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Excel Formulas

Formulas and Functions

A Formula is an expression which calculates the value of a cell. Functions are predefined formulas and are already available in Excel.

For example, cell A3 below contains a formula which adds the value of cell A2 to the value of cell A1.


eg.Cell A3 below contains a formula which adds the value of cell A2 to the value of cell A1


Enter a Formula

To enter a Formula, execute the following steps.

  • Select a Cell
  • To let Excel know that you want to enter a formula, type an equal sign (=).
  • For example, type the formula A1+A2.
  • Tip: instead of typing A1 and A2, simply select cell A1 and cell A2.

    Edit a Formula

    When you select a cell, Excel shows the value or formula of the cell in the formula bar.

  • To edit a formula, click in the formula bar and change the formula.
  • Press Enter
  • Formula

    Operator Precedence

    Excel uses a default order in which calculations occur. If a part of the formula is in parentheses, that part will be calculated first. It then performs multiplication or division calculations. Once this is complete, Excel will add and subtract the remainder of your formula. See the example below.


    First, Excel performs multiplication (A1 * A2). Next, Excel adds the value of cell A3 to this result.

    Another example,


    First, Excel calculates the part in parentheses (A2+A3). Next, it multiplies this result by the value of cell A1.

    Copy/Paste a Formula

    When you copy a formula, Excel automatically adjusts the cell references for each new cell the formula is copied to. To understand this, execute the following steps.

  • Select the cell A4, right click, and then click Copy (or press CTRL + c)
  • next, select cell B4, right click, and then click Paste under 'Paste Options:' (or press CTRL + v).
  • Formula

    Tip: You can also drag the formula to cell B4. Select cell A4, click on the lower right corner of cell A4 and drag it across to cell B4. This is much easier and gives the exact same result!

    Written by Ritu Raj Nehra

    Excel Expert with success in maintaining and organizing data, including dictionaries, metadata repositories, and cross-reference indexes across a broad range of industries. Expert in Outlook, Excel, Access, Web, SAP Automations. Skilled in VBA, VBS, HTML, JavaScript & SQL etc. Demonstrated ability to use critical and strategic thinking to resolve discrepancies, fill gaps, and sustain quality control benchmarks.

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