Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Chapter 2: Basic Facts about Formulas
Entering a formula by pointing
The other method of entering a formula still involves some manual typing, but you can simply
point to the cell references instead of typing them manually. For example, to enter the formula
=A1+A2 into cell A3, follow these steps:
1. Move the cell pointer to cell A3.
2. Type an equal sign ( ) to begin the formula. =
Notice that Excel displays Enter in the left side of the status bar.
As you press this key, notice that Excel displays a moving border around the cell and that
the cell reference (A1) appears in cell A3 and in the Formula bar. Also notice that Excel
displays Point in the status bar.
If you prefer, you can use your mouse and click cell A1.
4. Type a plus sign ( ).
The moving border becomes a solid blue border around A1, and Enter reappears in the
status bar. The cell cursor also returns to the original cell (A3).
one more time. A2 adds to the formula.
If you prefer, you can use your mouse and click cell A2.
6. Press Enter to end the formula.
Like with typing the formula manually, the cell displays the result of the formula, and
the formula appears in the Formula bar when the cell is activated.
If you prefer, you can use your mouse and click the check mark icon next to the
This method might sound a bit tedious, but it’s actually very efficient once you get the hang of it.
Pointing to cell addresses rather than entering them manually is almost always faster and more
As I discuss in Chapter 3, you can assign a name to a cell or range. If your formula uses named
cells or ranges, you can type the name in place of the address or choose the name from a list and
have Excel insert the name for you automatically.