Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Totaling Across Worksheets.

Totaling Across Worksheets

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 31, 2017)

4

Referring to ranges of cells is one of the very basic skills necessary to effectively use Excel. As you start to create ever-more-complex formulas, you may wonder if there is a way to refer, in a range reference, to a "stack" of cells on multiple worksheets, the same as you can refer to rows or columns on the current worksheet. For instance, the following formula is a way to refer to all cells in column B:

=SUM(B:B)

Note that you don't have to provide a starting or ending row; you just have to provide the column name. You can likewise do the same thing for row references. The following refers to the range of all cells in row 3:

=SUM(3:3)

The problem with referencing all the cells in a set position across a range of worksheets is that there is no unique "collection name" to apply to cells in that position. For instance, rows have numbers and columns have letters. "Stacks" of cells across worksheets don't have a comparable name.

The only way, then, that you can refer to the same cell across a range of worksheets is the rather explicit way that Microsoft dictates. For instance, the following refers to the range at cell D5 across three sheets:

=SUM(Sheet1:Sheet3!D5)

Understanding that sheets must be named in the range, you can include an ever-expanding range by simply making sure that you only add new worksheets between the beginning and ending sheets specified in your formula.

As an example, let's assume that you have a template for an invoice, and that your workbook contains all the invoices you have created this year. Further, each invoice has a total at cell F15. If you want a summary worksheet that shows a total for all invoices, all you need to do is make sure that your first invoice is the first worksheet in your workbook, that your invoice template is the second to last, and that your summary worksheet is the last one in the workbook. In this way, your formula could be something like:

=SUM(Inv01001:InvTemplate!F15)

Whenever you need to add a new invoice, simply make sure it is added immediately before the invoice template. Your invoices remain in order, and your formula always returns the correct total.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (9047) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Totaling Across Worksheets.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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Comments

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What is three minus 2?

2016-12-05 20:44:10

Rosie

Just used your tip for totalling the same column on each sheet. I'm using excel 2013, but in a the highlighted cell it just shows the formula =SUM(G:G)I also used =SUM(FIRST:LAST!G) but then I get #NAME?
What went wrong?


2014-05-27 03:29:19

Paul Whitaker

I always find it easier to create 2 empty worksheets called "First" and "Last", and ensure that all other worksheets are contained within these. Therefore the calculation becomes "=SUM(FIRST:LAST!F15.

Regards
Paul


2014-05-26 09:18:31

mikeC

Thanks guys!


2014-05-24 15:41:18

Michael (Micky) Avidan

As a sheet's name can be 31 characters long - I would suggest to simplify the procedure by adopting the following steps (NOTHING TO TYPE !!!)
Within the Summary worksheet - place the cursor in the summing cell > click on the SIGMA Icon > push & hold down the Shift key > mouse click on the first sheet's tab and immediate after on the second to last sheet's tab > click on cell F5 and press Enter.
Michael (Micky) Avidan
“Microsoft® Answers" - Wiki author & Forums Moderator
“Microsoft®” MVP – Excel (2009-2014)
ISRAEL


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