Error in cell

Occasional Visitor

Hi, I am trying to figure out a spreadsheet that is totally messed up. Please forgive my ignorance, but in order for a SUM to work properly, doesn't it have to have more than one cell number in it?

2 Replies


That's not obligatory. You can use =SUM(A1) without problems or errors, although it makes little sense. A more common use would be something like =SUM(A1,A4) or =SUM(A1:A4)

@lucysmomma.... SUM(A1) might make sense if A1 might be text that you want to be treated as zero in an arithmetic expression.  I prefer to use N(A1), since that is its purpose.


SUM($A$1:A1) can be very useful.   When it is copied into another cell to the right and/or down, the range is automagically extended.  For example, as you drag the formula down the column, the reference becomes SUM($A$1:A2), SUM($A$1:A3), etc.


If you are having trouble figuring out some problems, I suggest that you attach an example Excel file and describe the problems so that we might be able to help you.