Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have data in two columns. I would like the sum of the two columns, using the maximum value for each row.

For instance

C1  C2
 1   2
 4   3
 5   7

The result would be 2+4+11+10+7.

I would prefer if the solution worked in Google Spreadsheets, but if that can't happen Excel would be ok.

share|improve this question
up vote 5 down vote accepted

For a one cell solution you can use an "array formula" like this in excel


confirmed with CTRL+SHIFT+ENTER

In google docs you should be able to do the same - either use CTRL+SHIFT+ENTER with the above or use


share|improve this answer
Works perfectly. Thanks. – Chris Marasti-Georg Jan 1 '12 at 17:39

Is this too simple?

C1  |C2   |C3
1   |2    |=MAX(A2,B2)
4   |3    |=MAX(A3,B3)
11  |     |=MAX(A4,B4)
    |10   |=MAX(A5,B5)
5   |7    |=MAX(A6,B6)
    |     |=SUM(C2:C6)
share|improve this answer
Looks good. If no one posts a one-cell answer I'll accept. – Chris Marasti-Georg Jan 1 '12 at 17:22

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.