Shortcut to Autosum in Excel


Autosum is a valuable tool in Excel that allows users to quickly calculate the sum of a range of cells. Whether you're working on a budget, analyzing data, or preparing a financial report, Autosum can save you a significant amount of time and effort. However, did you know that there's a shortcut in Excel that can make using Autosum even more efficient? In this blog post, we will explore the importance of using Autosum in Excel and highlight the time-saving benefits of utilizing shortcuts.

Key Takeaways

  • Autosum is a valuable tool in Excel for quickly calculating the sum of a range of cells.
  • Using Autosum can save significant time and effort when working on budgets, data analysis, or financial reports.
  • There is a shortcut key in Excel for Autosum that makes the process even more efficient.
  • By customizing the Autosum shortcut key, users can increase their efficiency and productivity.
  • Exploring other Excel shortcuts can further enhance productivity and streamline tasks.

Using the Autosum Function

The Autosum tool in Excel is a convenient feature that allows users to quickly calculate the sum of a range of numbers. With just a few clicks, you can save time and effort by letting Excel do the calculations for you. By understanding how to use the Autosum function effectively, you can enhance your productivity and streamline your work process.

Explain how to use the Autosum tool in Excel

To use the Autosum function in Excel, follow these simple steps:

  • Select the cell where you want the sum to appear: Click on the cell where you want the total of your numbers to be displayed.
  • Click on the Autosum button: The Autosum button is located on the Home tab in the Editing group. It is represented by the Greek letter sigma (∑) and the word "Autosum" next to it. Click on this button.
  • Excel automatically selects the range: Excel will analyze the data around the selected cell and automatically select the range it thinks you want to sum. If the range is not what you intended, you can simply adjust it by dragging the selection handles to include the desired cells.
  • Press Enter or click the checkmark icon: Once you are satisfied with the range selection, press Enter on your keyboard or click the checkmark icon in the formula bar to confirm and calculate the sum.

Discuss the limitations of using the regular Autosum button

While the regular Autosum button in Excel provides a quick and easy way to sum a range of numbers, it does have certain limitations:

  • Only calculates horizontal sums: The regular Autosum button is primarily designed to calculate the sum of a row of numbers. If you want to sum a column of numbers, you need to use a different method.
  • Does not account for empty cells: If there are empty cells within the range you are summing, the regular Autosum button will include them in the calculation, resulting in inaccurate results. You need to manually adjust the range to exclude the empty cells.
  • Cannot handle non-adjacent ranges: If you have multiple non-adjacent ranges that you need to sum, the regular Autosum button will not be able to handle it. You will have to use alternative methods, such as using the SUM function or selecting multiple ranges while holding the Ctrl key.

Shortcut Key for Autosum

In Excel, Autosum is a commonly used function that allows users to quickly calculate the sum of a range of cells. While there are various ways to access the Autosum feature, using the shortcut key can significantly expedite the process and improve efficiency. This chapter will introduce the shortcut key for Autosum and explain how it works.

Introducing the Shortcut Key

Pressing the Alt key together with the = key activates the Autosum feature in Excel. This key combination allows users to quickly insert the SUM formula and automatically selects the range of cells to be summed up.

How the Shortcut Key Works

When the Autosum shortcut key is pressed, Excel automatically detects the range of cells adjacent to the active cell and adds the SUM formula to calculate the total of that range.

  • If the cells are in a column: The SUM formula is inserted in the cell below the selected range.
  • If the cells are in a row: The SUM formula is inserted to the right of the selected range.

This shortcut key provides a quick and convenient way to sum up a range of cells without having to manually enter the SUM formula and select the cell range. It saves time and minimizes the chance of errors that may occur from manual calculations.

Steps to Perform Autosum With Shortcut Key

Autosum is a useful feature in Excel that allows you to quickly calculate the sum of a range of cells. While you can easily access the Autosum button from the toolbar, using a shortcut key can save you even more time. This article will guide you through the steps to perform Autosum using a shortcut key in Excel.

Step 1: Select the Cell

To begin, open your Excel worksheet and select the cell where you want the sum to appear. This could be a cell at the bottom of a column, or to the right of a row.

Step 2: Navigate to the Shortcut Key

Next, you will need to navigate to the shortcut key for Autosum. The shortcut key may vary depending on the version of Excel you are using:

  • Excel 2007 and later versions: Press the Alt key followed by the = key. This will automatically place the Autosum formula in the selected cell.
  • Excel 2003 and earlier versions: Press the Alt key followed by the = key, and then press the Enter key. This will also place the Autosum formula in the selected cell.

Step 3: Verify the Autosum Calculation

Once you have pressed the shortcut keys, Excel will automatically calculate the sum of the selected range and display the result in the cell you selected. Take a moment to ensure that the Autosum calculation accurately reflects the data you want to sum.

Additional Options and Variations

Depending on the version of Excel you are using, you may encounter variations or additional options for the Autosum shortcut key:

  • Excel 2016 and later versions: In these versions, pressing the Alt key followed by the = key will automatically select the range to be summed based on adjacent cells with numeric values. This can be a convenient option when you have a contiguous range of numbers to sum.
  • Excel for Mac: Mac users can use the shortcut key Command + Shift + T to perform Autosum. This key combination is consistent across different versions of Excel for Mac.

By utilizing the shortcut key for Autosum, you can streamline your calculation process and save valuable time in Excel. Experiment with the different options based on your Excel version to find the method that works best for you.

Customizing the Shortcut Key

Autosum is a powerful feature in Excel that allows users to quickly calculate the sum of a range of cells. By default, the shortcut key for Autosum is Alt + =. However, if you prefer to use a different shortcut key, Excel provides the flexibility to customize it according to your preference. Here's how you can do it:

Step 1: Open the Excel Options

To begin customizing the Autosum shortcut key, first, open the Excel Options. To do this, follow these steps:

  • Click on the File tab located in the top left corner of the Excel window.
  • From the menu that appears, select Options located at the bottom left side of the screen.

Step 2: Access the Customize Ribbon Settings

Once the Excel Options dialog box opens, you will notice a list of categories on the left side. Select the category named Customize Ribbon to access the customization settings related to the Excel ribbon.

Step 3: Customize the Shortcut Key

After selecting the Customize Ribbon category, look for the button labeled Customize... located near the bottom of the dialog box. Clicking this button will open the Customize the Ribbon window.

In the Customize the Ribbon window, there is a section named Keyboard shortcuts at the bottom left corner. Click on the Customize... button beside it to proceed.

Step 4: Find the Autosum Command

After clicking the Customize... button, a new window titled Customize Keyboard will appear. In this window, locate the command named Autosum from within the Categories section.

Step 5: Assign a New Shortcut Key

Once you have found the Autosum command, you can now assign a new shortcut key to it. Simply click on the Press new shortcut key field and press the desired key or key combination that you wish to use as the Autosum shortcut.

Excel will automatically display any current shortcut key assignments in the Current keys field. If the key combination you have chosen is already assigned to another command, it will be displayed here. In this case, you can either choose a different shortcut key or remove the existing assignment by clicking the Remove button to the right of the field.

Step 6: Save and Apply the Changes

Once you have selected a unique shortcut key combination for the Autosum command, click the Assign button to save your changes. Finally, click the Close button in the Customize Keyboard window and then click OK in the Excel Options dialog box to apply the new shortcut key.

Benefits of Personalizing Shortcuts for Increased Efficiency

Customizing the Autosum shortcut key is just one example of how you can personalize Excel to suit your needs. Here are some benefits of personalizing shortcuts for increased efficiency:

  • Time-saving: By customizing shortcuts to match your workflow, you can significantly reduce the time it takes to perform common tasks in Excel.
  • Better productivity: Personalized shortcuts allow you to work faster and more efficiently, enabling you to accomplish more in less time.
  • Reduced errors: When you have shortcuts mapped to your specific preferences, it minimizes the risk of making mistakes due to manual input or searching for the required commands.
  • Improved user experience: Being able to use shortcuts that are intuitive and familiar to you can enhance your overall experience when working with Excel, making it a smoother and more enjoyable process.
  • Consistency: Using customized shortcuts helps maintain consistency in your work, especially when collaborating with others, as everyone can use the same shortcuts to perform common tasks.

By taking advantage of the customization options available in Excel, you can optimize your workflow and achieve greater efficiency in your daily tasks. So why not explore the customization settings today and unlock the full potential of Excel?

Alternative Shortcut Methods

In addition to the traditional method of using the Autosum button in Excel, there are several alternative shortcut methods that can be used to quickly perform Autosum. These alternative methods can save you time and effort by providing quicker access to this useful function. Let's explore these shortcuts and how you can use them to your advantage.

Shortcut Options Using Ribbon Tabs

1. Using the ALT Key: Pressing the ALT key in Excel displays the key tips, which are keyboard shortcuts for various commands. To perform Autosum using this method, follow these steps:

  • Press ALT to display key tips.
  • Press the key tip for the desired ribbon tab. For example, to access the "Formulas" tab, press the "F" key.
  • Press the key tip for the desired command. In this case, press "S" for the "AutoSum" command.

This shortcut method allows you to bypass using the mouse and quickly access the Autosum function using keyboard shortcuts.

2. Using Custom Keyboard Shortcuts: Excel also allows you to assign custom keyboard shortcuts to specific commands, including Autosum. To set up a custom keyboard shortcut, follow these steps:

  • Go to the "File" tab and select "Options" from the menu.
  • In the Excel Options window, select "Customize Ribbon" on the left-hand side.
  • Click on the "Customize" button next to "Keyboard Shortcuts" at the bottom.
  • In the "Customize Keyboard" dialog box, select the desired category and command.
  • Choose a new shortcut key combination in the "Press new shortcut key" field.
  • Click "Assign" to assign the new shortcut, and then click "Close" to exit the dialog box.

By assigning a custom keyboard shortcut to Autosum, you can perform the function even more quickly and efficiently.

Shortcut Options Using the Quick Access Toolbar

1. Using the ALT Key: Similar to the shortcut method using ribbon tabs, you can also use the ALT key to access commands on the Quick Access Toolbar. Follow these steps:

  • Press ALT to display key tips.
  • Press the key tip for the Quick Access Toolbar. The key tip for the Quick Access Toolbar is usually a number.
  • Press the key tip for the desired command. For example, if Autosum is the first command on the Quick Access Toolbar, press "1" to perform Autosum.

This method allows you to quickly perform Autosum without navigating through the ribbon tabs.

2. Customizing the Quick Access Toolbar: Another option to access Autosum quickly is by customizing the Quick Access Toolbar. Follow these steps:

  • Click on the arrow next to the Quick Access Toolbar, located at the top left corner of the Excel window.
  • Select "More Commands" from the dropdown menu.
  • In the Excel Options window, choose "All Commands" from the "Choose commands from" dropdown list.
  • Scroll down and select "AutoSum" from the list of commands.
  • Click the "Add" button to add Autosum to the Quick Access Toolbar.
  • Click "OK" to save the changes.

By customizing the Quick Access Toolbar to include Autosum, you can easily access this function with just one click.


In conclusion, the Autosum shortcut in Excel is a time-saving tool that allows users to quickly calculate the sum of a range of cells. By utilizing this shortcut, users can save valuable time and increase their productivity. However, it is important to note that there are numerous other Excel shortcuts available that can further enhance efficiency and streamline tasks. Therefore, we encourage readers to explore and utilize these shortcuts to maximize their productivity and make the most out of Excel's capabilities.

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