 Tweet # Excel For Noobs Tutorial: Essentials of Formulas and Functions in Excel

## Formula and Function Essentials

Formulas are what makes Microsoft Excel so powerful. You can use formulas to derive results that are dependent upon the data that is entered into the worksheet. If you change the data in the worksheet, then the results of the formulas will change.

When a formula is entered into a cell, it performs a calculation and returns the result of the calculation into the cell. Formulas usually refer to other cells that contain data and use that data as components of the formula. If the data in the cells are changed, so will the result of the formula. The use of formulas that refer to worksheet cells for their components allows the formulas to do most of the work when you update the hard coded data within your worksheet.

A formula can consists of the following elements:
• Mathematical Operators such as + (for addition ), - (for subtraction), / (for division) and * (for multiplication).
• Cell references
• Values and text
• Worksheet functions such as SUM, PRODUCT, QUOTIENT etc

Below are a few examples of some formulas:

 =200*.15 This formulas multiplies 200 by .15 and will display a result of 30 which is 15% of 200. This formula consists of only values and does not refer to other cells. =B2+C3 This formula refers to cells B2 and C3 and uses the addition operator to sum the two cells together. The result will be the sum of whatever values are entered into cells B2 and C3. If you change the values in the cells the result of the formula will change since it is derived from the values entered into the cells. =SUM(A1:B4) This is a function that calculates the sum of the values entered into the cell range A1 through B4. =Sales-Operating Expenses This formula subtracts the value entered into the cell name Operating Expenses from the value entered into the cell names Sales.

## Operators Used in Excel Formulas

 + Addition - Subtraction / Division * Multiplication ^ Exponential & Concatenation = Logical Comparison (Equal to) > Logical Comparison (greater than) < Logical Comparison (less than) >= Logical Comparison (greater than or equal to) <= Logical Comparison (less than or equal to) <> Logical Comparison (not equal to)

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