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Special Edition Using Microsoft® Office XP by Woody Leonhard, Ed Bott

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Entering and Editing Formulas

Formulas add intelligence to a workbook. Use formulas to manipulate values (text, numbers, or dates), perform simple or complex calculations, and display alternative results based on logical tests. A formula can be as simple as a reference to another cell, or it can go on for hundreds of characters, with as many as seven functions nested within other functions; regardless of its complexity, however, a formula must begin with an equal sign (=). If you start a formula with a plus sign (+) or minus sign (–), Excel adds an equal sign to the beginning of the formula.

Formulas consist of three basic building blocks: operands (the elements to be calculated), operators, and worksheet functions:

  • Operands— The data to be calculated ...

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