Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Summing a Table Column.

Summing a Table Column

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated September 1, 2018)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


Word allows you to do simple spreadsheet-style calculations on tabular data. You do this using equation fields. For instance, let's assume you had a 20-row table in which you wanted to total the values in the third column. All you need to do is the following:

  1. Position the insertion point in the cell you want to contain the total. (In this example, you would position the insertion point in the bottom cell of the third column.)
  2. Choose Formula from the Table menu. Word displays the Formula dialog box. (See Figure 1.) Notice that a suggested formula is already filled in the Formula box.
  3. Figure 1. The Formula dialog box.

  4. Using the Number Format drop-down list, select how you want the number to be formatted. (This step is optional.)
  5. Click on OK.

At this point Word places the sum of your column in the cell. If you have the Tables and Borders toolbar visible on your screen there is an easier way to sum a table column. Follow these two steps:

  1. Position the insertion point in the cell you want to contain the total. Typically, this is the bottom cell in a column of numbers.
  2. Click on the AutoSum tool on the Tables and Borders toolbar.

Once the sum is placed in the cell (whichever method you follow to place it there), and you later change the column figures, remove rows, or add new rows, you will need to update the sum. You do this by selecting the field you inserted and then pressing F9.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (58) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Summing a Table Column.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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