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Excel SUBTOTAL Function

Excel SUBTOTAL function
Summary 

The Excel SUBTOTAL function returns an aggregate result for supplied values. SUBTOTAL can return a SUM, AVERAGE, COUNT, MAX, and others (see table below), and SUBTOTAL function can either include or exclude values in hidden rows.

Purpose 
Get a subtotal in a list or database
Return value 
A number representing a specific kind of subtotal
Syntax 
=SUBTOTAL (function_num, ref1, [ref2], ...)
Arguments 
  • function_num - A number that specifies which function to use in calculating subtotals within a list. See table below for full list.
  • ref1 - A named range or reference to subtotal.
  • ref2 - [optional] A named range or reference to subtotal.
Version 
Usage notes 

The Excel SUBTOTAL function returns an aggregate calculation for supplied values. Despite the name, SUBTOTAL can perform a variety of calculations, including SUM, AVERAGE, COUNT, MAX, MIN, and others seen in the table below.

The SUBTOTAL function can either include or exclude values in hidden rows, which makes it especially useful in Excel Tables or filtered data. By default, SUBTOTAL excludes values in rows hidden by a filter. Regardless of the calculation performed, SUBTOTAL returns an aggregate result from a set of data. 

Note: the SUBTOTAL function automatically ignores other SUBTOTAL formulas that exist in references to prevent double-counting.

Examples

Below are  examples of SUBTOTAL configured to SUM, COUNT, and AVERAGE the values in a range. Notice the only difference is the value used for the function_num argument:

=SUBTOTAL(109,range) // SUM
=SUBTOTAL(103,range) // COUNT
=SUBTOTAL(101,range) // AVERAGE

In the worksheet shown above, the formulas in C4 and F4 are:

=SUBTOTAL(3,B7:B19) // count visible
=SUBTOTAL(9,F7:F19) // sum visible

Available calculations

SUBTOTAL behavior is controlled by the function_num argument, which is provided as a numeric value. There are 11 functions available, each with two options, as seen in the table below. Notice these values are "paired" (e.g. 1-101, 2-102, 3-103, and so on). This is related to how SUBTOTAL deals with manually hidden rows. When function_num is between 1-11, SUBTOTAL includes cells that have been manually hidden. When function_num is between 101-111, SUBTOTAL excludes values in rows that have been manually hidden. 

Function Include hidden Ignore hidden
AVERAGE 1 101
COUNT 2 102
COUNTA 3 103
MAX 4 104
MIN 5 105
PRODUCT 6 106
STDEV 7 107
STDEVP 8 108
SUM 9 109
VAR 10 110
VARP 11 111

Note: SUBTOTAL always ignores values in cells that are hidden with a filter. Values in rows that have been "filtered out" are never included, regardless of function_num.

SUBTOTAL in Excel Tables

The SUBTOTAL function is used when you display a Total row in an Excel Table. Excel inserts the SUBTOTAL function automatically, and you can use a drop-down menu to switch behavior and show max, min, average, etc.  Excel uses SUBTOTAL for calculations in the Total row of an Excel Table because SUBTOTAL automatically excludes rows hidden by the filter controls at the top of the table. That is, as you filter rows in a table with a Total row, calculations automatically respect the filter.

SUBTOTAL with outlines

Excel has a Subtotal feature that automatically inserts SUBTOTAL formulas in sorted data. You can find this feature at Data > Outline > Subtotal. SUBTOTAL formulas inserted this way use the standard function numbers 1-11. This allows the subtotal results to remain visible even as rows are hidden and displayed when the outline is collapsed and expanded.

Note: although the Outline feature is an "easy" way to insert subtotals in a set of data, a Pivot Table is a better and more flexible way to analyze data. In addition, a Pivot Table will separate the data from the presentation of the data, which is a best practice.

Notes

  • When function_num is between 1-11, SUBTOTAL includes values that are hidden
  • When function_num is between 101-111, SUBTOTAL excludes values that are hidden
  • In filtered lists, SUBTOTAL always ignores values in hidden rows, regardless of function_num.
  • SUBTOTAL ignores other SUBTOTAL formulas that exist in references to prevent double-counting.
  • SUBTOTAL works with vertical data. In horizontal ranges, values in hidden columns are always included.

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