If you"re new to Excel for the web, you"ll soon discover that it"s more than simply a network in i beg your pardon you get in numbers in columns or rows. Yes, you deserve to use Excel because that the internet to find totals because that a obelisk or row of numbers, however you can also calculate a mortgage payment, deal with math or engineering problems, or find a ideal case scenario based on variable numbers the you plug in.

You are watching: A predefined formula that performs a calculation

Excel because that the internet does this by making use of formulas in cells. A formula performs calculations or various other actions on the data in your worksheet. A formula constantly starts through an equal authorize (=), which deserve to be followed by numbers, math operators (such together a add to or minus sign), and also functions, which deserve to really broaden the strength of a formula.

For example, the following formula multiplies 2 through 3 and also then adds 5 to that an outcome to come up through the answer, 11.


This following formula offers the PMT duty to calculation a mortgage payment ($1,073.64), i beg your pardon is based on a 5 percent interest rate (5% split by 12 months equates to the monthly interest rate) over a 30-year duration (360 months) because that a $200,000 loan:


Here space some additional examples of formulas the you can go into in a worksheet.

=A1+A2+A3 adds the values in cell A1, A2, and also A3.

=SQRT(A1) offers the SQRT duty to return the square source of the value in A1.

=TODAY() return the present date.

=UPPER("hello") switch the message "hello" to "HELLO" by utilizing the UPPER worksheet function.

=IF(A1>0) tests the cell A1 to identify if it consists of a value greater than 0.

The parts of a formula

A formula can additionally contain any type of or all of the following: functions, references, operators, and also constants.


1. Functions: The PI() function returns the value of pi: 3.142...

2. References: A2 return the value in cell A2.

3. Constants: number or text values entered straight into a formula, such as 2.

4. Operators: The ^ (caret) operator raises a number come a power, and also the * (asterisk) operator multiplies numbers.

Using constants in formulas

Using calculation operators in formulas

Operators point out the form of calculation the you desire to carry out on the elements of a formula. Over there is a default bespeak in which calculations happen (this follows general math rules), but you can readjust this stimulate by utilizing parentheses.

Types of operators

There are four different species of calculate operators: arithmetic, comparison, text concatenation, and also reference.

Arithmetic operator

To perform an easy mathematical operations, such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division; combine numbers; and also produce numeric results, usage the adhering to arithmetic operators.

Arithmetic operator



+ (plus sign)



– (minus sign)



* (asterisk)



/ (forward slash)



% (percent sign)



^ (caret)



Comparison operators

You deserve to compare 2 values v the complying with operators. Once two values are contrasted by making use of these operators, the an outcome is a logical value — either TRUE or FALSE.

comparison operator



= (equal sign)

Equal to


> (greater than sign)

Greater than


= (greater than or same to sign)

Greater than or same to


(not same to sign)

Not same to


text concatenation operator

Use the ampersand (&) come concatenate (join) one or an ext text strings to develop a single piece of text.

Text operator



& (ampersand)

Connects, or concatenates, 2 values to develop one constant text value

"North"&"wind" outcomes in "Northwind"

referral operators

Combine arrays of cells for calculations v the adhering to operators.

Reference operator



: (colon)

Range operator, i m sorry produces one recommendation to every the cells between two references, including the 2 references.


, (comma)

Union operator, which combines multiple references right into one reference



Intersection operator, i beg your pardon produces one referral to cells common to the two references

B7:D7 C6:C8

The order in i m sorry Excel because that the web performs to work in formulas

In part cases, the order in i beg your pardon a calculation is performed can influence the return worth of the formula, therefore it"s vital to understand just how the order is determined and how you can change the order to attain the outcomes you want.

Calculation bespeak

Formulas calculate values in a particular order. A formula constantly begins with an equal authorize (=). Excel for the web interprets the personalities that monitor the equal authorize as a formula. Complying with the equal sign are the elements to be calculated (the operands), such as constants or cell references. These space separated by calculation operators. Excel for the internet calculates the formula from left come right, according to a specific order because that each operator in the formula.

Operator precedence

If you incorporate several operator in a single formula, Excel for the net performs the to work in the order shown in the following table. If a formula consists of operators with the exact same precedence—for example, if a formula has both a multiplication and department operator— Excel because that the web evaluates the operator from left to right.



: (colon)

(single space)

, (comma)

Reference operators

Negation (as in –1)





* and /

Multiplication and also division

+ and also –

Addition and also subtraction


Connects 2 strings of message (concatenation)



usage of bracket

To change the order of evaluation, enclose in parentheses the component of the formula to be calculated first. Because that example, the adhering to formula produces 11 due to the fact that Excel because that the internet performs multiplication before addition. The formula multiplies 2 by 3 and also then adds 5 to the result.


In contrast, if you use parentheses to adjust the syntax, Excel because that the web adds 5 and 2 together and also then multiplies the an outcome by 3 to develop 21.


In the following example, the parentheses the enclose the an initial part of the formula force Excel for the net to calculate B4+25 an initial and then divide the an outcome by the amount of the worths in cells D5, E5, and also F5.


Using functions and nested functions in formulas

Functions are predefined formulas that execute calculations through using particular values, referred to as arguments, in a certain order, or structure. Attributes can be supplied to perform basic or facility calculations.

The syntax that functions

The following example of the ROUND function rounding turn off a number in cell A10 illustrates the syntax that a function.


1. Structure. The framework of a role begins v an equal authorize (=), followed by the function name, an opening parenthesis, the arguments for the role separated by commas, and also a closing parenthesis.

2. Role name. Because that a list of accessible functions, click a cell and press SHIFT+F3.

3. Arguments. Arguments can it is in numbers, text, logical worths such together TRUE or FALSE, arrays, error worths such together #N/A, or cabinet references. The argument you clues must create a valid value for the argument. Debates can also be constants, formulas, or various other functions.

4. Argument tooltip. A tooltip with the syntax and also arguments appears as you type the function. For example, kind =ROUND( and also the tooltip appears. Tooltips appear only for integrated functions.

Entering functions

When you produce a formula that has a function, you deserve to use the Insert Function dialog box to help you go into worksheet functions. As you get in a function into the formula, the Insert Function dialog box display screens the surname of the function, each of its arguments, a description of the duty and every argument, the current an outcome of the function, and the current an outcome of the whole formula.

To do it simpler to create and edit formulas and minimize typing and syntax errors, usage Formula AutoComplete. After you kind an = (equal sign) and beginning letters or a display screen trigger, Excel for the internet displays, listed below the cell, a dynamic drop-down perform of valid functions, arguments, and names that complement the letter or trigger. You can then insert things from the drop-down list right into the formula.

Nesting functions

In details cases, you might need to use a role as among the disagreements of another function. Because that example, the complying with formula offers a nested AVERAGE function and compares the result with the worth 50.


1. The AVERAGE and also SUM features are nested within the IF function.

Valid returns once a nested duty is provided as an argument, the nested duty must return the same kind of worth that the debate uses. Because that example, if the dispute returns a TRUE or FALSE value, the nested duty must return a TRUE or FALSE value. If the role doesn"t, Excel for the web screens a #VALUE! error value.

Nesting level limits A formula deserve to contain increase to 7 levels that nested functions. When one duty (we"ll contact this role B) is used as an discussion in another function (we"ll call this duty A), function B acts together a second-level function. Because that example, the AVERAGE duty and the SUM duty are both second-level functions if they are supplied as arguments of the IF function. A role nested within the nested AVERAGE duty is then a third-level function, and so on.

Using recommendations in formulas

A referral identifies a cell or a selection of cells on a worksheet, and tells Excel because that the net where come look for the values or data you want to usage in a formula. You have the right to use referrals to use data included in different parts that a worksheet in one formula or use the worth from one cabinet in number of formulas. You can also refer to cells on other sheets in the very same workbook, and also to various other workbooks. Referrals to cell in other workbooks are referred to as links or outside references.

The A1 referral style

The default reference style through default, Excel because that the internet uses the A1 reference style, which refers to columns through letters (A through XFD, because that a total of 16,384 columns) and refers come rows with numbers (1 through 1,048,576). These letters and also numbers are referred to as row and also column headings. To refer to a cell, enter the shaft letter followed by the row number. Because that example, B2 describes the cell at the intersection of obelisk B and row 2.

To to express to


The cell in shaft A and row 10


The selection of cells in shaft A and also rows 10 v 20


The range of cells in heat 15 and also columns B with E


All cell in row 5


All cells in rows 5 with 10


All cell in obelisk H


All cell in columns H v J


The variety of cells in columns A through E and rows 10 v 20


Making a reference to one more worksheet In the following example, the AVERAGE worksheet function calculates the mean value because that the variety B1:B10 top top the worksheet named Marketing in the very same workbook.


1. Refers to the worksheet named Marketing

2. Describes the range of cells in between B1 and also B10, inclusively

3. The end the worksheet reference from the cell selection reference

The difference between absolute, relative and also mixed references

Relative references A loved one cell referral in a formula, such as A1, is based upon the relative position of the cell that consists of the formula and also the cell the reference refers to. If the place of the cabinet that includes the formula changes, the referral is changed. If friend copy or fill the formula throughout rows or under columns, the reference automatically adjusts. By default, brand-new formulas use loved one references. Because that example, if girlfriend copy or to fill a relative recommendation in cell B2 to cabinet B3, it automatically adjusts from =A1 come =A2.


Absolute references An absolute cell referral in a formula, such together $A$1, always refer come a cell in a particular location. If the place of the cabinet that contains the formula changes, the absolute referral remains the same. If you copy or to fill the formula across rows or under columns, the absolute reference does not adjust. By default, brand-new formulas use family member references, so you may need to move them to absolute references. For example, if friend copy or fill an absolute recommendation in cabinet B2 to cell B3, it stays the very same in both cells: =$A$1.


Mixed references A blended reference has either an absolute column and relative row, or absolute row and also relative column. One absolute column reference take away the kind $A1, $B1, and also so on. An pure row reference takes the form A$1, B$1, and also so on. If the position of the cell that has the formula changes, the relative reference is changed, and also the absolute reference does no change. If girlfriend copy or to fill the formula throughout rows or under columns, the loved one reference instantly adjusts, and the absolute referral does no adjust. For example, if you copy or fill a mixed reference from cell A2 to B3, that adjusts from =A$1 come =B$1.


The 3-D recommendation style

Conveniently referencing many worksheets If you want to analysis data in the same cell or variety of cells on many worksheets within a workbook, use a 3-D reference. A 3-D reference includes the cell or range reference, came before by a variety of worksheet names. Excel because that the net uses any worksheets stored between the starting and finishing names the the reference. For example, =SUM(Sheet2:Sheet13!B5) adds every the values consisted of in cabinet B5 on all the worksheets between and including sheet 2 and also Sheet 13.

You deserve to use 3-D referrals to refer to cells on other sheets, to specify names, and to produce formulas by utilizing the adhering to functions: SUM, AVERAGE, AVERAGEA, COUNT, COUNTA, MAX, MAXA, MIN, MINA, PRODUCT, STDEV.P, STDEV.S, STDEVA, STDEVPA, VAR.P, VAR.S, VARA, and VARPA.

3-D referrals cannot be used in array formulas.

3-D references cannot be offered with the intersection operator (a single space) or in recipe that use implicit intersection.

What occurs once you move, copy, insert, or delete worksheets The complying with examples define what happens as soon as you move, copy, insert, or delete worksheets that are consisted of in a 3-D reference. The instances use the formula =SUM(Sheet2:Sheet6!A2:A5) to include cells A2 v A5 ~ above worksheets 2 with 6.

Insert or copy If friend insert or copy sheets in between Sheet2 and also Sheet6 (the endpoints in this example), Excel for the web contains all worths in cell A2 through A5 from the added sheets in the calculations.

Delete If girlfriend delete sheets between Sheet2 and Sheet6, Excel for the web gets rid of their worths from the calculation.

Move If you relocate sheets from between Sheet2 and also Sheet6 to a location exterior the referenced sheet range, Excel because that the web clears their values from the calculation.

Move an endpoint If you relocate Sheet2 or Sheet6 to one more location in the exact same workbook, Excel for the net adjusts the calculation to accommodate the new range that sheets in between them.

Delete one endpoint If you delete Sheet2 or Sheet6, Excel for the internet adjusts the calculation to accommodate the range of sheets in between them.

The R1C1 referral style

You can also use a reference style where both the rows and the columns on the worksheet space numbered. The R1C1 reference format is helpful for computing row and also column positions in macros. In the R1C1 style, Excel because that the web suggests the place of a cell through an "R" followed by a row number and also a "C" adhered to by a pillar number.




A relative recommendation to the cell two rows up and also in the exact same column


A relative reference to the cell two rows down and two columns to the right


An absolute reference to the cabinet in the 2nd row and in the 2nd column


A relative recommendation to the whole row above the active cell


An absolute reference to the existing row

When you record a macro, Excel for the net records some commands by making use of the R1C1 recommendation style. For example, if you document a command, such together clicking the AutoSum switch to insert a formula the adds a selection of cells, Excel because that the net records the formula by using R1C1 style, no A1 style, references.

See more: When Your Rearview Mirror Is Set To Its Night Setting, It May Hamper Your Ability To_________.

Using names in formulas

You have the right to create defined names to stand for cells, varieties of cells, formulas, constants, or Excel for the web tables. A surname is a coherent shorthand that renders it simpler to know the objective of a cabinet reference, constant, formula, or table, every of which may be complicated to understand at first glance. The complying with information shows common examples of names and also how utilizing them in formulas have the right to improve clarity and make formulas simpler to understand.