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Chapter 8. Building a Worksheet with Excel > Creating a Simple Formula

Creating a Simple Formula

A formula calculates values to return a result. All formulas begin with the equal sign (=) followed by arguments—values (such as 147 or $10.00) and cell references (such as B3:F20)—connected by arithmetic operators (+, -, *, and /). You enter and edit formulas just as you do labels and values—in the formula bar or in the cell. By default, Excel displays the results of the formula in a cell, but you can change your view of the worksheet to display formulas instead of results.

Enter a Formula

Click a cell where you want to enter a formula.

Type an equal sign (=) to begin the formula. If you do not begin a formula with an equal sign, Excel displays the information you type; it does not perform the calculation.

Enter the first argument (a number or a cell reference). If the argument is a cell reference, type the cell reference, or click the cell.

If the formula can accept cell references, the cursor changes to a light gray cell-like shape.

Enter an arithmetic operator, such as +, -, *, or /.

Enter the next argument.

Repeat steps 4 and 5 to complete the formula.

Click the Enter button on the formula bar, or press Enter.

The cell displays the formula result, and the formula bar displays the formula.


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