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
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