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Making a Formula in Excel

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Posted in: Microsoft or Windows, Tech Tips

Just like a calculator, you can create simple formulas in Excel to add, subtract, multiply, and divide.  Simple formulas always start with an equal sign (=), followed by constants that are numeric values and calculation operators such as plus (+), minus (-), asterisk (*), or forward slash (/) signs.

Entering a Formula

  1. Click into the desired cell
  2. To begin a formula, type an equal sign “=” followed by a formula using the available operators.
  3. Press Enter or the green checkmark to finish the formula.

Editing a Formula

Editing a formula in Excel

When you select a cell, Excel shows the value or formula of the cell in the formula bar.

  1. To edit a formula, click inside the formula bar and change the formula.
  2. When you are finished editing, click the checkmark next to the formula bar or press Enter.

Operator Precedence

Excel Operator explainer
Excel uses a default order in which calculations occur.
If a part of the formula is in parentheses (), that part will be calculated first. Excel then performs multiplication or division calculations. Once this is complete, Excel will add and subtract the remainder of your formula.

Operators in Formulas

Operators specify the type of calculation each character can perform when creating a formula in Excel. There is also a default order in which calculations occur (this follows general mathematical rules), but you can change this order by using parentheses as you create your formula. Refer to these tables to assist you in creating the best formula for your purposes.

1. Comparison Operators

Excel Comparison operators

2. Text Operators

Excel text operators

Use the ampersand (&) and concatenate (combine) one or more text strings to produce a single piece of text.

Concatenate using Ampersand

3. Reference Operators

Excel reference operators

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