How to insert the SUM formula in a Word table

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How to insert the SUM formula in a Word table
Microsoft Word tables can include some of the same calculations as Excel spreadsheets. (

If you have a table of values in a Microsoft Word document, you can carry out calculations on them. To calculate the sum of values in a Word table, you can use a similar process to what you would do in an Excel spreadsheet. With the SUM formula, you can calculate sums of values specified as relative to the cell position at which the SUM formula appears or using specific cell references. The sum result will appear in the cell with the formula in it.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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  1. 1

    Open your Word document. Place the cursor in the cell in which you want to include the sum result. Enter the following text to begin the sum calculation: =SUM(

    After the opening bracket you can include the details of the cells whose values you want to sum. After the cell range, the closing bracket will complete the formula.

  2. 2

    Indicate the cells you wish to include in the sum calculation by position. After the opening bracket, include an indicator of the range of cells to sum. This may be specified using positional parameters. For example, to sum the values above the cell in which the sum formula appears, include the following: =SUM(ABOVE)

    You can use the same process for values to the left, right and below the sum cell as follows: =SUM(LEFT) =SUM(RIGHT) =SUM(BELOW)

    You can combine these arguments, for example to sum all values to the left and above the sum cell as follows: =SUM(LEFT,ABOVE)

  3. 3

    Indicate the cells to sum using cell references. Rather than using positional arguments, you may need to include specific cell references in your sum. Word tables use a similar convention to Excel spreadsheets, with the top left cell represented as "A1," the cell below it "A2," the cell to its right "B1" and so on. In a table with six cells to sum running vertically down the first column, the following sum function would apply: =SUM(A1:A6)

  4. 4

    Fill any blanks in your sum range. If there are any empty cells in the range you have specified to the sum function, type a zero value into each of them. Otherwise the formula may not execute correctly. Including zero values allows the calculation to complete without error and without affecting the result.

  5. 5

    Finish the sum function. Once you have the cell range to sum included after the sum formula opening bracket, make sure you have a closing bracket added to complete the formula. Press enter to execute the function. The sum result should appear in the cell in which you typed the formula immediately.

Tips and warnings

  • You can include references to sum functions from Excel spreadsheets within Word document tables.
  • If your Word document refers to a formula in another file, such as a spreadsheet or other Word document, the result will only automatically update when the document containing the formula is opened.

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