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How to Use the Excel SUMIF Function

We can use the excel SUMIF function to add numbers in a range of cells based on a criteria. The steps below will walk through the process.

Figure 1: How to Use the Excel SUMIF Function

General Formula




Setting up the Data

  • We will set up the data by inputting the Dates of sales in Column A
  • Column B will contain the sales
  • Column C is where we want the formula to return the result for the SUMIF function for days before 5/1/2019

Figure 2: Setting up the Data

SUMIF Function with Criteria “<5/1/2019”

The SUMIF function checks the first range (A4:A11) for cells that have dates less than 5/1/2019. After retrieving the cells, it checks the second range (B4:B11) and sums the associated sales amount if they are in line with the criteria.

  • We will click on Cell C4
  • We will insert the formula below into the cell
  • We will press the enter key

Figure 3: Result of the SUMIF function for dates before 5/1/2019


  • The Criteria in the formula determines the cells to be added. This parameter is limited to text, number or a range and the function cannot use array constants
  • Text criteria, or the criteria that include mathematical symbols, must be enclosed in double quotation marks (“”)
  • The wildcard characters such as ? and * can be used in criteria. A question mark matches any ‘one’ character and an asterisk matches any ‘sequence’ of characters
  • SUMIF function cannot be used with logical operators such as AND, OR, etc.

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