It's perfectly valid syntax to write


as well as quick to read and write (I'm assuming for the sake of argument that A1 and A2 are numbers, where A2 is non-zero).

What I don't understand is when some users write things like


Why do some users do this? I.e., is there any benefit to writing formulae in this way? Is it a legacy of older syntax?

3 Answers 3


I personally tend to write =SUM before any math operators to easily differentiate between those cells or parts of a formula which are simple math and those which are more complex math or logic. Simple personal preference, but I find it helps me keep track of things.


They might prefer to type it out for whatever reason. It's also possible that this is how they were taught and so they do it by habit.

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    There is some extra feeling of security when coding against a method rather than an adhoc expression, as the parameters can be validated as you type. Dec 8, 2015 at 15:14

I do my formulas as =Sum(A1:A2) because sometimes I will insert rows and it the formula will adjust itself to =sum(A1:A3). Where if I do it as =A1+A2 then I have to go adjust.

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