# How to Create Simple Formulas In Microsoft Excel 2010

*Introduction*

Microsoft Excel can be used to calculate numerical information. In this lesson, you will learn how to create simple formulas in Excel to add, subtract, multiply, and divide values in a workbook. You’ll also learn the various ways you can use cell references to make working with formulas easier and more efficient.

*Simple formulas*

A formula is an equation that performs a calculation. Like a calculator, Excel can execute formulas that add, subtract, multiply, and divide.

One of Excel‘s most useful features is its ability to calculate using a cell address to represent the value in a cell. This is called using a cell reference.

To maximize the capabilities of Excel, it is important to understand how to create simple formulas and use cell references.

*Creating simple formulas*

Excel uses standard operators for equations, such as a plus sign for addition (+), minus sign for subtraction (-), asterisk for multiplication (*), forward slash for division (/), and caret (^) for exponents.

The key thing to remember when writing formulas for Excel is that all formulas must begin with an equals sign (=). This is because the cell contains—or is equal to—the formula and its value.

*To create a simple formula in Excel:*

- Select the cell where the answer will appear (B4, for example).
- Type the equals sign (=).
- Type in the formula you want Excel to calculate (75/250, for example).
- Press Enter. The formula will be calculated, and the value will be displayed in the cell.

If the result of a formula is too large to be displayed in a cell, it may appear as pound signs (#######) instead of a value. This means the column is not wide enough to display the cell content. Simply increase the column width to show the cell content.

*Creating formulas with cell references*

When a formula contains a cell address, it is called a cell reference. Creating a formula with cell references is useful because you can update data in your worksheet without having to rewrite the values in the formula.

*To create a formula using cell references:*

- Select the cell where the answer will appear (B3, for example).
- Type the equals sign (=).
- Type the cell address that contains the first number in the equation (B1, for example).
- Type the operator you need for your formula. For example, type the addition sign (+).
- Type the cell address that contains the second number in the equation (B2,for example).
- Press Enter. The formula will be calculated, and the value will be displayed in the cell.

If you change a value in either B1 or B2, the total will automatically recalculate.

**To create a formula using the point-and-click method:**

**To create a formula using the point-and-click method:**

- Select the cell where the answer will appear (B4
**,**for example). - Type the equals sign (=).
- Click the first cell to be included in the formula (A3, for example).
- Type the operator you need for the formula. For example, type the multiplication sign (*).
- Click the next cell in the formula (B3, for example).
- Press Enter. The formula will be calculated, and the value will be displayed in the cell.

*To edit a formula:*

- Click the cell you want to edit.
- Insert the cursor in the formula bar, and edit the formula as desired. You can also double-click the cell to view and edit the formula directly from the cell.
- When you’re done, press Enter or select the Enter command.
- The new value will be displayed in the cell.

If you change your mind, use the Cancel commandin the formula bar to avoid accidentally making changes to your formula.

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