Microsoft Office Tutorials and References

In Depth Information

**It Takes All Types**

that you might mistype a cell reference. When you type a cell reference, you

can easily type the wrong column letter or row number and not realize your

mistake by looking at the calculated result returned in the cell. But when you

directly select the cell that you want to use in a formula (by clicking or

tapping it or even using the arrow keys to move the cell cursor to it), you have

less chance of entering the wrong cell reference.

On a small handheld device with a tiny touchscreen such as a smartphone,

sliding to scroll to the proper column and row and then tapping the cell to

select and add its reference to a new formula may be even more challenging

than typing the formula’s cell references on the device’s virtual keyboard.

This is when I recommend typing instead of pointing for creating new

formulas. Just be aware that when you type the first letter of your cell’s column

reference into a formula, Excel automatically displays a list of all the built-in

functions whose names start with that letter. This list immediately disappears

as soon as you type the second letter of the column (if the cell has one) or the

first digit of its row number. Also, be sure to double-check that the cell

references you type into the formula refer to the cells you really want to use.

Altering the natural order of operations

Many formulas that you create perform more than one mathematical

operation. Excel performs each operation, moving from left to right, according to

a strict pecking order (the natural order of arithmetic operations). In this

order, multiplication and division pull more weight than addition and

subtraction and, therefore, perform first, even if these operations don’t come

first in the formula (when reading from left to right).

Consider the series of operations in the following formula:

=A2+B2*C2

If cell A2 contains the number 5, B2 contains the number 10, and C2 contains

the number 2, Excel evaluates the following formula:

=5+10*2

In this formula, Excel multiplies 10 times 2 to equal 20 and then adds this

result to 5 to produce the result 25.

If you want Excel to perform the addition between the values in cells A2 and

B2 before the program multiplies the result by the value in cell C2, enclose

the addition operation in parentheses as follows:

=(A2+B2)*C2