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
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
+ (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.