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Chapter 3. Performing Calculations on Da... > Creating Formulas to Calculate Value...

Creating Formulas to Calculate Values

Once you’ve added your data to a worksheet and defined ranges to simplify data references, you can create a formula, or an expression that performs calculations on your data. For example, you can calculate the total cost of a customer’s order, figure the average sales for all Wednesdays in the month of January, or find the highest and lowest daily sales for a week, month, or year.


To write an Excel formula, you begin the cell’s contents with an equal sign—when Excel sees it, it knows that the expression following it should be interpreted as a calculation and not text. After the equal sign, you type the formula. For instance, you can find the sum of the numbers in cells C2 and C3 using the formula =C2+C3. After you have entered a formula into a cell, you can revise it by clicking the cell and then editing the formula in the formula bar. For example, you can change the preceding formula to =C3-C2, which calculates the difference between the contents of cells C2 and C3.


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