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Calculate running total in Excel

This tutorial shows how to Calculate running total in Excel using the example below;

Formula

=SUM($A$1:A1)

Explanation

To calculate a running total, you can use the SUM formula with a mixed reference that creates an expanding range. In the example shown, the formula in cell D6 is:

=SUM($C$6:C6)

When this formula is copied down the column, it correctly reports a running total on each row.

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How this formula works

This formula uses what is called a “mixed reference” to create an “expanding range”. A mixed reference is a reference that includes both absolute and relative parts.

In this case, the SUM formula refers to the range C6:C6. However, the first reference to C6 (on the left of the colon) is absolute and is entered $C$6. This “locks” the reference so that it won’t change when copied.

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On the right of the colon, the reference is relative, and appears as C6. This reference will change as the the formula is copied down the column.

The result is a range that expands by one row each time it is copied down:

=SUM($C$6:C6) // formula in D6
=SUM($C$6:C7) // formula in D7
=SUM($C$6:C8) // formula in D8
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