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)

@SUM(A10:A24)

Formulae in Microsoft Excel can be written in 2 types –

- Writing a Manual formula
- Writing Formula by Referring to other cells of sheet

1. Writing a Manual formula – As described earlier, cell can be activated by putting a equal(=) sign followed by the formula. Once you have completed your formula, press Enter Key.

After you press Enter, formula result will appear in the cell and formula will appear in the formula bar as shown in picture below.

While this is quite simple (more like a calculator, the values are all static in nature. Main power of excel lies in its capability of calculating result that is dependent of values stored in other cells. This method is explained below:

- Writing Formula by Referring to values lying in other cells of sheet – Second method of writing a formula is by simply pointing to the cell addresses instead of typing cell address manually.

For example, If we want to add values of cell B3 and C3 into D3, we need to follow the below given steps -

- Highlight Cell D3 by typing equal(=) sign and type the below formula –

B3+C3

Now press Enter and the result will be displayed in cell D3.

Alternatively, the same result can be achieved by following below steps –

- Again highlight Cell D3 by typing equal(=) sign
- Now using arrow key on your keyboard or by a mouse click highlight cell B3. Once you move to cell B3, Excel displays a moving border around cell B3
- Now press plus sign(+) on your keyboard
- Again using arrow key on your keyboard or by a mouse click highlight cell C3. Once you move to cell C3, Excel displays a moving border around cell C3
- Once you are done with above, press Enter for Excel to display result in cell D3.

Advantage of using references: Now you can change the value of either B3, or C3, and the result will be updated automatically.

Which method you use for referencing other cells is a personal choice, ultimately we are entering the same formula in the result cell, though the second method ensures lesser chances of errors & there is no need to check the cell addresses.

Also, when you write more complex formulas going forward, you are more likely to go for the latter method.

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