Microsoft Office Tutorials and References

In Depth Information

**It Takes All Types**

Therefore, by looking at the Formula bar, you can always tell when you’ve

entered a 20th rather than a 21st Century date in a cell even if you can’t keep

straight the rules for when to enter just the last two digits rather than all

four. (Read Chapter 3 for information on how to format your date entries so

that only the last digits display in the worksheet.)

For information on how to perform simple arithmetic operations between the

dates and time you enter in a worksheet and have the results make sense, see

the information about dates in Chapter 3.

Fabricating those fabulous formulas!

As entries go in Excel, formulas are the real workhorses of the worksheet.

If you set up a formula properly, it computes the correct answer when you

enter the formula into a cell. From then on, the formula stays up to date,

recalculating the results whenever you change any of the values that the

formula uses.

You let Excel know that you’re about to enter a formula (rather than some

text or a value), in the current cell by starting the formula with the equal sign

(=). Most simple formulas follow the equal sign with a built-in function, such

as SUM or AVERAGE. (See the section “Inserting a function into a formula with

the Insert Function button,” later in this chapter, for more information on

using functions in formulas.) Other simple formulas use a series of values or

cell references that contain values separated by one or more of the following

mathematical operators:

+ (plus sign) for addition

– (minus sign or hyphen) for subtraction

* (asterisk) for multiplication

/ (slash) for division

^ (caret) for raising a number to an exponential power

For example, to create a formula in cell C2 that multiplies a value entered in

cell A2 by a value in cell B2, enter the following formula in cell C2:
=A2*B2
.

To enter this formula in cell C2, follow these steps:

1. Select cell C2.

2. Type the entire formula
=A2*B2
in the cell.

3. Press Enter.