How to Sum in Word: A Step-by-Step Guide for Quick Calculations

Summing numbers in Microsoft Word is simpler than you might think. With just a few clicks, you can add up figures in tables without needing to switch to a different program. This guide will walk you through the process step by step so you can sum numbers directly in Word, ensuring your documents are both tidy and functional.

How to Sum in Word

We’ll go through a clear, step-by-step process to help you sum numbers within a Word table. By the end, you’ll know exactly how to use the ‘Formula’ feature to add up numbers with ease.

Step 1: Open Microsoft Word

First, open Microsoft Word on your computer.
Start by launching Word. You can do this by clicking its icon on your desktop or searching for it in your Start menu.

Step 2: Create or Open a Document

Second, create a new document or open an existing one.
If you already have a document with a table of numbers, open it. Otherwise, create a new document and insert a table with the numbers you need to sum.

Step 3: Insert a Table

Third, insert a table if you haven’t done so already.
To insert a table, go to the "Insert" tab, click "Table," and choose the size of the table you need. Enter the numbers you want to sum in the table cells.

Step 4: Select the Cell for the Sum

Fourth, click on the cell where you want the sum to appear.
Choose a cell at the bottom of your column or the end of your row where you want the total to be displayed.

Step 5: Open the ‘Formula’ Dialog Box

Fifth, navigate to the "Layout" tab under "Table Tools" and click "Formula."
This opens the ‘Formula’ dialog box, where you can input the function to sum your numbers.

Step 6: Type in the SUM Formula

Sixth, in the ‘Formula’ box, type =SUM(ABOVE) or =SUM(LEFT), depending on where your numbers are.
Use =SUM(ABOVE) to add up numbers in a column above the selected cell or =SUM(LEFT) for numbers in a row to the left.

Step 7: Click OK

Seventh, click "OK" to apply the formula.
Once you click "OK," the sum of the numbers will appear in the selected cell.

After completing these steps, Word will automatically calculate the sum based on the numbers you specified. It’s a quick way to get totals without ever leaving your document.

Tips for How to Sum in Word

  • Ensure your table is formatted correctly to avoid errors in summing.
  • Use the appropriate formula (SUM ABOVE or SUM LEFT) based on your table’s layout.
  • Double-check your numbers before applying the formula to ensure accuracy.
  • Remember that Word’s formula feature can also handle other functions like AVERAGE and MAX.
  • Update the formula if you add or change numbers to keep your sum accurate.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I sum numbers in a row in Word?

Yes, you can use the =SUM(LEFT) formula for summing numbers in a row.

What if I need to sum numbers in multiple columns?

You can use the =SUM(ABOVE) formula in each column, repeating the steps for each one.

How do I update the sum if I change a number in the table?

Right-click the cell with the sum, and select "Update Field" to refresh the total.

Can I use other formulas besides SUM in Word?

Yes, Word supports other functions like AVERAGE, MIN, MAX, and more.

Is there a way to automatically update all formulas in a document?

Yes, you can press Ctrl + A to select all text, then F9 to update all fields in the document.


  1. Open Microsoft Word.
  2. Create or open a document.
  3. Insert a table.
  4. Select the cell for the sum.
  5. Open the ‘Formula’ dialog box.
  6. Type in the SUM formula.
  7. Click OK.


Summing numbers in Word is a straightforward task once you know how to use the formula feature. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can keep all your calculations within Word, making your workflow more efficient. Whether you need to sum a column or a row, Word’s built-in functions save you time and help you maintain accuracy.

For anyone looking to enhance their document editing skills, learning how to sum in Word is a valuable addition. It’s a small trick but one that can make a big difference in handling data within your documents. So next time you’re working with numbers in Word, remember these steps and tips to make the process a breeze. Happy summing!