Working with Formulas

Basic formula writing in Excel

In your daily routines, you may come across situations where you need to perform certain basic calculations on your numeric data like Adding, Averaging or Counting and so on.

To perform these basic operations, Excel provides in-built functions that can be used to speed up your calculations.

Quick easy steps to get familiarise with basic functions are explained below-

Writing SUM Function

As name suggests this function is used to ADD up any list of numbers in excel sheets.

Formula writing using Excel Function

Lets understand how to write a complete formula in Excel. Let’s start with one of the basic formula of adding numbers in Excel by using simple Sum function. Formula writing is a simple 3 step process as explained below-

  1. Selecting Cell and function to be used in Formula

As explained above, whenever we type an equal to (=) sign Excel understands this as a formula.

Excel Operators in Formula

Formula can very simple or very complex depending on combination of operators, cell references and/or static values used. Formula result depends on how different operators are evaluated.

Default precedence of operators in Excel are given in table below-

For example we want to calculate Tax on Net Income, essentially expenses to be reduced from Income  and then Tax rate is to be applied to net value.

Relative and Absolute Referencing in Excel

Relative Referencing


Suppose we are writing a formula in cell D3 to total numbers of Bananas and Oranges as shown in picture below.


We would start by putting (=) sign and then using cell references we will end up by putting formula as B3+C3. Now if same formula is to be performed in cell D4 and cells below it.


Writing Formula in Microsoft Excel

Formula in Microsoft Excel begins by typing an equalto(=) into any empty cell. Exce understands equal(=) sign and assumes that you are entering a formula.

Excel also allows you to begin your formula with a equalto sign(=) or a plus sign(+) or @ symbol. Once you complete your formula and press Enter, Excel inserts a leading equalto sign in front of formula.

=SUM(A10:A24)



+SUM(A10:A24)