Microsoft Office Tutorials and References

In Depth Information

**Creating formulas to calculate values**

You can control the order in which operations are evaluated by using parentheses.

Operations in parentheses are always evaluated first. For example, if the previous

equation were rewritten as
= (4 + 8) * 3 – 6
, the operations would be evaluated in this

order:

(4 + 8)
, with a result of 12

1

12 * 3
, with a result of 36

2

36 – 6
, with a final result of 30

3

3

If you have multiple levels of parentheses, Excel evaluates the expressions within the

innermost set of parentheses first and works its way out. As with operations on the

same level, such as + and –, expressions in the same parenthetical level are evaluated

in left-to-right order.

For example, the formula
= 4 + (3 + 8 * (2 + 5)) – 7
would be evaluated in this order:

(2 + 5)
, with a result of 7

1

7 * 8
, with a result of 56

2

56 + 3
, with a result of 59

3

4 + 59
, with a result of 63

4

63 – 7
, with a final result of 56

5

Creating formulas to calculate values

After you add your data to a worksheet and define ranges to simplify data references, you

can create a formula, which is an expression that performs calculations on your data. For

example, you can calculate the total cost of a customer’s shipments, figure the average

number of packages for all Wednesdays in the month of January, or find the highest and lowest

daily package volumes for a week, month, or year.

To write an Excel formula, you begin the cell’s contents with an equal (=) sign; when Excel

identifies it, it knows that the expression following it should be interpreted as a calculation,

not text. After the equal sign, enter the formula. For example, you can find the sum of the

numbers in cells C2 and C3 by using the formula
=C2+C3
. After you have entered a formula