Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Selective Summing.

Selective Summing

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 23, 2013)

Excel contains a built-in function that allows you to easily specify which values should be summed from a column. This function, SUMIF, is used in the following manner:


In this usage, SUMIF uses three arguments. The first is the range of cells to be tested, the second is the test to use, and the third is the cells from which the sums are to be pulled. For instance, let's say that the cells in B2 through B27 contained days of the week (Monday, Tuesday, etc.), and that cells C2 through C27 contained the gross sales generated on those days. If you wanted to only get a sum for the sales on Mondays, you could use the following formula, perhaps in cell C28:


This examines B2 through B27 and checks if the cell contains the text "Monday." If it does, then the corresponding cell is selected from C2 through C27 and added to the sum.

If you wanted to quickly pull sales totals for different days, you could modify the above scenario just a bit. All you would need to do is place the day on which you want to sum in cell B28. Then, in cell C28 you would place the following formula:


Now the test for SUMIF is taken from cell B28. Thus, if B28 contains "Monday," then the sum will reflect the total of Monday's sales. If it contains "Wednesday," then Wednesday's sales will be summed, and so forth.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2169) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Selective Summing.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


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