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# Chapter 2Basic Facts About Formulas

In This Chapter

• How to enter, edit, and paste names into formulas
• The various operators used in formulas
• How Excel calculates formulas
• Cell and range references used in formulas
• Copying and moving cells and ranges
• How to make an exact copy of a formula
• How to convert formulas to values
• How to prevent formulas from being viewed
• The types of formula errors
• Circular reference messages and correction techniques
• Excel’s goal seeking feature

This chapter serves as a basic introduction to using formulas in Excel. Although it’s intended primarily for newcomers to Excel, even veteran Excel users may find some new information here.

## Entering and Editing Formulas

This section describes the basic elements of a formula. It also explains various ways of entering and editing your formulas.

### Formula elements

A formula entered into a cell can consist of five elements:

• Operators: These include symbols such as + (for addition) and * (for multiplication).
• Cell references: These include named cells and ranges that can refer to cells in the current worksheet, cells in another worksheet in the same workbook, or even cells in a worksheet in another workbook.
• Values or text strings: Examples include 7.5 (a value) and “Year-End Results” (a string, enclosed in quotes).
• Worksheet functions and their arguments: These include functions such as SUM or AVERAGE and their arguments. Function arguments appear in parentheses and provide input for the function’s calculations. ...

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