Sum a Table Column in Word

Word allows you to calculate the sum of a column in a table, just like you would in a spreadsheet program like Excel. This post will show you how to do this in Word 2003, 2007, and 2010. As an example, we will total a column of decimal numbers.

Word 2003

Below is an example table we will use to show you how to total a column of numbers in a table in Word 2003. To sum the numbers in the Amount column, put the cursor in the last cell in that column.

Table for summing in Word 2003

Select Formula from the Table menu.

Selecting Formula from the Table menu

The Formula edit box on the Formula dialog box is automatically filled in with the appropriate formula. We will format the total the same way the numbers are formatted in the Amount column. Select 0.00 from the Number format drop-down list.

Selecting a Number format on the Formula dialog box

Click OK to accept your settings.

Closing the Formula dialog box

The total is entered into the last cell in the Amount column.

The sum of the table column in Word 2003

There is a quick and easy way to sum a column of numbers in a table in Word 2003. Once the cursor is in the last cell of the column of numbers, click the AutoSum button on the Table toolbar. The sum will automatically be entered into the cell.

Clicking the AutoSum button in Word 2003

If you change any numbers in the Amount column, and you want to update the total, right-click on the sum field and select Update Field from the popup menu. You can also press F9 while the cursor is in a field to update that field.

Updating the Sum in Word 2003

Word 2007

We will use the same example table that we used in Word 2003 to show you how to total a table column in Word 2007. Again, put the cursor in the blank cell at the bottom of the Amount column.

Table for summing in Word 2007

The Table Tools tabs become available. Click the Layout tab.

Clicking the Layout tab in Word 2007

Click the Formula button in the Data group.

Clicking the Formula button in Word 2007

The correct formula is automatically inserted into the Formula edit box on the Formula dialog box. Select 0.00 from the Number format drop-down list to format the number the same way the other numbers in the column are formatted.

Selecting a Number format on the Formula dialog box in Word 2007

Click OK to accept the settings.

Closing the Formula dialog box in Word 2007

The formula field is inserted into the cell and the total is automatically calculated and displayed. If you change any of the numbers in the Amount column, right-click on the total and select Update Field from the popup menu to update the total. You can also press F9 while a field is selected to update it.

Updating the sum field in Word 2007

You may notice that you don’t see an AutoSum button on the Word 2007 Layout tab or any of the other tabs. This feature is available in Word 2007 but it is not on any of the ribbon tabs. To have access to it, you must add it to the Quick Access toolbar. To do this, click the Office button and click the Word Options button.

Opening Word Options in Word 2007

Select the Customize option from the list on the left side of the Word Options dialog box.

Clicking the Customize option on the Word Options dialog box

Select Commands Not in the Ribbon from the Choose commands from drop-down list.

Selecting Commands Not in the Ribbon

Scroll down in the list below the Choose commands from drop-down list until you find the Sum command. Select it and click the Add button. This adds the Sum command to the list of commands on the Quick Access Toolbar on the right side of the Word Options dialog box.

Adding the Sum button to the Quick Access Toolbar

Click OK on the Word Options dialog box to close it.

Closing the Word Options dialog box

The Sum command displays as a button on the Quick Access Toolbar. You can click the Sum button when the cursor is in the last cell of the Amount column of the table discussed earlier to total the numbers in the column.

The Sum button on the Quick Access Toolbar

For more information about customizing the Quick Access Toolbar, see our previous post, Customize the Quick Access Toolbar in Microsoft Office 2007.

Unfortunately, you cannot customize the ribbon tabs in Word 2007 directly. However, see this post, Ribbon Customizer – Add-In for Office 2007 that allows full customization of the ribbon interface, for information about a tool that allows you to do so. More tips about customizing and using commands from the ribbon bar are discussed in our post, Customize the Word 2007 Ribbon.

Word 2010

The tabs and buttons in Word 2010 look slightly different, but the procedure for totaling a table column is the same as for Word 2007, so we won’t list it again here.

However, Word 2010 allows you to customize the ribbon tabs by adding custom groups to them. This allows you to add the Sum button to both the Quick Access toolbar and any of the ribbon tabs, if desired.

To add the Sum button to the Quick Access toolbar in Word 2010, click the File tab.

Clicking the File tab in Word 2010

Click Options in the list on the left side of the File tab.

Clicking options on the File tab in Word 2010

On the Word Options dialog box, click the Quick Access Toolbar option in the list on the left.

Clicking the Quick Access Toolbar option on the Word Options dialog box in Word 2010

Select Commands Not in the Ribbon from the Choose commands from drop-down list.

Selecting Commands Not in the Ribbon in Word 2010

Scroll down in the list below the Choose commands from drop-down list until you find the Sum command. Select it and click the Add button.

Adding the Sum command to the Quick Access Toolbar in Word 2010

The Sum command is added to the list of commands available on the Quick Access Toolbar.

Sum command added to Quick Access Toolbar in Word 2010

Click OK to close the Word Options dialog box.

Closing the Word Options dialog box in Word 2010

The Sum command is available as a button on the Quick Access Toolbar. You can now use the Sum button to quickly sum a column of numbers in a table.

The Sum button on the Quick Access Toolbar in Word 2010

To add the Sum button to the Layout ribbon tab (or any other desired tab), see our previous post, Customize the Ribbon Bar in Word 2010.

If you change any numbers in the table column and you want to update the total, you can do so using one of the two methods mentioned earlier for Word 2007.

by Lori Kaufman

Comments [3]

  1. Nick from CA says:

    Lori, it looks like you went to a lot of trouble to make this l-o-o-n-g post, which I was happy to find — I know how to do this in 2003, but in 2010 I was unable to find find it, and so I consulted Office Help, and that brought me to you.

    I have a request for what I think would be a significant usability improvement. This article would be *greatly* enhanced if you were to put a menu of internal hyperlinks, one to each set of instructions, so that a user could easily locate the instructions for their version of Word, and skip over those they don’t.

  2. Vittalanand says:

    the auto sum feature is cumbersome and difficult to understand for elders familiar with word 2003. The features of word 2003 on auto sum of a table or column as practiced in earlier version with sigma symbol clicking with the cursor over the desired place was easier. This feature has to be brought back

  3. Randy says:

    The autosum works fine when there are no blanks between the last number and the total. If there are, it tends to want to add the totals of the horizontal cells as opposed to the vertical cells. One needs to fill the empty cells with zeros for it to work properly – dashes or other symbols indicating an empty cell won’t do the trick!

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