Microsoft Office Tutorials and References

In Depth Information

**The Relative Nature of Formulas**

22. Type an equal sign. The equal sign tells Excel that you are starting a

formula.

33. Type 2*D2

2*D2 to indicate that you want to multiply two times the value in

cell D2.

44. Type ++3 to add three to the result. There should be no spaces in the

formula. If your formula reads =2*D2+3, proceed to step 5. Otherwise,

use the backspace key to correct the formula.

55. Press Enter. Excel calculates the formula in cell E2.

By default, Excel usually moves the cell pointer down or to the right after

you finish entering a formula. You should move the cell pointer back to cell

E2 to inspect the formula, as shown in
Figure 8.3
.
Note that Excel shows a

number in the grid, but the formula bar reveals the formula behind the num-

ber.

The Relative Nature of Formulas

The Relative Nature of Formulas

The formula =2*D2+3 really says,
“
multiply two by the cell immediately to

the left of me and then add three.
”
If you need to put this formula in cells

E3 to E999, you do not need to reenter the formula 997 times. Instead, copy

the formula and paste it to all the cells. When you do, Excel copies the es-

sence of the formula:
“
Multiply two by the cell to the left of me and add

three.
”
As you copy the formula to cell E3, the formula becomes =2*D3+3.

Excel handles all this automatically.
Figure 8.4
shows the formula after it

is copied.

Figure 8.4.

Figure 8.4.
After you paste the formula, Excel automatically updates the

After you paste the formula, Excel automatically updates the

cell reference to point to the current row.

cell reference to point to the current row.