How to Apply SUMIF Formula in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Applying the SUMIF formula in Excel is simpler than you might think. This formula allows you to sum up values in cells that meet specific criteria. Here’s a quick rundown: enter the formula as =SUMIF(range, criteria, sum_range), and Excel will do the rest. Now, let’s dive into the steps to make it crystal clear.

How to Apply SUMIF Formula in Excel

In this section, you’ll learn how to apply the SUMIF formula step-by-step. By the end, you’ll be able to effortlessly sum up only the values that meet your specific criteria.

Step 1: Open Your Excel Spreadsheet

To begin, open the Excel spreadsheet where you want to apply the SUMIF formula.

Make sure the data you want to work with is well-organized. Having columns for the criteria and the values you want to sum will make things easier.

Step 2: Identify Your Range

Next, identify the range of cells you want to evaluate with your criteria.

This range should include all the cells that you will check against the criteria. For instance, if you want to sum sales amounts from a particular region, make sure the entire column of regions is included.

Step 3: Define Your Criteria

Define the criteria you want to use for summing the values.

Your criteria could be anything from a specific text string to a numerical value. For example, if you’re summing up sales from "Region 1", your criteria would be "Region 1".

Step 4: Select Your Sum Range

Select the range of cells that contain the values you want to sum.

This range should be the same size as your criteria range. If your criteria range is A2:A10, your sum range might be B2:B10, where B2 to B10 includes the values to be summed.

Step 5: Enter the SUMIF Formula

Finally, enter the formula =SUMIF(range, criteria, sum_range) in the cell where you want the sum to appear.

For example, if your criteria range is A2:A10, your criteria is "Region 1", and your sum range is B2:B10, your formula would look like this: =SUMIF(A2:A10, "Region 1", B2:B10).

After completing these steps, the cell will display the sum of all the values that meet your specified criteria.

Tips for Using SUMIF Formula in Excel

  • Double-check your ranges: Ensure your criteria range and sum range are the same size to avoid errors.
  • Use wildcard characters: The asterisk (*) can represent any sequence of characters, and the question mark (?) can represent any single character.
  • Combine with other formulas: You can nest SUMIF within other formulas to perform more complex calculations.
  • Case sensitivity: SUMIF is not case-sensitive. "region" and "Region" will be treated the same.
  • Use quotation marks for text criteria: Always enclose text criteria in quotation marks.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use multiple criteria in a SUMIF formula?

No, SUMIF only supports a single criterion. For multiple criteria, use the SUMIFS formula.

What if my criteria and sum ranges are different sizes?

Excel will return an error. Ensure both ranges have the same number of cells.

Can SUMIF work with text values?

Yes, SUMIF can sum values based on text criteria, such as summing sales by a specific salesperson.

How to handle blank cells in SUMIF?

Blank cells in the criteria range are ignored. In the sum range, they are treated as zero.

Does SUMIF work horizontally?

Yes, you can use SUMIF to sum data in rows instead of columns, just adjust your ranges accordingly.


  1. Open your Excel spreadsheet.
  2. Identify your range.
  3. Define your criteria.
  4. Select your sum range.
  5. Enter the SUMIF formula.


And there you have it! Applying the SUMIF formula in Excel can greatly simplify your data analysis tasks by allowing you to sum values based on specific criteria. Whether you’re managing sales data, tracking expenses, or analyzing any other type of information, this formula can be a real time-saver.

Now that you’re equipped with this new knowledge, why not give it a try? Open up Excel and apply the SUMIF formula to your own data. You’ll be surprised at how much easier it makes your life. For further reading, consider exploring more advanced Excel functions like SUMIFS or VLOOKUP. Happy Excel-ing!

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