Table of Contents### Creating a Simple Formula

#### Enter a Formula

#### Display Formulas in Cells

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A formula calculates values to return a result. On an Excel worksheet, you can create a formula using values (such as 147 or $10.00), arithmetic operators (shown in the table), and cell references. An Excel formula always begins with the equal sign (=). The equal sign, when entered, automatically formats the cell as a formula entry. By default, only formula results are displayed in a cell, but you can change the view of the worksheet to display formulas instead of results.

- Click the cell where you want to enter a formula.
- Type = (an equal sign). If you do not begin a formula with an equal sign, Excel will display, not calculate, the information you type.
- Enter the first argument. An argument can be a number or a cell reference.
- Enter an arithmetic operator.
- Enter the next argument.
- Repeat steps 4 and 5 as needed to complete the formula.
- Click the Enter button on the formula bar, or press Enter.

Notice that the result of the formula appears in the cell (if you select the cell, the formula itself appears on the formula bar).

## For Your InformationUnderstanding Order of Precedence Formulas containing more than one operator follow the order of precedence: exponentiation, multiplication and division, and then addition and subtraction. So, in the formula 5 + 2 * 3, Excel performs multiplication first and addition next for a result of 11. Excel calculates operations within parentheses first. The result of the formula (5 + 2) * 3 is 21. |

- Click the Tools menu, and then click Options.
- Click the View tab.
- Click to select the Formulas check box.
- Click OK.