How to Add a Total Row in an Excel TableStep by Step Guide

Tables are one of Excel’s most useful tools.

In a tabular format, Excel tables provide an orderly way of viewing and reporting data.

Amidst the very many purposes excel can serve, is giving you the opportunity of adding a ‘total row’ to your data to summarize data for each column in your work on excel.

This is one of the many advantages of using excel for organizing your data.

Manual calculations can also be very tiring and time consuming.

The excel table proffers solution by making available a long list of mathematical operations that can be performed on your inputted data without any mistake if the boundary of your data is well defined.

It’s a ready companion of accountants, auditors and everyone who have a thing or two to organize and sort out with the use of a mathematical table.

In this article, I will be showing you a step-by-step approach on adding a total row to your work and walk you through the intricacies of inputting your set of data into an excel table as well as other calculative operations that can be performed on your data with the excel table other than just getting a total result.

What is the difference between a table in Excel and a table in Word?

Many people don’t really know the full import of using a table on excel and the advantages that comes with it.

A lot of people on trying out excel and encountering some little problems resort to tables in Microsoft word which unfortunately does not have the organization and calculative advantages that excel table has.

The only challenge many people face in using the excel table is that they don’t specify it as a table.

In excel, your data cannot be a table until you specify it.

This is because there are many functions embedded in Microsoft excel that cannot be used until there is a defined body of data that is bounded, so the jurisdiction of operation for excel will be to the boundary of your defined data.

Let me give you a detailed definition of an excel table so that you can have a fuller understanding of it.

An Excel Table is a dynamic set of rows and columns that have been pre-formatted and structured, alongside having table capabilities such as data aggregation, quick style, automatic updates, and filter and subtotals and so on.

In Excel, a table is a useful tool for organizing your data.

Before I go all out into creating an excel table from your dataset, I want to show you some of the advantages of using excel tables.

Advantages of using excel tables

The following are some of the advantages of converting our data into an Excel table:

  • When you convert a dataset into an Excel table, you may sort and filter each column.
  • The most significant benefit of tables is that they are dynamic in nature, meaning that they can expand as new data is added or contract as data is removed.
  • It opens up a slew of useful features, like calculated columns, structural references, and so on.
  • It improves accuracy with numerical data, errors relating to calculations can be avoided by utilizing the several data aggregation functions on excel as long as you specify the boundary of your dataset.
  • Using an excel table in your workbook helps you to have a consistent, uniform set of data that is well ordered and understandable.
  • You stand the chance of professionally formatting your work with the excel table.
  • Another of these innumerable advantages of using the excel table is the ability to use ‘Total Row’ for data summarization, which we will examine next.

Creating an Excel Table from your Dataset

To harness the potential of excel in using a table for easy organization and calculations; it is needful that you have a dataset.

Like I said earlier, to maximally harness the hidden potentials of excel among which is the excel table, we need to have a body of defined and bounded data to work with.

Now let’s assume you have the data below as your dataset:

Having created a dataset, let me now walk you through how to convert it to an excel table.

Step 1

The first step is to click one of the boxes in your dataset and then click on the ‘format as table’ icon in the home tab.

Step 2

After clicking on the ‘format as table’ icon, a table of styles will appear and then you go ahead and choose whichever style it is you want.

The above is what will come up as the ‘format as table’ dialogue box.

After clicking whichever one of it you wish to use to style your data, it then brings up a small box trying to confirm of course the range of your dataset so that it can fit in perfectly into any table style you choose.

As it displays the box, you will also see an antlike movement marking the boundary of your data.

If by any chance, it doesn’t fully mark your data, you may have to adjust it manually else it won’t appear in your excel table.

Step 3

Click ok and then you have your dataset perfectly stuffed into your excel table.

The steps I have listed above works for all versions of excel. Apply the steps correctly and you will get the results as shown in the pictures above.

There is yet another way of going about converting your dataset into an excel table.

After creating your dataset just like I did above, you can then apply a shortcut key by pressing Control + letter T.

When you press this command, it automatically shows the arrangement box and an antlike movement marking the boundary of your data.

You can then go ahead and make changes where necessary and then choose your table style.

Applying either method one or two will bring you the same result, the excel table is now created, you can spot arrow like icons appearing on top of the table.

Now that the excel table is created, we can then begin to carry out other operations on the excel table.

We now have a well bounded and defined dataset upon which we can then perform an operation of adding the total row.

Adding a Total Row to a Table in Excel

Like I said earlier, there are many things we can begin to do now that the excel table has been created, and one of it is adding a total row for data aggregation.

Just like converting a dataset to an excel table is easy, so also is adding a total row to your excel table easy.

There are majorly two methods of carrying out this operation, whichever one you use will tend toward the same result.

Let me now walk you through these two methods.

Method 1


  • Right click on a cell in your excel table, it will display the right context menu.
  • Hover your cursor on Table, and left click on Total Row.

After clicking on total row, it will appear on the excel table

Method 2


  • Select one of the cells in the excel table.
  • From the home tab, you can select table design and then go ahead to select total row.
  • Having followed the last two steps, the ‘total row’ will emerge.

By choosing any cell in the Total Row and hitting Ctrl + Shift + T, you may toggle the ‘Total Row’ in and out of view.

Data Aggregations on the Total Row

Like I said earlier, using the excel table opens us up to a world of operations that can be performed on our dataset.

In the total row, we have quite a lot of other operations apart from sum total that can be done like the average, min, max, Standard deviation, and even the result of a custom function.

For instance, if we want to get the standard deviation of SP from the table, we just click on the last cell on the total row.

And then an arrow like icon pops up which when clicked shows a long list of the aforementioned operations that can be performed on the dataset, standard deviation is selected and then you press enter.

The standard deviation of the SP will automatically appear.

The arrow could be inside the cell or outside the cell.

The various steps involved in creating an excel table have all been covered in this tutorial.

Getting result from following this tutorial depends on whether you pay attention to every detail of this tutorial.


In conclusion, tables in excel makes it a lot easier to work with your data as it gives you access to a wide range of tools to address the organization of your data professionally.

The excel table has helped many organizations and industries to properly organize data and perform calculative tasks with the help of in-built functions in the table like standard deviation, sum, count, average etc.

In cases where large numbers of data are involved, excel table is the right tool to use as its different aggregating functions helps to get a quick and well-structured overview of your data.

We hope you found this guide useful and straightforward.