Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Writing a Basic Formula
Writing a Basic Formula
Formulas always begin with the equal sign. They follow with cell references, actual
values, and one or more mathematical operators. OK—what does that all mean?
Let’s see. Here’s an example of a very simple formula:
=6+8
And here’s another one:
=D3/R9
In the first case, we’re adding 6 and 8—pretty obvious, but just remember to include
that equal sign. Leave it out, and all you’ll see in the cell is 6+8.
In the second case, we’re
dividing
the contents of cell D3 by the contents of cell R9.
Change the contents in either or both cells, and the result automatically recalculates, as
usual. You can simply type that formula or click the respective cells—that is, type
,
=
click cell D3, type the division sign (/), click cell R9, and press Enter
Figure 4–19.
Note that the two cells referenced by the formula are surrounded by borders as you write it.
Table 4–3 shows how Excel represents mathematical operators.
Table 4–3.
Excel Operators
Operator
What It Does
+
Addition

Subtraction
/
Division
*
Multiplication
4^2
^
Exponentiation (
means 4 squared, or 16)
And by the way, it’s perfectly fine to combine functions with your own formula elements
in the same expression; and as you grow more experienced, you’ll probably be doing
that sort of thing often. For example—you could write
=SUM(A12:A68)/7
This formula would add all the values in cells A12:A68, and divide that result by 7.