If you’re new to Excel, formulas and functions can seem daunting. However, they’re actually fairly simple once you get the hang of them. In this article, we’ll show you the basics of using formulas and functions in Excel so that you can start using them to streamline your work like expert excel.
What is a Formula?
A formula is a set of instructions that tells Excel what calculation to perform. Formulas always start with an equal sign (=), and they can contain numbers, cell references, operators (such as +, -, *, /, or ^), and functions. For example, the formula =5*2 would multiply 5 by 2 and display the result as 10.
You can use formulas in Excel to do everything from calculate sales tax to finding the average of a range of cells. To enter a formula, simply type an equal sign into the cell where you want the result of the formula to appear, then type in the formula itself. When you press Enter or move to another cell, Excel will automatically calculate the result of the formula.
What is a Function?
A function is a predefined formula that performs a specific calculation. For example, the SUM function will add up all of the numbers in a range of cells, while the AVERAGE function will calculate the average of a range of cells. There are hundreds of different functions in Excel, and you can even create your own custom functions using VBA coding.
To use a function in a formula, simply type the function name followed by an open parenthesis ( ). For example, to sum a range of cells using the SUM function, you would type =SUM(A1:A10) into a cell. This would add up all ofcells A1 through A10 and display the result in that cell. You can also nest functions within each other— for example, if you wanted to find the average purchase price for items in your inventory, you could use the AVERAGE function nested within the SUM function: =SUM(AVERAGE(B2:B10)). This would first calculate the average price for each item (using cells B2 through B10), and then add up those averages to give you a grand total.
As we mentioned before, operators are symbols that tell Excel which mathematical operations to perform in a formula—for example, addition (+), subtraction (-), multiplication (*), division (/), and exponentiation (^). You can use these operators to create formulas that perform almost any type of calculation you need. For example, if you wanted to find 20% of a number, you could use the following formula: =0.2*A1 (this would multiply 0.2 by whatever number is in cell A1).
Formulas and functions are essential tools in Excel that allow you to automate calculations and save time. With just a little practice, you’ll be using them like a pro in no time!