Autosum

Use the Autosum formula in Excel to save time with financial modeling

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What is the Autosum Excel Function?

The Autosum Excel Function[1] can be accessed by typing ALT + the = sign in a spreadsheet, and it will automatically create a formula to sum all the numbers in a continuous range.  This function is a great way to speed up your financial analysis.  It allows you to easily add up a series of numbers either vertically or horizontally without having to use the mouse or even the arrow keys on the keyboard!

For a financial analyst performing calculations all day long, even a small increase in speed for one function can add up to a lot of time saved over the course of a day, week, or year.

In industries like investment banking, keyboard shortcuts such as Autosum Excel are critical, and analysts are expected to know them all by heart (see our guide on how to get a job in investment banking).

How Autosum Excel Works

The Autosum Excel shortcut is very simple – just type two keys:

ALT =

Step 1: Place the cursor below the column of numbers you want to sum (or to the left of the row of numbers you want to sum).

Step 2: Hold down the Alt key and then press the equals = sign while still holding Alt.

Step 3: Press Enter.

Example of the Autosum Excel function

Here are two screenshots of the Autosum Excel shortcut in action.

The first example shows the Autosum formula being used in a vertical series of numbers, and the second example shows the formula used on a horizontal series of numbers.

It’s important to place your cursor in the correct place before pressing “Alt =”.

See Excel screenshots example below:

Video Tutorial – AUTOSUM Function in Excel

To learn more about how to use the AUTOSUM Function in Excel, check out the video below: