Add or subtract multiple cells in Excel

Excel usually allows you to do the different calculation in a few different ways. It’s also the case if you want to do simple arithmetic operations such as addition or subtraction.

Take a look at the following example.

Let’s add and subtract numbers in column A (A2:A5) to the value in cell C2. The most straightforward way is to add and subtract these numbers one by one.

D2: =C2+A2+A3+A4+A5
E2: =C2-A2-A3-A4-A5

But, it’s not the most elegant way. If you have a lot of numbers, the better idea is to use the SUM function.

Let’s change the formula.

D2: =C2+SUM(A2:A5)
E2: =C2-SUM(A2:A5)

It will return the same result, but the notation is much simpler, faster to write, and it’s harder to make a mistake.