Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Introduction to Formulas
thing to do with currency, you need to review the Overriding Relative
Behavior: Absolute Cell References section thoroughly. This
isn t a trick, but one of the fundamental building blocks to creating
Excel worksheets. Roughly, 5% of the people in a Power Excel seminar
do not understand this concept, and about 70% of the people in a com-
munity computer club presentation do not understand it. If you don t
know when and why to use the dollar signs, you are in good company
with 20 million other people using Excel. It is worth taking time to
learn this essential technique.
Finally, there are three ways to enter formulas, and I believe my
preferred way is the best. I probably will not convince you to change,
but when you understand my way, you can enter formulas far faster
than the other two ways. To get a good understanding of the alternat-
ives, read the Three Methods of Entering Formulas section later
in this chapter.
Tip
Designing a formula that can be written once and then copied to a rect-
angular range of data is a fantastic way to use Excel more effi-
ciently.
Introduction to Formulas
When Microsoft overhauled Excel for the 2007 version, a number of formula
limits were dramatically increased. For example, the number of characters
in a formula increased from 1,024 to 8,192. The number of levels of nesting for
IF functions increased from 7 to 64. Thanks to those improvements, you can
calculate almost anything with a formula in Excel.
This chapter and Chapter 9 , Controlling Formulas , deal with formula
basics. The chapters between Chapter 10 , Understanding Functions , and
Chapter 15 , Using Trig, Matrix, and Engineering Functions , introduce
adding functions to your formulas. Chapter 16 , Connecting Worksheets,
Workbooks, and External Data , introduces formulas that calculate data
found on other worksheets or in other workbooks. Chapter 17 , Using Super
Formulas in Excel , provides interesting examples such as 3D formulas and
the all-powerful array formulas.
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