How to Add (or Subtract) in a Spreadsheet like Excel

Written by kathryn hatashita-lee
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How to Add (or Subtract) in a Spreadsheet like Excel
Excel's "AutoSum" can calculate the sum of positive and negative values. (Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Microsoft Excel 2010 can quickly calculate a row or column of numeric values. Simple operations, such as adding and subtracting, can calculate on the worksheet. The "Home" tab includes an "AutoSum" button in the "Editing" group. This sum function contains a formula that adds the values and inserts the total or sum in an adjacent cell.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Open the Excel worksheet.

  2. 2

    Enter the values in a row or column.

  3. 3

    Click a cell to the right of the row of values or click a cell below the column of values. The selected cell displays a black outline.

  4. 4

    Click the "Home" tab.

  5. 5

    Click the "AutoSum" button in the "Editing" group. This summation button displays the upper case Sigma. A formula appears with the range of cells.

  6. 6

    Press the "Enter" key. The total appears in the selected cell.

Tips and warnings

  • Although Excel does not contain a subtract function, you can type a "-" sign to the left of a value. For example, to add 19, 2, subtract 5 and add 9, type 19, 2,-5, 9. Excel will add a negative value.

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