Excel Tutorial: How To Autosum Excel


As Excel users, it's crucial to efficiently organize and calculate data, and one of the most valuable tools for this is the autosum function. By understanding how to use autosum, you can save time and reduce the risk of manual errors when adding up rows and columns of numbers. Additionally, knowing how to remove blank rows in Excel can improve the clarity and accuracy of your data, making it easier to work with and analyze.

Key Takeaways

  • Using the autosum function in Excel is essential for efficiently organizing and calculating data.
  • Removing blank rows in Excel can improve the clarity and accuracy of your data.
  • Understanding how to use autosum can save time and reduce the risk of manual errors when adding up numbers.
  • Identifying and removing blank rows in Excel is crucial for easier data analysis and manipulation.
  • Practicing with autosum and removing blank rows will improve efficiency and organization in Excel spreadsheets.

Understanding the Autosum Function

The Autosum function in Excel is a convenient tool that allows users to quickly sum a range of cells without having to manually input the formula. It is especially useful when working with large datasets or when performing repetitive calculations. By using the Autosum function, users can save time and reduce the likelihood of errors in their calculations.

A. Explain what the autosum function is and how it works.

The Autosum function is a built-in feature in Excel that automatically adds up a range of values and provides the total. It is located in the "Editing" group on the "Home" tab in the Excel ribbon. When the Autosum function is used, Excel automatically selects what it believes to be the appropriate range of cells to sum, based on the current selection. Users can also manually adjust the range if needed.

B. Provide step-by-step instructions on how to use the autosum function in Excel.

  • Select the cell - Begin by selecting the cell where you want the sum to appear.
  • Click on Autosum - Navigate to the "Editing" group on the "Home" tab and click on the "Autosum" button. This will automatically populate the selected cell with the sum of the adjacent cells.
  • Manually adjust the range - If the selected range is not correct, users can manually adjust the range by dragging the selection handles to include the desired cells.
  • Press Enter - After confirming the correct range, press the "Enter" key to finalize the sum and display the total in the selected cell.

Identifying Blank Rows

Blank rows in an Excel spreadsheet can impact the accuracy of calculations, data analysis, and overall data presentation. It is important to identify and locate blank rows in order to ensure the integrity of your data and the effectiveness of your Excel functions.

A. Impact of Blank Rows
  • Blank rows can affect the results of formulas and functions, leading to inaccurate data analysis.
  • They can disrupt the visual presentation of data and make it difficult to interpret the information in the spreadsheet.
  • Blank rows can cause errors when sorting and filtering data, leading to confusion and inefficiency in managing the spreadsheet.

B. How to Identify and Locate Blank Rows
  • Using the Go To Special Feature

    1. Select the range of cells where you want to identify blank rows.

    2. Go to the 'Home' tab, then click on 'Find & Select' in the 'Editing' group.

    3. Choose 'Go To Special' from the drop-down menu.

    4. In the 'Go To Special' dialog box, select 'Blanks' and click 'OK'.

    5. Excel will then select all the blank cells in the specified range, allowing you to easily locate and manage the blank rows.

  • Using Conditional Formatting

    1. Select the range of cells where you suspect there may be blank rows.

    2. Go to the 'Home' tab and click on 'Conditional Formatting' in the 'Styles' group.

    3. Choose 'New Rule' from the drop-down menu.

    4. In the 'New Formatting Rule' dialog box, select 'Format only cells that contain' and choose 'Blanks' from the first drop-down menu.

    5. Click 'Format' to choose the formatting style for the blank cells, then click 'OK'.

    6. Excel will apply the conditional formatting to the blank cells, making it easy to identify any blank rows in the selected range.

Removing Blank Rows

When working with a large dataset in Excel, it's common to encounter blank rows that need to be removed in order to clean up the spreadsheet. Here are some methods for removing blank rows in Excel, along with tips on avoiding accidental deletion of necessary data.

Using the Filter Function

  • Step 1: Select the entire dataset.
  • Step 2: Go to the "Data" tab and click on "Filter" in the "Sort & Filter" group.
  • Step 3: Click on the drop-down arrow in the header of the column that may contain blank cells.
  • Step 4: Uncheck the "Blanks" option to hide the blank rows.
  • Step 5: Select the visible rows and press "Ctrl" + "-" to delete them.

Using a Macro

  • Step 1: Press "Alt" + "F11" to open the Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) editor.
  • Step 2: Insert a new module from the "Insert" menu.
  • Step 3: Copy and paste the following VBA code into the module: Sub DeleteBlankRows() Dim i As Long For i = Cells(Rows.Count, 1).End(xlUp).Row To 1 Step -1 If WorksheetFunction.CountA(Rows(i)) = 0 Then Rows(i).Delete End If Next i End Sub
  • Step 4: Close the VBA editor and run the macro by pressing "Alt" + "F8" and selecting "DeleteBlankRows."

Tips for Avoiding Accidental Deletion

  • Tip 1: Always make a backup of the original dataset before deleting any rows.
  • Tip 2: Double-check the selected rows before deleting to ensure that necessary data is not included.
  • Tip 3: Use the "Undo" function (Ctrl + Z) immediately if any necessary data is accidentally deleted.

Using Autosum to Calculate Data

When working with large sets of data in Excel, the Autosum function can be a valuable tool for quickly finding the sum of a column or row. It eliminates the need for manual calculation, saving time and ensuring accuracy.

Demonstrate how to use the autosum function to quickly calculate data within a column or row.

To use the Autosum function, first select the cell where you want the sum to appear. Then navigate to the "Editing" group on the "Home" tab and click on the "Autosum" button. Excel will automatically select a range of cells that it believes you want to sum. If the selection is correct, simply press "Enter" to see the sum appear in the selected cell. If the selection is not what you intended, you can manually adjust the range before pressing "Enter."

Discuss the benefits of using autosum for efficiency and accuracy in calculations.

The Autosum function provides several benefits when it comes to calculating data in Excel. Firstly, it saves time by automating the calculation process, eliminating the need to manually input formulas or add up numbers. This makes it particularly useful when working with large datasets. Additionally, Autosum helps to ensure accuracy by minimizing the risk of human error in calculations. By quickly generating the sum of a column or row, you can have confidence in the accuracy of your data.

Best Practices for Working with Autosum

When using the autosum function in Excel, there are several best practices to keep in mind to ensure accurate calculations and efficient workflow. Here are some tips for effectively utilizing the autosum function:

Offer tips for effectively utilizing the autosum function in Excel:

  • 1. Selecting the correct range: When using autosum, make sure to select the correct range of cells to be included in the calculation. This can be done by clicking and dragging to highlight the desired cells, or by manually entering the cell range in the autosum function.
  • 2. Using the keyboard shortcut: To quickly insert the autosum function, use the keyboard shortcut "Alt + =" to automatically select the range and insert the autosum formula.
  • 3. Utilizing the autosum button: The autosum button (Σ) can be found in the "Editing" group on the "Home" tab in Excel. Clicking this button will automatically insert the autosum function for the selected range of cells.
  • 4. Checking the calculation: After using the autosum function, double-check the calculated result to ensure it accurately reflects the intended calculation. This helps to identify any potential errors or discrepancies.

Discuss common errors or pitfalls to avoid when using the autosum function:

  • 1. Including unintended cells: Be mindful of accidental cell selections when using autosum, as including unintended cells can lead to inaccurate calculations.
  • 2. Forgetting to update the range: If additional data is added to the spreadsheet, remember to update the autosum range to include the new data for accurate calculations.
  • 3. Overwriting autosum formula: Avoid overwriting the autosum formula with manual entries, as this can result in loss of the autosum functionality.
  • 4. Ignoring error messages: If an error message appears when using autosum, address the issue promptly to prevent incorrect calculations and potential data discrepancies.


In conclusion, this tutorial has covered the basics of using the autosum function in Excel to quickly calculate the total of a column or row of numbers. We've also discussed the importance of removing blank rows in your spreadsheet for better organization.

  • Summarize the key points - We've learned how to use the autosum function to easily calculate the sum of a range of cells, and how to remove blank rows to keep our spreadsheets tidy and efficient.
  • Encourage practice - I encourage you to practice using the autosum function and removing blank rows in your own Excel spreadsheets. These simple techniques can greatly improve your efficiency and organization when working with data in Excel.

Thank you for reading and I hope this tutorial has been helpful in improving your Excel skills!

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