How to Use Excel's Sumif Function

by eHow Computers Editor

Elementary addition becomes cumbersome when it includes large volumes of data, however, using an Excel spreadsheet to perform calculations saves time if you are familiar with functions such as SumIf. Learning SumIf turns hours worth of work into minutes, so follow these to start saving time and eliminating mistakes with SumIf.

Create an Excel spreadsheet containing the three elements necessary to use the SumIf function, range, criteria and sum_range. The range includes the cells that Excel compares to the criteria to determine whether to add the associated sum range values. To illustrate, let's use SumIf to determine the number of babies born at local hospitals in 2006.

Type a range in column A from cells 2 to 50. For this example, the years of the births are the range so type in years ranging from 2000 to 2008 in random order. Also, enter the hospital names in Column B beside the year, even though the hospital name will not be a direct part of the SumIf function.

Enter random number of births in column C for each hospital for the corresponding years. This is the sum_range. Next, enter the criteria, 2006, into column D and row 2.

Put the SumIf statement "=SumIf(A:A50, D2, C2:C50)" in a cell on the spreadsheet. Be sure to begin the formula with an equal sign so Excel recognizes the function formula. Excel should sum or add the number of births corresponding only to the rows with a 2006 as the year. Manually add the births with a calculator to check that your function is correct.

Tip

• check You can also use text or words as range and criteria as long as you put quotations around the criteria in the function statement.