Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Chapter 3: Formulas and Functions for Crunching Numbers
Chapter 3: Formulas and Functions
for Crunching Numbers
In This Chapter
✓ Constructing a formula
✓ Using cell ranges in formulas
✓ Naming cell ranges
✓ Referring to cells in other worksheets
✓ Copying formulas to other columns and rows
✓ Preventing errors in formulas
✓ Using functions in formulas
Formulas are where it’s at as far as Excel is concerned. After you know
how to construct formulas, and constructing them is pretty easy, you
can put Excel to work. You can make the numbers speak to you. You can
turn a bunch of unruly numbers into meaningful figures and statistics.
This chapter explains what a formula is, how to enter a formula, and how to
enter a formula quickly. You also discover how to copy formulas from cell
to cell and how to keep formula errors from creeping into your workbooks.
Finally, this chapter explains how to make use of the hundred or so functions
that Excel offers.
How Formulas Work
A formula, you may recall from the sleepy hours you spent in math class,
is a way to calculate numbers. For example, 2+3=5 is a formula. When you
enter a formula in a cell, Excel computes the formula and displays its results
in the cell. Click in cell A3 and enter =2+3 , for example, and Excel displays
the number 5 in cell A3.
Referring to cells in formulas
As well as numbers, Excel formulas can refer to the contents of different cells.
When a formula refers to a cell, the number in the cell is used to compute
the formula. In Figure 3-1, for example, cell A1 contains the number 2; cell A2
contains the number 3; and cell A3 contains the formula =A1+A2. As shown