Writing Your First Formula

Aside from organising and formatting your data, excel has very powerful calculation capabilities. In order to get benefit from these capacities, you need to be informed about how formulas works. Lets start writing your first formula then…

All the formulas are equations by default. So in order for excel to recognize your formulas, you need to use “=” sign at the beginning. Any entry starting with an equation symbol will be recognized as an equation while any entry without is will be recognized as simply data.

Also arithmetic operators works with formulas in excel. Lets make a simple formula:

=A1+B1                               This formula will sum values of cells A1 and B1.

Likewise =A1-B1 will subtract value of cell B1 from value of cell A1.

Here is a list of operators Excel supports:

Symbol Operator

+               Addition

–               Subtraction

/                Division

*               Multiplication

&              Text concatenation

^              Exponentiation

=              Logical comparison (equal to)

>              Logical comparison (greater than)

<              Logical comparison (less than)

>=           Logical comparison (greater than or equal to)

<=           Logical comparison (less than or equal to)

<>           Logical comparison (not equal to)

:               Implicates range. (A1:D1 means “a range of cells starting with A1 and ending with D1)

;               Implicates union. (Combines multiple cells or ranges together.)

“ “            Space. Used to reference intersection between two ranges. (“A1:D1 B1:E1” equals C1:D1)


Calculation precedence between these operators is same as normal mathematics. So when you use multiple operators in your formulas, make sure to use “()” to arrange precedence of your calculations. Here is how it works:

A1=9, B1=6, C1=3

=A1+B1*C1        will be calculated as “9+6*3” – >  “9+18” – > 27                   while

=(A1+B1)*C1     will be calculated as “(9+6)*3” – > “15*3” – > 45

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