Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Chapter 15: Introducing Formulas and Functions
15
Introducing Formulas
and Functions
IN THIS CHAPTER
Understanding formula basics
Entering formulas and functions into your worksheets
Understanding how to use references in formulas
Correcting common formula errors
Getting tips for working with formulas
Formulas are what make a spreadsheet program so useful. If it weren’t for formulas, a
spreadsheet would simply be a fancy word-processing document that has great support for tabular
information. You use formulas in your Excel worksheets to calculate results from the data
stored in the worksheet. When data changes, the formulas calculate updated results with no extra
effort on your part. This chapter introduces formulas and functions and helps you get up to speed
with this important element.
Understanding Formula Basics
A formula consists of special code entered into a cell. It performs a calculation of some type and
returns a result, which is displayed in the cell. Formulas use a variety of operators and worksheet
functions to work with values and text. The values and text used in formulas can be located in
other cells, which makes changing data easy and gives worksheets their dynamic nature. For
example, you can see multiple scenarios quickly by changing the data in a worksheet and letting your
formulas do the work.
A formula can consist of any of these elements:
Mathematical operators, such as + (for addition) and * (for multiplication)
Cell references (including named cells and ranges)
Values or text
Worksheet functions (such as SUM or AVERAGE )

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