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Sum Cells based on

Background Color
Few weeks back, one of my regular visitors dropped me
an email describing an issue that he was facing. His task
was to add the contents of certain cells based on their
background colors.

As we all know, Excel by default has no formula or

feature to calculate such a thing. So, in this post I will
share few methods that will help you to achieve this.

To make the task more clear lets have a look at the below
This image depicts that here we dont need the total sum
of all the elements but instead we want the sum of
elements that have the same background color.

Recommended Reading: Weighted SUM in Excel

Method 1: SUM cells on the basis

of background colour using
SUMIF Formula:
We know that SUMIF function is a combination
of SUM and IF formula and hence SUMIF can come quite
handy for adding cells based on color.

If you dont know how to use a SUMIF Function, then

before going any further I would strongly suggest you
to read this post.

First of all lets try to understand how we are going to

do this:

Consider we have a table as shown in the below image.

Next, we will add one more column to this table where we
will manually type the background colors of their adjacent
cells as shown in the below image.

Now, we try to use SUMIF Formula for finding the SUM

of cells with yellow background
as: =SUMIF(B2:B13,"Yellow",A2:A13)
Similarly, for finding the SUM of Orange and Green
background cells we will use the
formulas =SUMIF(B2:B13,"Orange",A2:A13) and =SUMIF(B2:B13,"Green",A2:A13
) respectively.
But, as we can see that this method is quite cumbersome,
particularly if we need to use this on lists with hundreds
of elements.

So, whats the faster alternative?

To make the above process easier to use we need to

reduce the effort of writing cell background colors

So, for this task we can use a small user defined function
(UDF) which will do the trick for us.

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1. Function ColorIndex(CellColor As Range)
2. ColorIndex = CellColor.Interior.ColorIndex
3. End Function
Note: This function does not return the color name but it
returns the color index which is also a unique value and
can be used in our task.

Follow the below steps to use the UDF:

1. First of all open your worksheet where you need to add

the cells based on background colors.
2. Next, press ALT + F11 to open the VB Editor.
Navigate to Insert > Module.

3. After this, paste the ColorIndex UDF in the Editor.

4. Now, add one column next to the range that you wish
to sum up. In this new column enter the formula as:

5. After that, drag this formula to the whole range.

6. Now, you can use the SUMIF function to add the cells
that have same background color as shown in the above

Method 2 : Using a much faster

and better UDF:
The UDF that we are going to use in this method is
simply an extension of the above used function.

This Function is as under:

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1. Function SumByColor(CellColor As Range, rRan
ge As Range)
2. Dim cSum As Long
3. Dim ColIndex As Integer
4. ColIndex = CellColor.Interior.ColorIndex
5. For Each cl In rRange
6. If cl.Interior.ColorIndex = ColIndex Then

7. cSum = WorksheetFunction.SUM(cl, cSum)

8. End If
9. Next cl
10. SumByColor = cSum
11. End Function
How to use this UDF:

Follow the below steps to use this Function:

1. Open your target worksheet.

2. Press ALT + F11 to open the VBA Editor and navigate

to Insert > Module.

3. Paste the SumByColor Function in the Editor.

4. Now, simply type the SumByColor function to call it
and pass the following arguments:


Note:In the formula shown in above image instead of the

first argument A2 we could have also used any one of
A2, A5, A8, A10, A12. Because all these cells have
yellow background.

In our case we can use the following formulas:

Sum of Yellow Cells: =SumByColor(A2,A2:A13) [As A2 is the

address of yellow cell and A2: A13 is the range to be
Sum of Orange Cells: =SumByColor(A3,A2:A13) [As A3 is the
address of orange cell and A2: A13 is the range to be
Sum of Green Cells: =SumByColor(A4,A2:A13) [As A2 is the
address of green cell and A2: A13 is the range to be
So, this was all from me about this topic. Dont forget to
download the sample spreadsheet [link] and do let me
know in case you face any issues while using these