MS Office Excel is perhaps the world’s biggest spreadsheet application today, and it has earned that position for being very flexible with the formulas you can use. It is a marvelous calculator and data organizer in one.
As an avid Microsoft Excel user, it’s understandable why you might put your unwavering trust in the app and its features. However, there are moments where it is unable to work as expected. One of these moments is when the SUM function cells fail to display your expected results. It might be easy to deem this a miscalculation on your worksheet cells, but there are fixes that can reveal the real problem.
How to Deal with Numbers that Don’t Add up Correctly in your Microsoft Excel Cell Sum Formula
There are a plethora of reasons why numbers in excel may not be able to produce the results you expected on a cell’s SUM formula, so it’s important to have a way to closely inspect these figures to determine what went wrong. The solutions presented here will help you check, verify and fix the Microsoft Excel worksheet problem if you ever run into it.
Solution #1 – Fix Text Numbers
Sometimes, your numbers may be viewed as text by Excel. Here’s how you change that successfully.
- Right-click on a blank cell and select Copy
- Select the cells that have your “text” numbers causing the issue
- Right-click on one of the selected cells and choose Paste Special
- Here, you’ll be presented with a dialog box
- Under the Paste section, choose Values
- Under the Operation section, choose Add
- Click on OK
This should help you fix the numbers and excels will begin to treat them like regular numbers now. If you want the numbers to all be formatted together, use the Number Format commands in your Ribbon’s Home tab.
Solution #2 – Remove Text Formatting from Cells
Your Excel SUM function may not add up any values that are in cells with text formatting. This displays numbers on the left side of a cell rather than the right. To ensure that all your cells can successfully be integrated to the SUM formula, do the following:
- Select all cells within the range
- Right-click and select the Format Cells option to open the window below
- Select the General category from the dialog box
- Click on OK
- Now, your Cell’s numbers will still be in the text format but do this to fix: double-click on each cell within the SUM function’s range and press Enter to switch its number to your selected general format
- Repeat the steps for the formula’s cell if it displays the function instead of a value
Solution #3 – Widen the formula’s column
Sometimes you might be using a column that does not have enough width for values within a cell. Here’s how to fix this.
- Go to your cell with the ##### values
- Move your cursor to the left or right till you notice it changing to a double arrow
- Click and gently drag the column to the left or right to expand it
Excel is not an automatic AI that understands the reason behind errors. It’s up to you to take advantage of the troubleshooting methods available in the application for a fix. This guide should help you immensely.