Microsoft Office Tutorials and References

In Depth Information

**Cell References**

Creating a Basic

Formula

1. Parentheses(anycalculationswithinparenthesesarealwaysperformedfirst)

2. Percent

3. Exponents

4. DivisionandMultiplication

5. AdditionandSubtraction

Note:
When Excel encounters formulas that contain operators of equal
precedence
(that is, the same

order of operation priority level), it evaluates these operators from left to right. However, in basic

mathematical formulas, this has no effect on the result.

For example, consider the following formula:

=5 + 2 * 2 ^ 3 - 1

To arrive at the answer of 20, Excel first performs the exponentiation (2 to the

power of 3):

=5 + 2 * 8 - 1

And then the multiplication:

=5 + 16 - 1

And then the addition and subtraction:

=20

To control this order, you can add parentheses. For example, notice how adding

parentheses affects the result in the following formulas:

5 + 2 * 2 ^ (3 - 1) = 13

(5 + 2) * 2 ^ 3 - 1 = 55

(5 + 2) * 2 ^ (3 - 1) = 28

5 + (2 * (2 ^ 3)) - 1 = 20

You must always use parentheses in pairs (one open parenthesis for every closing

parenthesis). If you don’t, then Excel gets confused and lets you know you need to

fix things, as shown in Figure 17-2.

Tip:
Remember, when you’re working with a lengthy formula, you can expand the formula bar to see

several lines at a time. To do so, click the down arrow at the far right of the formula bar (to make it three

lines tall), or drag the bottom edge of the formula bar to make it as many lines large as you’d like.

Cell References

Excel’s formulas are handy when you want to perform a quick calculation. But if you

want to take full advantage of Excel’s power, then you’re going to want to use

formulas to perform calculations on the information that’s already in your worksheet. To

do that you need to use
cell references
—Excel’s way of pointing to one or more cells

in a worksheet.