How to Sum Cells Starting with a Number

You can use the LEFT function to have the sum of the numbers starting with one or more digits. The LEFT function is a text function but also works for numbers.

Example: You are working with a worksheet with the product in column A, the amount in column B, and the profit/loss in column C.

Question: What is the sum of the numbers starting with 8 in column B?

=SUMPRODUCT(--(LEFT(B2:B10,1)="8"),B2:B10)

The result returns 1,600.

Explanation:

  • Step 1: LEFT(B2:B10,1): To have the first digit of each number;
  • Step 2: (LEFT(B2:B10,1)="8"): If the first digit equals 8, it returns TRUE; otherwise, it returns FALSE;
  • Step 3: (--(LEFT(B2:B10,1)="8")): The double hyphen converts TRUE into one and FALSE into zero;
  • Step 4: The SUMPRODUCT function returns the sum of the products of the new array.
AmountStep 1Step 2Step 3
1,2781FALSE0
8008TRUE1
5885FALSE0
3003FALSE0
3003FALSE0
2002FALSE0
3003FALSE0
8008TRUE1
5005FALSE0

You can use the following formula to have the sum of the numbers in column C when the corresponding cells in column B start with 8.

=SUMPRODUCT(--(LEFT(B2:B10,1)="8"),C2:C10)

The result returns -777.

Notes: The SUMPRODUCT Function

The SUMPRODUCT function adds all the multiplication results for all arrays.

Formula:

=SUMPRODUCT(array1, [array2], …)

Explanations:

– Array1 is required; the first array is to multiply and add.
– Array2 is optional; the second array is to multiply and add.

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