How to Add a Calculated Control to Calculate Sum in Microsoft Access

Written by emily ediger
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How to Add a Calculated Control to Calculate Sum in Microsoft Access
Let Access perform the calculations for your forms and reports. (Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Microsoft Access allows you to customise your forms and reports with calculated controls. It removes the need to manually count, add or multiply numbers saved in your tables. Calculated controls reduce time, improve accuracy and update automatically whenever the object is changed. Instead of spending your time totalling up fields in a report, you can concentrate on interpreting and communicating your data. You can place calculated controls in either a form or report.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Open your form or report in "Design View" by right-clicking the title on the Navigation Pane and selecting "Design View." If hidden, maximise the ribbon at the top of the page by clicking on the thumbtack symbol in the upper-right corner. If using Access 2007, right-click the dark blue line and deselect "Minimize the Ribbon."

  2. 2

    Select the "Text Box" control on the "Design" tab of the ribbon. Place the calculated control at the top or bottom of a form or report, depending on where you want to view it. If the form or report header and footers are hidden, right-click on the screen and select "Form Header/Footer" or "Report Header/Footer."

  3. 3

    Click under the segment for which you want to display the sum. Type the expression into the text box in the following format: =Sum([field 1]), replacing "field1" with the field that you want to total. Switch to the form or report view to review changes by clicking the "View" button on the "Home" tab of the ribbon.

Tips and warnings

  • To calculate a sum based on a group of records, activate the "Grouping" feature and add the control to the grouped field's footer.

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