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Entering Formulas

As with any other cell entry (such as text or numbers), you can enter a formula directly into a cell or use the Formula Bar. To enter a formula, follow these steps:

  1. Select the cell that will contain the formula and type an equal (=) sign. That tells Excel you are about to enter a formula (see Figure 3.19).

    Figure 3.19. Notice the equal sign appears in both the cell and the Formula bar.

  2. Select the first cell or range you want to include in the formula. (You also can directly type the cell reference.) The cell reference appears in the active cell and in the Formula Bar, as shown in Figure 3.20.

    Figure 3.20. Begin selecting the cells you want to use in the formula, and then enter the operators.

  3. Type an operator, such as the + sign.

  4. Click the next cell you want included in the formula. Continue typing operators and selecting cells until you complete the formula.

  5. When you complete the formula, click the Enter button in the Formula Bar. In the Formula Bar, you see the actual formula, as shown in Figure 3.21. The cell displays the results of the formula.


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