Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

4.3. The correct basic formulas are applied for the manipulation of data within a worksheet.

ryanrori January 11, 2021

[responsivevoice_button rate=”0.9″ voice=”UK English Female” buttontext=”Listen to Post”]

Entering data

The data you enter in the cells can be text, numbers of formulas. All formulas must be entered with an equal sign (=) in the beginning, e.g. = 500 + 400 or, if you want to calculate the sum of the contents of A1 and B1: = A1 + B1.

Using formulas and functions

When you want to calculate something in an active cell, begin with equal sign = .

Basic mathematical operators used by Excel:

  • * (asterisk) for multiplication
  • / (front slash) for division
  • + (plus) for addition
  • – (hyphen) for subtraction
  • ^ (caret) for exponentiation 3^2 (the same as 3*3)
  • % for percentage

() Parentheses are used to enclose a formula, for example, =(A4+A5). Parentheses can be nested multiple times if necessary. When internal parentheses are not used, Excel will use the logical order of operations to evaluate a formula expression.

: Indicates that you want to apply a formula or function to a range of cells, i.e. B4:B10

      Data is edited within a worksheet correctly. 


Functions are entered after = like any other calculation. After = you must either enter the name of the function with normally at least one argument (information needed for calculation, which can be a number, address of a cell or string). Arguments are separated by commas (Anglo-American settings) or semicolons (Finnish settings). Use parenthesis to enclose the formula. An example: You have entered some numbers in cells A1, A2 and A3. You can calculate the sum of the numbers in a following way (try this out):

  • Select an empty cell
  • Use the SUM function to calculate, type the following: =SUM(A1:A3)
  • Press enter: there you have it!
  • Actually: you don’t really have to type so much. You can as well type just =SUM(and the select cells A1 to A3 with the mouse and close the parenthesis).
  • Or yet an easier way (this can only be done for sums): Click cell A4 and click the button from the toolbar. This is called “auto sum”. Now you will see a border around the cells which will be summed up. You can change the border by dragging with the mouse if you want to. When you click enter, the sum is counted.
  • You can insert functions from Insert then Function as well. Select Insert then Function and see, what functions Excel offers!