Formula Fundamentals

A lot of this section will seem elementary to experienced Excel users, but it is important information for anyone who is just arriving at the party. And even experienced users might find something useful here that they didn’t know about.

All formulas in Excel begin with an equal sign. This is the most fundamental fact of all. The equal sign tells Excel that the succeeding characters constitute a formula. If you omit the equal sign, Excel might interpret the entry as text. To show how formulas work, we’ll walk you through some rudimentary ones. Begin by selecting blank cell A10. Then type =10+5, and press Enter. The value 15 appears in cell A10. Now select cell A10, and the formula bar displays the formula you just typed. What ...

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