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Entering Formulas in Excel

If you haven't had a chance to enroll in Microsoft Excel training yet but need to work with spreadsheets on a basic level, one of the first things you should learn his how to enter simple formulas in Excel. Once you learn how to work with formulas, you'll see just how useful spreadsheets are.

Formulas fall into several categories including AutoSum, Financial, Logical, Text, Date and Time, Lookup and Reference, Math and Trig, and many more. You use the Function Library in the Formulas tab of Excel 2007 to insert formulas using a wizard or you can enter formulas directly in the cells.

For example, if you have a column of values that you want to total, clicking the AutoSum icon automates this. Simply click the cell below the column and then click AutoSum. This will automatically place =SUM and the range that is being totaled into the cell and return the results.

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You can also type in the formula manually. In the above example, you'd type in: =Sum(C4:C15).

Formulas start with an equal sign and reference the various cells. In math formulas, the plus and minus signs are used to represent addition and subtraction while the asterisk (*) and forward slash (/) are used for multiplication and division.

Let's say you want to calculate the cost of gallons used by the average price per gallon of gas. You can do this by entering a formula into the cell directly below "Cost" which is cell D4. The formula is: =B4*C4

Now, you can simply copy the first formula and paste it into the remaining cells in the column to have each month's total cost for gas calculated automatically.

While formulas are extremely useful, Excel offers far more than automatic calculations. This makes Microsoft Excel 2003 training valuable. If you have Excel 2007, make sure to specify Microsoft Excel 2007 training as the 2007 version is dramatically different than previous versions.