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Equal Sign Sum of Cells Doesn't Work

To get the sum of a series of numbers in cells in a column, I place my cursor inside the cell below the series, then I click on the Equal sign (=) up on the tool bar.

Then I place my cursor in the top cell of the series and drag down to include all the cells.

Instead of getting the sum, I get #VALUE!

When I look at the field for the cell in the tool bar, I see =A1:A8, and that's what shows in the cell when I place the cursor in the field. But when I hit Enter, I again get #VALUE!

What am I doing wrong?