How to Get Microsoft Excel to Calculate Rows

by Danielle Cort
number background image by kuhar from

Spreadsheet programs such as Excel are designed to lay out data in a logical form, run formulas and make calculations. Excel lets you not only calculate columns of data, but rows as well. Calculating data in a row is no different than calculating data in a column, and you can use the same formulas and functions to do it. Excel will update the results automatically every time you hit "Enter" or add new data into your spreadsheet.

Step 1

Open the Excel spreadsheet that contains rows you want to calculate.

Step 2

Click on an empty cell in the column of the row you want to calculate -- you can choose an empty cell that is right next to the last column of data.

Step 3

Enter "=" to start the formula. Enter additional functions and operators to complete your formula. For example, if you want to sum all the values in five columns of row 4, you would type: =SUM(A4:E4). Hit "Enter."

Copy and paste the formula from your original cell into other cells down the empty column if you want to calculate other rows using the same formula. Excel will use the correct cell references to automatically calculate the new rows.


  • You are not limited to simple sums or averages; you can make as complex a function as you need to calculate rows. See Resources for a list of Excel functions you can use.


Photo Credits

About the Author

Danielle Cort has been a freelance writer since 2008, specializing in psychology, health, education and parenting. She has published articles in "Family" magazine. Before becoming a freelance writer, Cort worked in the public policy research sector, conducting research, creating surveys and budgets. She holds a Doctor of Philosophy in social psychology from the University of Massachusetts.

More Articles