I have a spreadsheet of the form

Subitem1 5 Subitem2 4 Subitem3 7 <potential marker> ItemB Subitem 4

I want to sum the values next to Subitem to a total next to ItemA, ItemB, etc. I may add additional subitems, so I would like the range in my formula to be dynamic. Instead of SUM(B2:B5), I would prefer to sum until ItemB regardless of how many subitems I add or remove.

If it helps, I can add some sort of end-of-item-marker or empty row or something where I have written "potential marker".

As far as I can see when I play around, Google Spreadsheet will not increase the formula range when I insert a row in the middle of a range.

  • It seems I might use MATCH() and search for an empty row below the current. For some reason MATCH("", B3:B, 0) does not seem to match empty rows, even though it seems it should..
    – Gurgeh
    Commented Sep 18, 2014 at 14:46

1 Answer 1


Rather than add a 'marker' I have used the item names themselves, but in case they do not really start "Item", prefixed these with # (with one added to the bottom of the list also). Assuming ItemA is in A1 and 5 in B2, please try in C1:


copied down to suit. This does require an extra column (so not immediately next to the item names).

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