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## Let Excel Do the Work for You! Use Formulas for Calculations

**Learn the “Rules” of Creating Formulas **

There are some “rules” when it comes to creating formulas, and if you know these rules, you will be well ahead of the game. Formula operators and order of precedence rules are really the building blocks of formulas. You will also notice based on the examples below, that formulas ALWAYS begin with the = symbol.

**TIP:** I would highly recommend that you study and keep this section near when creating formulas, what’s contained here is what people tend to forget when creating formulas. If you read and study this information carefully and follow the examples below, you should have no problem with creating formulas!

**Formula Operators**

Formulas must have operators in order to exist. Every formula will use at least one of the following operators. (Formulas may also have multiple operators). Following are descriptions of the: operation, the arithmetic operator for that operation, an example and the result. Again, I highly recommend you study this carefully until you fully understand it.

**Operation: Addition**

-Operator: +

-Examples:

=5+D1 (Result: Add 5 to the value in cell D1)

=A1+A2+A3 (Result: Adds the values in cells A1, A2 and A3)

*Operation: Subtraction*

-Operator: –

-Examples:

=D9-C1 (Result: Subtracts the value in cell C1 from the value in cell D9)

=10-D1 (Result: Subtracts the value in cell D1 from 10)

**Operation: Multiplication**

-Operator: *

-Examples:

=E6*F6 (Result: Multiples the values in cells E6 and F6)

=D1*0.01 (Result: Multiplies the value in cell D1 by 0.01)

**Operation: Division**

-Operator: /

-Examples:

=B9/A9 (Result: Divides the value in cell B9 by the value in cell A9)

=C2/15 (Result: Divides the value in cell C2 by 15

**Operation: Exponentiation**

-Operator: ^

-Examples:

=C5^5 (Result: Raises the value of cell C5 to the fifth power)

=5^C5 (Result: Raises the 5 to the value in cell C5

**Order of Precedence**

Order of precedence is a set of predefined rules used to determine the sequence in which operators are applied in a calculation. The order of precedence only comes into play when your formula contains multiple operators. Following are how the order of precedence rules work:

-Multiplication before addition

-Division before subtraction

-Expression inside parentheses executed before expression outside

-Two operators at the same precedence level, leftmost operator is evaluated first

Even though you study and study the operators and order of precedence rules, don’t be surprised if you make mistakes when you start entering formulas in your spreadsheet.

**Enter a Formula**

Now it’s time to learn how to actually enter a formula! I told you it was easy, and I wasn’t lying. When entering formulas there are really only three steps:

-Using your mouse, single left-click in the cell where you want the formula results to appear.

-Type = and an expression that calculates a value using cell references (e.g. A1, B1, etc.) and arithmetic operators (e.g. +, -, *, or /) For example, you want to add cells A1 and B1, then your formula would be =A1+B1. Another example, you want to multiply cells A1 and B1, then your formula would be =A1*B1.

-Press the Enter key on your keyboard to complete the formula.

-Review the formula results to ensure they make sense in relation to the data. This is very important! If not, delete the contents of the cell and redo the formula.

That’s it! The results of your formula should now appear in your cell!

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