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Excel 2010 SUM Function not Working Properly

Posted on 2013-11-08
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Last Modified: 2013-11-11
I am totaling some US Census data when I use the SUM function for the range of cells "SUM(C4:C19)" the total in the cell is the number in cell B16; however, if I use the formula "B4+B5+B6+B7+B8+B9+B10+B11+B12+B13+B14+B15+B16+B17+B18+B19" the correct total appears in the cell.   I'm using referenced data from another workbook.

All source cells are formatted as numbers as are cell that are in the SUM RANGE.

The same problem occurs if I attempt to sum columns.

What's causing this and how can I fix it?

Thanks,

Jeremy


Charlestown Township            5,671
East Goshen Township          18,026
East Whiteland Township          10,650
Easttown Township                  10,477
Edgemont Township            3,987
Malvern Borough                    2,998
Marple Township                  23,428
Newtown Township                  12,216
Radnor Township                  31,531
Schuylkill Township                   8,516
Tredyffrin Township                 29,332
Upper Merion Township         28,395
West Goshen Township         21,866
West Whiteland Township 18,274
Westtown Township         10,827
Willistown Township         10,497
      
Total                                        28,395
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Question by:Jeremy-M
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6 Comments
 
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Accepted Solution

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barry houdini earned 2000 total points
ID: 39634665
Hello Jeremy

It sounds like your numbers are mostly formatted as text - text formatted numbers are ignored by SUM function but using + will "co-erce" the text to numbers (and therefore include them in the result)

Test by using

=ISNUMBER(B4)

FALSE means B4 isn't a number

You can't change text values to numbers by changing the formatting, try using "text to columns"

Select the range of "numbers" then use

Data > Text to columns > Finish

now SUM should work

regards, barry
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LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:Harry Lee
ID: 39635060
Jeremy,

It is for sure Error on numbers stored as text.

As Barry said, Text To Columns is the quickest way to fix that.
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Expert Comment

by:Swapnil Nirmal
ID: 39635238
Do u find a green error sign in top left corner of cell? that means the number is entered as text.

Just select the entire range, click on that error popup and then click on convert to number. I think this will solve your problem.
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LVL 33

Expert Comment

by:Rob Henson
ID: 39638585
As you are using data referenced from another workbook, it would seem that the data in the source workbook is text so n_swapnil's suggestion may not be applicable as you would end up overwriting the reference formulas.

I suspect you will have to chnage the source data or somehow force the sum to recognise the values as values, maybe using SUMPRODUCT.

Thanks
Rob H
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Expert Comment

by:Rob Henson
ID: 39638593
Actually turns out to be simpler than that:

=SUM(C4:C19*1)

Confirm with Shift + Ctrl + Enter. In the formula bar it will then look like:

{=SUM(C4:C19*1)}

Copnverting to an array formula tells it to multiply each of the range by 1 before summing, thus converting to a number.

Thanks
Rob H
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Expert Comment

by:Rob Henson
ID: 39638776
Will Barry's solution not overwrite your reference to the source data with values?
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