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The Calculator

Excel provides a useful tool called the Calculator that you can use to create and edit formulas. Like most such tools, using it is entirely optional. However, you may find it more convenient than typing formulas directly into cells.

To build a formula with the Calculator

Click the cell where you want to insert the formula.

You can also select a cell that already contains a formula, if you wish to edit it.

Choose Tools > Calculator or click the Calculator icon on the Formula Bar.

The Calculator appears (Figure 11.10). An equal sign (=) is automatically inserted to begin the formula.

Figure 11.10. You can create and edit formulas using the Calculator.

Click buttons to build the formula. As you click and add elements to the formula, they appear in the Calculator's formula pane.

You can also type directly into the formula pane, adding necessary elements and performing edits.

While creating or editing a formula, you can do any of the following:

  • Click buttons to build the formula.

  • To insert a cell reference, click the cell or range in the worksheet.

  • Click Sum to add a Sum function to the formula. A pane opens to the right, containing a text box in which to list the cells or range to be summed. Click, -click, and/or drag through the cells to be totalled. Click Insert to transfer the Sum function into the formula pane.

  • Click If to add a conditional test to the formula. Specify the conditional test, a true result, and a false result (Figure 11.11). Click Insert to transfer the If function into the formula pane (Figure 11.12).

    Figure 11.11. Specify the If test by typing or selecting cells and choosing a condition from the drop-down menu. You must also specify what will happen in the event of a true or false test result.

    Figure 11.12. Creating a formula based on an If function is simple when using the Calculator.

  • To use a different function, click More. The Paste Function window appears, displaying the list of Excel functions. Choose a function and click OK. A new window appears (see Figure 11.9), prompting for arguments. Enter or select the arguments from the worksheet and then click OK. The function is transferred to the formula pane of the Calculator.

When the Calculator is able to convert the formula into a number, the result appears in the Answer box.

When the formula is finished, click OK to transfer it into the designated cell (that is, the Place in cell).



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