How To Add in Google Sheets [Easy Guide] – Spreadsheet Point

If you need to work with numbers, Google Sheets is your best bet. It’s useful even if you just want to add some numbers. And it’s often much easier to use than a calculator app.

If you’re just starting to integrate Google Sheets into your project and want to find an easy way to add numbers, you’re on the right page. We’ll walk you through two easy ways to add them to your Google Sheets with step-by-step guides.

Method 1: Basic Google Sheets Add Equation

You can literally use your spreadsheet like a calculator. Remember the basics of arithmetic. One of the most common arithmetic operators is the plus sign (+), which can be used to add numbers in Google Sheets.

Here’s what you can do:

  1. First, select a cell on your spreadsheet
  2. Then enter the equal sign (=) and enter a number (one of the addends)
  3. Then place a plus sign and enter the second number
  4. The addition equation becomes

  1. Finally, press Enter or Return when you’re done and you should see the total in the selected cell.

Although this method is simple, manually entering numbers when creating a basic addition equation is prone to human error. Note that the two numbers entered before the sum are not displayed.

This makes it easier to visually spot which part of the equation is wrong. For example, I intended to sum 520 and 143, but entered 529 instead. So obviously you’re getting the wrong results.

How To Add Cells Together in Google Sheets

To fix this potential problem with the first method, try entering the two numbers you want to add in separate cells. Then you can start creating the addition equation.

Here’s how:

  1. Put the first summand in the first cell
  2. Then select another cell to place the second summand
  3. Then click another cell and type something according to the following syntax: =B2+C2

  1. Then press Enter or Return to see the result

If you change the summand entered in the cell, the total will automatically change. In this way, not only did I create a highly reliable formula, but I was also able to create an automatic calculator.

Method 2: The Google Sheets ADD Formula

Another way to sum numbers is to use the ADD expression. This is no different than using the addition operator, but it can enhance data consistency and integrity. Additionally, it allows you to use proper operators, especially when the minus sign (-) is right next to the plus sign on a standard QWERTY computer keyboard.

Basic Syntax and How to Use It

Addition formulas in Google Sheets use the following syntax:

=ADD(value1, value2)

This function only accepts two arguments. Note that these arguments are simply two additional values. Usage is as follows.

  1. First, select the cell and type “=ADD
  2. Then enter the first number (like 214) followed by a comma
  3. Enter a second number (such as 38 in this example) and close the function with parentheses

  1. Then toggle Enter or Return and you will see the result

Alternatively, two cells can be added in place of the raw value for better consistency of the values. Try to put the addends in two separate cells and use them as arguments. For example, instead of typing “=ADD(214, 38)”, you can type “=ADD(B2, C2).

How to Add in Google Sheets Using the ADD Function via the Functions Menu

Another way to use the ADD function is through the functions menu that appears in the Google Sheets toolbar. It’s on the far right next to the “Create Filter” button.

To use the ADD function in Google Sheets, follow these steps:

  1. First, click any cell on the spreadsheet
  2. Then toggle the “Features” button to find “Operator
  3. Hover over the Operator option to see all functions below it
  4. Then find the ADD function and click

  1. Enter two addends, be sure to separate them with a comma

  1. Then press Enter or Return and you’re done.

Limitations of the Google Spreadsheet Addition Formula

As you may have noticed, the ADD function is a built-in expression with some limitations. Most notably, it only accepts two arguments. This can defeat the purpose if you want to add more than two values.

This function also restricts the types of arguments you can enter (only accepts numbers). Not suitable for summing columns in Google Sheets as it rejects other inputs such as cell ranges (such as A1:A3.

Instead, try manually typing the plus sign to select the cells you want to add one by one, like =A1+A2+A3+…+A[N]. Alternatively, you can try the more versatile SUM function.

What Is the SUM Function and How Does It Differ from ADD?

If you’re looking for an easy way to sum rows in Google Sheets, the SUM function may help. This is a Google Sheets predefined formula that accepts two or more numbers and ranges, and is much more powerful than the ADD function. Use the following syntax.

        =SUM(value1, [value2,…])

For clarity, here is an example of how to use the SUM function to sum rows in Google Sheets.

  1. First, click a cell and type =SUM(
  2. Then select a range of cells such as B2:E2 and close the function with parentheses

  1. Press Enter or Return at the end to see the result

According to Google’s documentation, the SUM function accepts up to 30 arguments. Arguments means values ​​separated by commas. If desired, this can be used to your advantage by selecting multiple ranges such as =SUM(A1:A5, B1:B5, C1:C5).

Can You Add Strings of Text in Google Sheets?

If you’re trying to combine two pieces of text into one value using the addition operator or the ADD function, expect Google Sheets to prompt you for the wrong formula. This is because it doesn’t work like Python, a coding language that allows you to append two strings with a plus sign.

If you’re looking to combine text in a spreadsheet, check out the CONCAT and CONCATENATE functions instead. Next, learn more about adding strings by reading our complete tutorial on how to add text to each cell of a column in Google Sheets.

Wrapping Up

I hope I have answered your question about how to add to Google Sheets perfectly. From the simple plus operator to the ADD function, numbers can now be summed without any problems.

Check out our other blogs for more Google Sheets tips and tricks.

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