How Do You Create a Formula in Excel?

A formula is a mathematical expression that can be typed into a cell in Excel and used to calculate values in a spreadsheet. These formulas are often complex and require several lines of code, but can be very useful for tracking, logging, and auditing your data.

To create a formula, start by selecting a cell where you want to calculate the value and then typing an equal sign (=) and the equation you want to create. After you complete the equation, click or press Enter to see the formula’s result.

You can also create formulas using cell references and values, which means you use the cell addresses of cells in your worksheet that contain the values you want to calculate. When you do this, Excel updates the formula when those values change.


Creating formulas that rely on functions can be helpful because they simplify your work with numbers in Excel. You can find many predefined functions in Excel that perform a wide array of mathematical operations. They are usually available in the Formulas tab and can be accessed by clicking on the Function Library button and typing the name of the function you need.

There are different types of functions, and they all have specific arguments and syntax. Some functions are better for certain kinds of calculations than others, so it’s important to understand the differences before you use them in your formulas.

When you create a formula that uses a function, Excel displays the function name in the Formula Bar and lists all of the arguments that must be input before the formula can be calculated. You can then click on a function to get more information about it, or select the function and hit search to display a list of all possible functions that can be used in your formulas.

Functions are a great way to make formulas simpler and more effective, but they can also be confusing at times. For example, the AVERAGE and ROUND functions can take two parameters that you may not know where to place in your formula. The AVERAGE function is a calculation of the average of all the values in a set of cells. The ROUND function is a calculation that rounds the result to a specified decimal point.

Defining names for functions makes it easier to identify the function you’re using and can greatly expedite your creation of formulas in Excel. In addition, you can use defined names to create multiple formulas for the same range of cells in your spreadsheet.

If you’re comparing or summarizing a range of cells, it is often convenient to add the formulas together and use the results as a single value. Using defined names allows you to do this quickly and easily, which can save you time when working with large amounts of data.

It is also helpful to remember that when you use a formula with more than one operator, the order of arithmetic operations in your formula will determine the order in which Excel calculates these mathematical expressions. When Excel performs this operation, it follows the BEDMAS hierarchical structure, which dictates how you should write a formula in order to ensure that each operator is processed correctly.