Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Creating Formulas
But let’s face it: nobody particularly likes math,
especially complex math that involves several
calculations, each dependent on the last result
being correct. For example, after calculating the
Second Quarter sales total for the Northwest
Region, you might want to add that total to the
Second Quarter totals for the Midwest, Western,
and Southern Regions so you can see how well
the company is doing overall. If you were
calculating this by hand (or even with a calculator),
and you made a mistake in calculating the
Northwest Region’s sales total, then the company
total would be wrong as well. With Excel, you
can easily create one total and then reference
that total in another formula, without having to
reenter the formula for calculating the first total
all over again.
If you make changes to your data, Excel
example, if you change the May sales total for the
Northwest Region from \$110,250 to \$112,750,
then the second quarter sales total changes
automatically from \$329,850 to \$332,350 (for
example). Excel can handle anything from simple
calculations, such as adding two numbers together,
to complex calculations, such as adding only
the May sales values from each salesperson and
dividing by the total number of salespeople to
calculate the average sales amount for May.
To create a formula, you type it into
a cell. After you press Enter, the result of the
calculation is displayed (rather than the formula
itself). If you click the cell, the formula you typed
appears in the Formula bar (see Figure 2-2). All
formulas begin with an equals (=) sign, and
typically include a reference to one or more cells.
The values in the referenced cells are used when
calculating the formula result. These cell values
can be static (meaning they don’t change) or the
result of another formula. For example, in cell
E12, you might enter a formula that adds monthly
sales for the Northwest Region to calculate the
Second Quarter sales total. In cell E16, you
might enter a different formula that references
the value in cell E12, adding it to the Second
Quarter totals for the other regions. If you have
to change the Northwest Region’s May sales
amount later on, the total in cells E12 and E16
are automatically recalculated for you.

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