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Microsoft Excel - Formula Basics
This article contains information on how to get started using formulas and functions in Excel.
The parts of an Excel formula
A formula can also contain any or all of the following: functions, references, operators, and constants.
Parts of a formula
- Functions: The PI() function returns the value of pi: 3.142...
- References: A2 returns the value in cell A2.
- Constants: Numbers or text values entered directly into a formula, such as 2.
- Operators: The ^ (caret) operator raises a number to a power, and the * (asterisk) operator multiplies numbers.
Create a formula that refers to values in other cells
- Select a cell.
- Type the equal sign =. Note: Formulas in Excel always begin with the equal sign.
- Select a cell or type its address in the selected cell.
- Enter an Operator. For example, – for subtraction.
- Select the next cell, or type its address in the selected cell. next cell
- Press Enter. The result of the calculation appears in the cell with the formula.
See a formula
- When a formula is entered into a cell, it also appears in the Formula bar.
- To see a formula, select a cell, and it will appear in the formula bar.
Enter a formula that contains a built-in function
- Select an empty cell.
- Type an equal sign = and then type a function. For example, =SUM for getting the total sales.
- Type an opening parenthesis (.
- Select the range of cells, and then type a closing parenthesis).
- Press Enter to get the result.
- Excel Formulas tutorial workbook - The formulas tutorial workbook is a downloadable/interactive workbook that will walk you through the most commonly used formulas in Excel, including Sum, Count, Vlookup and more.