Excel Tutorial: How To Add Plus Sign In Excel


When working with Excel, it's important to know how to add a plus sign to your data. Whether you're performing calculations, creating formulas, or simply formatting your spreadsheet, knowing how to properly use the plus sign can greatly improve your efficiency and accuracy.

In this tutorial, we'll provide a brief overview of the steps to add a plus sign in Excel, so you can start utilizing this essential tool with confidence.

Key Takeaways

  • Knowing how to add a plus sign in Excel is important for performing calculations, creating formulas, and formatting spreadsheets.
  • The AutoSum feature can be used to quickly add a plus sign to a column of numbers in Excel.
  • Manually adding a plus sign before a number in Excel requires careful attention to ensure accuracy.
  • The CONCATENATE function and custom cell formatting options offer additional methods for adding a plus sign in Excel.
  • Shortcut keys can be used to efficiently add a plus sign in Excel, improving productivity and workflow.

Understanding the AutoSum feature

Explanation of how AutoSum works in Excel

The AutoSum feature in Excel is a powerful tool that allows you to quickly add up a series of numbers in a column or row. It automatically generates a formula to sum the selected range of cells, saving you time and effort.

Demonstration of using AutoSum to add a plus sign to a column of numbers

When you want to add a plus sign to a column of numbers in Excel, you can easily do so using the AutoSum feature. Here's how:

  • Select the cell where you want the sum to appear
  • Click on the "AutoSum" button in the Home tab of the Excel ribbon
  • Excel will automatically select the range of cells above the cell where you placed the cursor and generate a formula for summing those cells
  • To add a plus sign before the sum, simply type "+" before the AutoSum formula, e.g. +SUM(A1:A5)
  • Press Enter to confirm the formula and display the sum with the plus sign

Manually adding a plus sign

Adding a plus sign before a number in Excel can be a simple task, but it's important to ensure accuracy when inputting data. Below is a step-by-step guide to manually adding a plus sign in Excel, along with some tips for ensuring accuracy.

A. Step-by-step guide to manually adding a plus sign before a number in Excel

  • Select the cell: Start by selecting the cell where you want to add the plus sign before the number.
  • Press the equals sign: After selecting the cell, press the equals sign (=) on your keyboard.
  • Type the plus sign: Once the equals sign is entered, type the plus sign (+) followed by the number you want to display.
  • Press Enter: After typing the plus sign and the number, press Enter to apply the change.

B. Tips for ensuring accuracy when manually adding plus signs

  • Double-check your input: Before pressing Enter, double-check the input to ensure that the plus sign and the number are entered correctly.
  • Use cell formatting: If you frequently need to display numbers with a plus sign, consider using cell formatting to automatically add the plus sign without manually inputting it each time.
  • Verify calculations: After adding the plus sign, verify any calculations or formulas that use the modified number to ensure accuracy in your calculations.

Using the CONCATENATE function

The CONCATENATE function in Excel allows you to combine the contents of multiple cells into one cell. This can be particularly useful when you want to add a plus sign to a cell.

Explanation of the CONCATENATE function in Excel

The CONCATENATE function takes multiple arguments and combines them into a single string. It is used as follows: =CONCATENATE(text1, [text2][text2], etc. are the strings or cell references that you want to combine.

Example of how to use the CONCATENATE function to add a plus sign to a cell

Let's say you have two cells, A1 and B1, containing the numbers 5 and 10. You want to combine these numbers into one cell with a plus sign in between.

  • Step 1: In an empty cell, enter the following formula: =CONCATENATE(A1, " + ", B1)
  • Step 2: Press Enter. The result will be a cell displaying "5 + 10".

This demonstrates how the CONCATENATE function can be used to add a plus sign to a cell in Excel.

Customizing cell formatting

Excel offers a wide range of customization options for cell formatting, allowing users to display data in a way that meets their specific needs. This can include adding plus signs to indicate positive values, which can be particularly useful in financial or statistical analysis.

Overview of the custom formatting options in Excel

  • Date and time formatting: Users can choose from a variety of date and time formats to display information in a way that is most relevant to their analysis.
  • Number formatting: This includes options for displaying numbers as currency, percentages, fractions, or in scientific notation.
  • Text formatting: Excel also allows for customization of text formatting, including options for bold, italics, and underline.

Demonstration of how to customize cell formatting to include a plus sign

To add a plus sign to positive numbers in Excel, follow these simple steps:

  • Highlight the cells that you want to format.
  • Right-click and select "Format Cells" from the dropdown menu.
  • In the Format Cells dialog box, navigate to the "Number" tab.
  • Choose "Custom" from the Category list.
  • In the "Type" field, enter the following format code: "+#,##0.00;−#,##0.00"
  • Click "OK" to apply the custom formatting to the selected cells.

By following these steps, you can customize the formatting of your cells to include a plus sign for positive numbers, making it easier to distinguish between positive and negative values in your data.

Shortcut keys for adding a plus sign

Adding a plus sign in Excel is a common task when working with formulas and calculations. Knowing the shortcut keys to quickly input a plus sign can save you time and make your work more efficient. Below are some shortcut keys you can use to add a plus sign in Excel:

List of shortcut keys for adding a plus sign in Excel

  • + Key: The most straightforward way to input a plus sign in Excel is by simply pressing the + key on your keyboard.
  • Shift + =: Another way to add a plus sign is by using the shortcut Shift + =.

Explanation of how to use shortcut keys effectively for this task

Using these shortcut keys effectively for adding a plus sign in Excel can significantly speed up your workflow. Instead of reaching for the mouse and clicking on the cell to input a plus sign, you can simply press the designated keys and continue with your calculations seamlessly.


In conclusion, adding a plus sign in Excel can be done using various methods such as using the plus sign directly, using the SUM function, or using the ampersand symbol. It is important to accurately add plus signs in Excel formulas and data analysis to ensure the accuracy of calculations and data presentations. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced Excel user, understanding these methods will help you effectively utilize Excel for your data management and analysis needs.


  • https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/office/add-a-plus-sign-to-the-beginning-of-a-cell-0e9229ef-6f53-4cc5-872e-41f8c50a94e4
  • https://exceljet.net/formula/add-a-plus-sign-to-a-cell

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