How To Guides

Introduction to Formulas in MS Excel

In MS Excel one of the most powerful features is the ability to calculate numerical information by using formulas. Excel is capable of adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing operations. In this tutorial we will learn how to use cell references to create simple formulas.

Mathematical operators:

MS Excel uses the standard operators for the formulas asterick (*) for multiplication, forward slash (/) for division, plus sign (+)for addition, minus sign (-) for subtraction and caret (^) for exponents. All of the excel formulas are required to begin with an equals sign (=).

Cell References:

usually numbers are used for creating an Excel formulas like =2+2 or =4*4. But you can also use cell addresses for creating a formula. This is called making a cell reference. Using the cell reference will ensure that your formulas are accurate because you can modify the value of referenced cells without rewriting the formula.

Creating a Formula:

For creating a formula follow these simple steps.

  • First of all you need to select the cell that will contain the formula.
  • Now type the equals sign (=). Notice how it is shown in both the cell and formula bar.
  • Now type the cell address of the ceel you need to reference first in the formula. You will notice that a blue border will appear around the referenced cell.
  • Type the mathematical operator you need to use.
  • Now type the cell address of the cell you need to reference second in the formula. A red border will appear around the referenced cell.
  • Now press Enter on your keyboard and the formula will be calculated and the value will be displayed in the cell.