Sum Shortcut in Excel

Learn how to use the Excel SUM Shortcut by pressing Alt + = keys to create a formula and quickly summarize values in a range of cells.

The Excel Sum Shortcut (using the SUM function) helps you create a formula using the selected range. It does not matter if you are working on rows or columns to summarize numbers; the shortcut works without mouse interaction. Learn more about Excel Shortcuts!

How Excel Sum Shortcut works (AutoSum)

The shortcut of the Autosum function is Alt + =

The shortcut for Mac is ⌘ + Shift + T

Windows Shortcut

Alt =

Mac Shortcut

Shift T

  1. Select the cell where you want to apply the Autosum. (If you want to apply the sum shortcut on rows, place the cursor on the right side of the range.)
  2. To apply the shortcut, press the Alt key and hold it down, then press the equal sign (=) while holding the Alt key
  3. Press Enter (to summarize the range of cells)

Tip: You can use the Alt, H, U, S shortcut; the result will be the same.

Excel Autosum Function Examples

Let us see how to sum up a vertical or horizontal range through examples quickly.

Use the Sum Shortcut for Columns

In the example, you want to use the AutoSum formula using a vertical range (columns). Therefore, it is important to place the cursor in the right place (cell B6).

Then, Excel will calculate the result using the =SUM(B3:B5) formula.

excel sum shortcut column

Use the Sum Shortcut for Rows

As demonstrated above, the method is the same if you want to use the Autosum function in a row. In this case, Excel will use the =SUM(B3:D3) formula to show the total after the range.

vertical sum

Alternatives of SUM Formula Shortcut Key

The Excel sum shortcut is already known, but check the following tips if you don’t know shortcuts inside out.

Apply Auto Sum Shortcut using the Home Tab

If you prefer to run shortcuts from the ribbon, use the following steps.

  1. Select the cell below the range
  2. Click on the Home Tab
  3. Click on the Auto Sum icon
Apply Auto Sum Shortcut using Home Tab

Use Quick Analysis Tool to summarize rows and columns

The Quick Analysis Tool enables you to apply the most used calculations quickly. In the example below, you want to calculate the Totals for rows and columns.

  1. Select the range that contains values
  2. A small floating toolbar will appear; click on it
  3. Choose the Totals Tab, and get the Totals for rows and columns by clicking a sum icon(s)
quick analysis

AutoSum does not work on a non-contiguous range

Sometimes, a shortcut is not working correctly. In this case, Excel has a limitation regarding Autosum. Let us see what happens when you are trying to apply the sum shortcut using a non-contiguous range.

AutoSum does not work on a non-contiguous range

Select the cell to use the Autosum on range B3:B8. Press the shortcut key, ALT + =. Because we have a blank cell in the middle range, the shortcut will ignore the blank cell and only summarize the B7:B8 range.

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Istvan Vozar

Istvan is the co-founder of Visual Analytics. He helps people reach the top in Excel.