FBE 391: Excel Tutorial
September 8, 2004
Go to cell of interest, and type “=” (an equal sign) OR click the “fx” button next to the
input bar above the column headers to get Excel into formula mode.
If you want to type in formula of pure numbers that are not already contained in your
worksheet, type them in as you would into a calculator.
Use “*” for multiplication, “/”
for division, “^” for exponents, and “( )” to group expressions.
=5*5 will put 25 into the cell
=5*5+5 will put 30 into the cell
=5*(5+5) will put 50 into the cell
=5^3 will put 125 into the cell and
=5/(5^2-5) will put .25 into the cell
Be careful using the arrow keys once you have typed the equal sign into your cell.
make a mistake typing your formula, you should use the Backspace key to make changes
from the end of the formula, or use the mouse to reposition the cursor.
Using the arrow
keys will activate a pointer that will automatically input the location of that pointer into
To see how this works, type the number 5 into cell A1 and the number 2 into A2.
move to cell B1.
To multiply cell A1 by cell A2, and put the answer in B1, type “=” in
B1, and hit the left arrow key once.
There will be a flashing dotted border around A1.
Hit “*”, which will indicate multiplication and at the same time reset the pointer.
colored border will appear around the selected cell.
Then hit the left arrow key once,
followed by the down arrow key once.
Cell A2 should be highlighted.
Then hit Enter.
The value 10 should appear.
Some helpful tricks/shortcuts:
To generate a long list of numbers, each some constant value or constant multiple
larger/smaller than the one before, we can do the following:
Put the first value in the first cell
Put the second value in the second cell, using a formula based on the value in the
If you want to generate a list of 1,2,3,….,98,99,100, put 1 in cell
A1, and =A1+1 in cell A2.
Reposition the cursor over cell A2 so that there is a
heavy black border around cell A2, with a little square in the lower right-hand
corner. Click on the square and drag it downward, so that cells A2-A100 have a
gray border and release the mouse.
Cells A3-A100 will automatically fill with the
implied formula of “cell n = cell n-1 + 1.”
You can use this same technique to fill horizontally, or m-by-n blocks of cells at a time.