Auto-sum: Adding Up Your Totals

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Go To Great Panes, Kathryn Maloney ©2012
This post is copyrighted–you do not have permission to repost this content elsewhere but you are welcome to link to it if you’d like to share the information.

One of the handiest tools in the box for a small business (and personal) finances is the auto-sum feature on spreadsheet programs.

Many use Microsoft Excel for their spreadsheets (need help with that? See here: http://www.gotogreatpanes.com/blog/?p=858) but other programs have that feature too.

If you don’t have software on your computer to create/edit spreadsheets, Open Office is great free program you can download–it has several sections:

Writer: word processor
Calc: spreadsheets
Impress: multimedia presentations
Draw: creates images as simple as diagrams and as complex as 3D illustrations
Base: databases
Math: mathematical equations

Calc is the one to use for spreadsheets & CSV files. I’ve also used the word processor, but haven’t tried the other parts–I’d love to hear how you like them!

Open Office Calc

If you just want to see what the sum is temporarily, you can highlight an entire column by clicking the letter above the column–Calc will show you the sum of all the items in that column in the footer of the window (I’ve shrunk it down to keep it easy to see here, but the window normally fills all/most of the screen):

Click images for a larger view

Before:

Click column header (red arrow):

Sum shows (red arrow):
(The sum won’t be exactly in the right-hand corner of the program, just in the footer. I’ve shrunk the whole thing down for easy viewing in the small images here.)

You can also just highlight a few cells and it will do the same, no need to do the whole column if you want to total only certain entries–even if the entries aren’t next to each other:

Open Office Calc’s Autosum

If you want to add the column up and save the total for quick reference later (without having to reselect the column)/to see how it changes when you add/remove/edit the numbers, you can use the auto-sum button to insert the total into the spreadsheet.

Highlight what you want to add up plus one extra blank space below it, and click the blue “E” (see the red arrow):

and the sum will be put in the extra box; in this example $14.95 is the total:

Go To Great Panes, Kathryn Maloney ©2012
This post is copyrighted–you do not have permission to repost this content elsewhere but you are welcome to link to it if you’d like to share the information.

2 thoughts on “Auto-sum: Adding Up Your Totals”

  1. Hi, Thanks for this post – I have a question. When I download my paypal history onto openoffice spreadsheet it looks like ‘mishmash’ and there are no values in the tax column. I am really just interested in finding out how much sales tax I collected each 3 month period. Is there something obvious to you that I’m doing incorrectly? Thanks for your time and any help you can provide.
    Merry Christmas. Regards, Lois

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