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Chapter 13. Basic Excel > Formula Fundamentals

13.2. Formula Fundamentals

Without formulas, Excel would be just glorified graph paper. With them, Excel becomes a number-crunching powerhouse worthy of its own high-powered Hollywood agent. Excel formulas do everything from basic arithmetic to complex financial analysis. And Excel 2004 can do it better than ever. The most recent version of Excel adds new error-checking features, smart buttons, and easier ways to construct charts. You can even use formulas to switch the capitalization of text, remove all nonprintable characters from a text string, and probably vacuum the living room.

13.2.1. Basic Calculations

A formula in a cell can perform calculations on other cells' contents. For example, if cell A1 contains the number of hours in a day, and cell A2 contains the number of days in a year, then you could type =A1*A2 into cell B3 to find out how many hours there are in a year. (In spreadsheet lingo, you'd say that this formula returns the number 8670.)


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