Page 1
By the end of this lesson, learners should be able to:
•
Understand the parts of an Excel formula
•
Create a simple addition formula
•
Create a simple subtraction formula using the PointandClick Method
•
Create simple multiplication formulas
•
Create simple division formulas
Page 2
About Formulas
In school, you learned formulas used to calculate math problems. Microsoft Excel uses these
same
formulas
to perform calculations in a spreadsheet.
A formula can be a combination of values (numbers or cell references) and math operators (+, , /,
*, =) into an algebraic expression. Excel requires every formula to begin with an equal sign (=).
The following table illustrates the mathematical operators learned in school and those represented
in Excel 2003.
School
Excel 2003
Addition
+
+
Subtraction


Multiplication
X
*
Division
/
/
Equals
=
=
The result of a formulathe answer to 2+3, for exampledisplays in the cell on the Excel
worksheet. The formula is visible only in the formula bar. A formula's result will change as different
numbers are entered into the cells included in the formula's definition.
Page 3
Creating a Simple Addition Formula
A simple formula in Excel contains one mathematical operation only: one number plus a second
number equals a third number. Writing a simple formula is really no more difficult than that: 1+1.
The only difference in Excel is that all formulas
must
begin with the
equal sign
(=). It is not
enough to type
1+1
in Excel because what will appear in the cell is "1+1." You must begin the
equation with an equal sign, or
=1+1
. This holds true for any formula, simple or complicated, that
adds, subtracts, multiplies or divides.
Let's add two numbers to create a third, 128+345=473. In Excel, this would be expressed by the
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 Spring '05
 Desimone
 Addition, Multiplication, operation

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