Excel Tutorial: How To Make Excel Total A Column


Welcome to our Excel tutorial where we will show you how to total a column in Excel with ease. Whether you are a small business owner, a data analyst, or a student, knowing how to efficiently total a column in Excel is an essential skill for organizing and analyzing data. In this tutorial, we will guide you through the steps to ensure you have a solid grasp on this fundamental Excel function.

Key Takeaways

  • Totalling a column in Excel is an essential skill for organizing and analyzing data.
  • Opening the Excel spreadsheet and selecting the correct column are important initial steps.
  • Using the AutoSum function can greatly improve efficiency in totaling a column.
  • Removing blank rows and formatting the total are crucial for accurate calculations and presentation.
  • Practicing totaling columns in Excel is key to improving skills in data management.

Step 1: Open the Excel Spreadsheet

Before you can begin totaling a column in Excel, you'll need to have the program open on your computer. Here's how to do it:

  • a. Explain how to open the Excel program on your computer: To open Excel on a Windows computer, you can click on the Start menu, type "Excel" into the search bar, and then select the program from the search results. On a Mac, you can open the Applications folder, find Microsoft Excel, and then click to open it.
  • b. Discuss the importance of having the spreadsheet open and ready to work with: Having the Excel spreadsheet open and ready to work with allows you to easily access the data you need to total a column. It also gives you the ability to adjust and input new data as needed.

In conclusion,

Opening the Excel program on your computer is the first step in totaling a column in Excel. Once the program is open, you'll be ready to move on to the next steps in the tutorial.

Step 2: Select the Column to Total

After opening the Excel sheet and identifying the column you want to total, it's time to select the entire column for the calculation.

a. Explain how to click on the letter at the top of the column to select the entire column

To select the entire column, simply click on the letter at the top of the column. For example, if you want to total column A, click on the letter A at the top of the spreadsheet. This will highlight the entire column, indicating that it has been selected for the calculation.

b. Discuss the significance of accurately selecting the correct column

Accurately selecting the correct column is crucial for the total calculation to be accurate. If the wrong column is selected, the total will reflect incorrect data, leading to potential errors in your analysis. Therefore, it is important to pay close attention to the column you are selecting to ensure the total accurately represents the data you intend to analyze.

Step 3: Use the AutoSum Function

Once you have selected the column that you want to total, you can use the AutoSum function to quickly calculate the sum of the selected cells.

Demonstrate how to use the AutoSum function to quickly total the selected column

To use the AutoSum function, first, click on the cell where you want the total to appear. Then, navigate to the "Editing" group on the "Home" tab and click on the "AutoSum" button. Excel will automatically select the range of cells above the cell where you clicked, and it will display the total in the selected cell. You can also manually select the range of cells that you want to total by clicking and dragging over them before clicking on the "AutoSum" button.

Explain the benefits of using the AutoSum function for efficiency

The AutoSum function is a handy tool for quickly totaling columns in Excel. It saves time and effort by automatically selecting the range of cells to be totaled, eliminating the need to manually input a formula. This not only enhances efficiency but also reduces the risk of errors in the calculation process. Additionally, the AutoSum function can be used for summing large sets of data, allowing for quick analysis and reporting.

Step 4: Remove Blank Rows

Once you have totaled the column, it's important to clean up the data by removing any blank rows to ensure accurate calculations.

Identify and remove blank rows

To identify blank rows within the column, simply scroll through the data and look for any rows that do not contain any values. You can also use the filter function to easily identify and select the blank rows. Once you have identified the blank rows, you can remove them by right-clicking on the selected rows and choosing "Delete" from the drop-down menu.

Importance of removing blank rows

Removing blank rows is crucial to avoid miscalculations in your data. When totaling a column, blank rows can skew the results and lead to inaccurate totals. By removing these blank rows, you can ensure that your calculations are precise and reliable.

Step 5: Format the Total

Once you have successfully totaled a column in Excel, the next step is to format the total to make it visually appealing and easy to understand. In this step, we will discuss different formatting options for the total and how to choose the appropriate formatting based on the data.

Discuss different formatting options for the total

  • Number formatting: You can choose from a variety of number formats such as currency, percentage, or date to format the total.
  • Font style and color: You can change the font style and color of the total to make it stand out from the rest of the data.
  • Cell borders and shading: Adding borders or shading to the cell containing the total can help emphasize its importance.

Explain how to choose the appropriate formatting for the total based on the data

When choosing the appropriate formatting for the total, it's important to consider the nature of the data and the overall design of your Excel spreadsheet. For example, if the total represents a financial amount, you may want to format it as currency. If the total represents a percentage, you may want to format it as a percentage. Additionally, you should consider the overall color scheme and design of your spreadsheet to ensure that the formatting of the total complements the rest of the data.


In conclusion, we have discussed how to total a column in Excel using the SUM function. We have also learned how to use the AutoSum feature to quickly add up a range of cells. By following these simple steps, you can easily calculate the total of any column in your spreadsheet.

We encourage our readers to practice totaling columns in Excel to improve their skills and become more proficient in using the software. The more you practice, the more comfortable you will become with using Excel for a variety of tasks.

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