Summing Only Cells Containing Formulas

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated June 1, 2024)
This tip applies to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021


Mandy wonders if there is a way to sum a data range and include in the sum only those cells that contain a formula. According to Mandy's needs, if a cell contains an explicit value and not a formula, then it should not be included in the sum.

There are many ways you could go about achieving the desired result, but I will focus on only a few of them.

First, if you only need to determine the sum a single time and not have it appear within the worksheet itself, then you can follow these steps:

  1. Select the cells that you want to sum.
  2. Press F5. Excel displays the Go To dialog box.
  3. Click the Special button. Excel displays the Go To Special dialog box.
  4. Select the Formulas radio button.
  5. Click on OK. Excel modifies the selected cells so that only those containing formulas are selected.

At this point you can look in the status bar (bottom of the Excel window) and see the sum of the selected cells—those containing formulas.

If you prefer a formula-based approach, one of the key factors here is going to be the version of Excel you are using. Microsoft introduced the ISFORMULA function with the release of Excel 2013, so if you are using that version (or later), determining the sum you want is quite easy. Just use this formula:

=SUMPRODUCT(A1:A5,--ISFORMULA(A1:A5))

This formula assumes that the data range you want to sum is A1:A5. The "double minus" sign before the ISFORMULA function is used to convert TRUE and FALSE values (as returned by ISFORMULA) to either 1 or 0.

You could also use this formula, which is shorter still:

=SUM(ISFORMULA(A1:A6)*A1:A6)

This will work as-is in Excel 2021 or later, but in Excel 2013, Excel 2016, and Excel 2019 you'll need to enter it as an array formula using Ctrl+Shift+Enter. In addition, note that the formula will only work if values in A1:A6 are either formulas or numeric values. If one of the cells contains a text value, you'll get a #VALUE! error. To get around this potential problem, wrap the inner portion of the formula in an IF function:

=SUM(IF(ISFORMULA(A1:A6),A1:A6))

If you are using a version of Excel older than Excel 2010, then these formulas won't work. Instead, you'll need to rely on a user-defined function to do the trick:

Function SumFormulas(ByVal r As Range)
    Dim c As Range
    Dim s As Double

    s = 0
    For Each c In r.Cells
        If c.HasFormula And IsNumeric(c) Then
            s = s + c.Value
        End If
    Next c
    SumFormulas = s
End Function

Note that the code checks to make sure that the cell contains a formula (using the HasFormula property) and checks to make sure it is numeric (using the IsNumeric function). Both are necessary because it is possible to have a text-based formula in a cell, and you don't want to try to include the results of such a formula in your sum.

In order to use the function, you would simply use the following in a worksheet cell, assuming you want to sum the range A1:C7:

=SumFormulas(A1:C7)

The macro-based approach will also work in versions of Excel beyond Excel 2010, if for some reason you don't want to rely on the ISFORMULA function. (For instance, if you have to ensure compatibility with older versions of Excel.)

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (13595) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021.

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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