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