Chapter 3: Formula Tricks and Techniques

IN THIS CHAPTER

Getting an overview of Excel formulas

Differentiating between absolute and relative references in formulas

Understanding and using names

Introducing array formulas

Counting and summing cells

Working with dates and times

Creating megaformulas

About Formulas

Virtually every successful spreadsheet application uses formulas. In fact, constructing formulas can certainly be construed as a type of programming.

note.eps For a much more comprehensive treatment of Excel formulas and functions, refer to my book, Excel 2010 Formulas (Wiley).

Formulas, of course, are what make a spreadsheet a spreadsheet. If it weren't for formulas, your worksheet would just be a static document — something that a word processor that has great support for tables could produce.

A formula entered into a cell can consist of any of the following elements:

Operators such as + (for addition) and * (for multiplication)

Cell references (including named cells and ranges)

Numbers or text strings

Worksheet functions (such as SUM or AVERAGE)

A formula in Excel 2010 can consist of up to 8,192 characters. After you enter a formula into a cell, the cell displays the result of the formula. The formula itself appears in the formula bar when the cell is activated. For a better view of a lengthy formula, click and drag the thick border of the formula bar to ...

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