets Functions You Should Know

Profile Photo for Marshall Gunnell Marshall Gunnell
Marshall is a writer with experience in the data storage industry. He worked at Synology, and most recently as CMO and technical staff writer at StorageReview. He's currently an API/Software Technical Writer based in Tokyo, Japan, runs VGKAMI and ITEnterpriser, and spends what little free time he has learning Japanese.
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