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Add Columns of Numbers
in a Word 2007 Table

Sparks, Nevada)

In Word 2000, it was easy to add up a column of numbers in a table. Just highlight the column, put the cursor in the cell under your column of numbers, hit the Formula button..and you get a total.

In Word 2007, it was very easy to press Insert Layout Formula (end of ribbon) and {= SUM(ABOVE } appeared.

However, when I try to get a total in the cell under my column, all I get is "syntax error". Help!!


The correct syntax for the formula is {=SUM(ABOVE)}. However, you cannot type the formula directly into the cell. It must be entered using a dialog box.

For the benefit of readers who don't know how to use basic math calculations in Microsoft Word tables, let's start at the beginning of the process.

(Trish, follow the instructions and see if you can find the syntax error in your formula.)

Calculating a Sum in a Word 2007 Table

To add a column of numbers in a Word 2007 table, follow these steps:

  1. Create a table.

    a Microsoft Word table
  2. Place the cursor in the cell where you want the sum displayed.
  3. On the Table Tools Layout tab (this tab is only visible if your cursor is inside the table), click Formula. The Formula dialog box opens.

    Insert Formula button on the Tables tab
  4. Under Formula, type this formula exactly:


    Caution: Make sure there are no spaces between characters, and that ABOVE is inside (). There must be an opening AND closing bracket.

    You do not have to type the curly brackets; Word 2007 places the formula inside curly brackets for you when it inserts the formula into the table cell.

    The Formula dialog box
  5. Select the desired number format.
  6. Click OK.
  7. If the formula appears in the cell instead of the sum, press Alt + F9 to toggle on the calculation. Press Alt + F9 again to toggle on the formula.

Design Note: If you need advanced math calculations, insert an Excel spreadsheet into your document instead of a Microsoft Word table.

Multiply Columns of Numbers in a Word 2007 Table

How do I multiply columns of numbers in a word 2007 table?


Follow the instructions for adding columns of numbers, but use the following formula, =PRODUCT(ABOVE).

Be sure to read the comments below for more help working with calculations in Microsoft Word tables.

Comments for
Add Columns of Numbers in a Word 2007 Table

(Comments are Closed)

How to add a column if you have blank cells
by: Jane

I have columns of numbers with a blank cell between each number and the =Sum(Above) does not work. I have to specify the number of cells I am adding (i.e., =Sum(C1:C7)).

Naming Table Cells in Word
by: Word-Tips

Thank-you for your comment, Jane!

This is very true. The sum formula works for adjacent cells, but if your table contains blank cells, you do need to add the cell names to the formula to make it work.

In Excel, the cells have names such as D2 or H15. However, you may not realize that table cells in Word are named the same way. To find the name of a table cell, manually count the columns (A, B, C...) and the rows (1, 2, 3...).

=SUM(ABOVE) will work as long as each cell is occupied by a number.
by: Desiree

If you have a blank cell, just put zero (0) in that blank cell and =SUM(ABOVE) should still work, since the program will consider zero to be a number to be included in the sum. It worked for me.

Great Tip!
by: Word-Tips

Thanks for the great tip, Desiree! Thanks for sharing it with my readers. =D

Adding numbers in columns

I have tried everything to add numbers in word. I was getting only the formula until I read your tip to toggle for the total. Now I get "!C39 Is Not In Table" (C39 in the first column, last line of the table (third column and line 39). I am so frustrated. Help!

Using the Correct Formula and Cell Range

Formulas can get quite complex. I'm not sure if you are trying to add the numbers in just one column or the whole table.

If just the column, is C39 blank? If so, use the tip mentioned in one of the comments to add a zero.

If you are trying to add all of the numbers in the entire table, you have to use a range, not Above, as follow:


This will add all of the numbers in columns A, B, C, from cells 1-39.

One thing to check is that there are actually 39 rows. If you have split/merged cells, it can be difficult to figure out what the correct cell references.

Greg Maxey, Microsoft MVP, wrote a macro that reports the cell ranges. Here is the link to his article with the code:

I hope this helps. If possible, it would be great if you could please report back here one way or the other.

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