Lesson 6 - Lesson 6: Creating Complex Formulas Page 1 By...

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Lesson 6: Creating Complex Formulas Page 1 By the end of this lesson, learners should be able to: Create complex formulas Fill a formula to another cell Copy and paste a formula to another cell Revise a formula Create an absolute reference Page 2 Complex Formulas Defined Simple formulas have one mathematical operation. Complex formulas involve more than one mathematical operation. The order of mathematical operations is very important. If you enter a formula that contains several operations--like adding, subtracting and dividing--Excel 2003 knows to work those operations in a specific order. The order of operations is: 1. Operations enclosed in parenthesis 2. Exponential calculations (to the power of) 3. Multiplication and division, whichever comes first 4. Addition and subtraction, whichever comes first Using this order, let us see how the formula 120/(8-5)*4-2 is calculated in the following picture:
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Let's take a look at another example: 2*(6-4) =? Is the answer 8 or 4? Well, if you ignored the parentheses and calculated in the order in which the numbers appear, 2*6-4, you'd get the wrong answer, 8. You must follow the order of operations to get the correct answer. To Calculate the Correct Answer: Calculate the operation in parenthesis (6-4), where the answer is 2. Multiply the answer obtained in step #1, which is 2, to the numeric 2* that opened the equation. In other words, multiply 2*2. The answer is 4. When using formulas with cell references, the results change each time the numbers are edited . Remember: In Excel, never do math "in your head" and type the answer in a cell where you would expect to have a formula calculate the answer. Page 3 Complex Formulas Defined (continued)
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Before moving on, let's explore some more formulas to make sure you understand the order of operations by which Excel calculates the answer.
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This note was uploaded on 07/12/2008 for the course CGS 2531 taught by Professor Desimone during the Spring '05 term at University of Florida.

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Lesson 6 - Lesson 6: Creating Complex Formulas Page 1 By...

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