# How to Use Subtotals and Totals in an Excel Spreadsheet

Microsoft has created a tool called subtotal in Excel which, enables you to retrieve the subtotal of a particular sum total . When used intelligently you would not even need to write formulas to get the subtotals or totals at the bottom of every month or year. Subtotal is a very useful tool but for this to work the way you want you should always play with it on some sample data so that you get a hang of how it works. In general terms subtotal tool summarizes all the fields for which the value of the first column is same. For example if first column contains January in first 10 rows then it has February in next 10, then the Subtotal tool will summarize the values of columns which have January in their first column and will do the same for February as well. Let’s see how to use the Subtotal tool.

To create a subtotal or grand total in any range of data in an Excel spreadsheet you have to follow the following steps:

Step1: Organize your data set. This can be done by highlighting the headers of the rows and the first column.

Step2: Select the data range which needs subtotaling.

Step3: Click on the Data ribbon

Step4: Click the subtotals button in the data ribbon. This action will not ask you for further details and will subtotal and grand total the data based on the way it is written. So if you are not getting the desired results, then please re structure the table and organize the data a little more.

Step5: once you get the subtotaling done you will see that on the left side of the window there are some plus (+) or minus (-) signs. These signs are for expanding or collapsing the data range and see the details of required. If in collapsed mode you will only see the subtotals and the grand totals and the actual data will remain hidden or collapsed.

Subtotaling is a handy tool when you have to present the data to people who are much interested in looking the monthly or weekly figures than going into day to day stats.