While working with Excel, we are able to sum values in a data set based on a given criteria by using the **SUMIF **function. SUMIF sums the values in a specified range based on a given condition. This step by step tutorial will assist all levels of Excel users in summing values that begin with a specific text.

*Figure 1. Final result of the SUMIF function*

Final Formula: **=SUMIF(B3:B8,"Paper"&"*",C3:C8)**

**Syntax of the SUMIF Function**

SUMIF sums the values in a specified range, based on one given criteria

**Syntax**

**=SUMIF**(**range**,**criteria**, [**sum_range**])

Where

**Range**: the data range that will be evaluated using the criteria**Criteria**: the criteria or condition that determines which cells will be added**Sum_range**: the cells that will be added; if left blank, “sum_range” = “range” which means that the range of data that will be added is the same range of data evaluated

**Setting up the Data**

Our table has two columns: Supplies (column B) and Quantity (column C). We want to get the total quantity for Paper supplies and record it in cell E3.

* Figure 2. Sample data for the SUMIF example*

**Sum Quantity if Supplies Begin with Paper**

We want to sum all values in column C (Quantity) if the cells in column B (Supplies) begin with “Paper”. Here are the steps:

**Step 1**. Select cell E3

**Step 2**. Enter the formula: **=SUMIF(B3:B8,"Paper"&"*",C3:C8)**

**Step 3**. Press Enter

The range for the data we want to evaluate is **B3:B8**. The criteria is **“Paper”&”*”** which translates to “ **Paper* **”. The **asterisk **“*****” means that there could be any number of characters after the word “Paper”. The sum_range is **C3:C8** which is the column for “Quantity” that we want to add. As a result, the SUMIF function returns 250, which is the sum of the quantity of “Paper_Bond” and “Paper_Art”.

*Figure 3. Using the SUMIF function to sum values of supplies that begin with “Paper”*

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