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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 operationslike adding, subtracting and dividingExcel 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/(85)*42
is calculated in the following picture:
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View Full Document Let's take a look at another example:
2*(64) =?
Is the answer 8 or 4? Well, if you ignored the parentheses and calculated in the order in which the
numbers appear, 2*64, 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 (64), 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)
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.
 Spring '05
 Desimone

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