Summing Only Cells Containing Formulas

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated December 8, 2018)
This tip applies to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365


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:


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.

If you prefer to use an array formula, you could use the following formula:


Just remember to enter using Ctrl+Shift+Enter and you'll get the proper result.

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:


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, and Excel in Microsoft 365.

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. ...


Checking for Matching Parentheses

There are lots of little "gotchas" that can make the difference between a finished document and a polished document. One ...

Discover More

Getting Rid of Blue Squiggly Underlines

In an effort to make your writing better, Word uses "squiggly" underlines to mark things it thinks you may need to ...

Discover More

Cell and Name References in COUNTIF

The second parameter of the COUNTIF function is used to specify the criteria to be used when determining what should be ...

Discover More

Program Successfully in Excel! John Walkenbach's name is synonymous with excellence in deciphering complex technical topics. With this comprehensive guide, "Mr. Spreadsheet" shows how to maximize your Excel experience using professional spreadsheet application development tips from his own personal bookshelf. Check out Excel 2013 Power Programming with VBA today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Hiding Rows Based on Two Values

It's easy to use filtering to hide rows based on the value in a cell, but how do you hide rows based on the values in two ...

Discover More

Averaging Based on Multiple Criteria

When you need to determine an average based on a very small selection of cells from a large dataset, based on multiple ...

Discover More

Finding the Directory Name

Need to know the directory (folder) in which a workbook was saved? You can create a formula that will return this ...

Discover More

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.


If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 8 - 4?

2018-12-10 11:10:39


Yeah, hard to see a need for the IF().

Perhaps there is some odd situation in which it would matter? The logic in using it would not really seem to address anything.

Experimenting on seemingly non-applicable ideas shows that if a formula in the range refers to a text item, "horse" perhaps, not using IF() produces an error that IF() seems to avoid. However, IFERROR() (the more logical choice if looking at the error idea) yields a 0 when the same error exists while IF() gives the correct answer.

(Use three cells to reference, containing "horse", "1", and "2" but only reference the first and last, using an actual "2" instead in your "to sum" range. Using IF() yields 2, using IFERROR() yields 0 though using the "--" trick does clear the issue.

I wonder where else one can use IF() (with OR? without its thrid argument?) instead of IFERROR() and be able to avoid the "--" trick, or other tricks, yet achieve same result? Is it limited to array formulas for this, or normal ones? Why would it work so at all?

Lu-u-u-cy Excel! You got some 'splainin' to do!

2018-12-10 03:50:20


Hi Allen,

I can't work out how to get the formula to work. Where do I paste the macro?



2018-12-08 05:28:07

Michael Avidan

Array Formula:

This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.