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I have an Excel spreadsheet and would like to sum the numbers in a column starting at one cell (say, B5) and continuing down to the last number in that column.

I know I could just enter a large ending index, like:


But ideally I could just say something like:


And it would sum from B5 all the way down.

I saw this Superuser question - Excel: is it possible to sum an entire column without setting explicit cell boundaries? - which provides a solution for summing all of the numbers in a column via the following formula:


Problem is, I don't want to sum all of the numbers, just those starting in B5 and down.


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See even this answer – Hastur Jun 26 '14 at 7:56
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Here's one way:

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It still looks like you're just going to the maximum ending index, 65536. If I know this column is going to be all numbers from B5 downward, I could just enter SUM(B5:B65536). My question, though, is whether it's possible not to specify a terminating index when supplying a starting index. It sounds like this may not be possible. – Scott Mitchell Apr 28 '11 at 19:38
@Scott, No, I'm going to the first cell before the blank in the range B5:B65536. See the ISBLANK function. – Lance Roberts Apr 28 '11 at 20:12

How about

= SUM(B:B) - SUM(B1:B4)

Obviously it won't work if the cell you want your total in is in the B1:B4 range, but it is at least easier to read than Lance's perhaps more proper way.

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The problem is that I don't have numbers in cells B1:B4. Moreover, I want this summation to appear in cell B1. If I put the formula SUM(B:B) in cell B1 then Excel gives me a circular reference error message and shows the sum as 0. – Scott Mitchell Apr 28 '11 at 19:37
@Scott: The circular reference thing was why I said it wouldn't work if your formula was in the range B1:B4. I wouldn't worry about not having numbers in B1:B4, Excel should just ignore the cells when doing the sum. I was just trying to avoid having the big number for the number of rows. – Neal Apr 28 '11 at 19:48

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