Excel usually allows you to do different calculations in a few different ways. It’s also the case if you want to do simple arithmetic operations such as addition or subtraction.

Take a look at the following example.

Let’s add and subtract numbers in **column A** (**A2:A5**) to the value in cell **C2**. The most straightforward way is to add and subtract these numbers one by one.

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D2: =C2+A2+A3+A4+A5 |

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E2: =C2-A2-A3-A4-A5 |

But, it’s not the most elegant way. If you have a lot of numbers, the better idea is to use the **SUM function**.

Let’s change the formula.

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D2: =C2+SUM(A2:A5) |

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E2: =C2-SUM(A2:A5) |

It will return the same result, but the notation is much simpler, faster to write, and it’s harder to make a mistake.