Playing with Formulas
IN THIS CHAPTER
Manipulating data with Goal Seeking
Creating multiple scenarios
What makes Excel useful is its ability to manipulate data by using formulas. Formulas can be as simple as adding two or more numbers together or as complicated as calculating a second-order differential equation.
Formulas use data, stored in other cells, to calculate a new result that appears in another cell. To create even more complicated spreadsheets, you can even make a formula use data from other formulas so that changes in a single cell can ripple throughout an entire spreadsheet.
Creating a Formula
Formulas consist of three crucial bits of information:
- An equal sign (=)
- One or more cell references
- The type of calculation to do on the data (addition, subtraction, and so on)
A cell reference is simply the unique row and column heading that identifies a single cell, such as A4 or D9.
The four common calculations that a formula can use are addition (+), subtraction (–), multiplication (*), and division ( / ). Table 9-1 lists mathematical operators you can use in a formula.