How Do You Create Formulas in Excel?

You can create a formula in Microsoft Excel by using constants and calculation operators, cell references and names, or functions. Simple formulas to add, subtract, multiply or divide cell values are entered directly in your worksheet, while more complex formulas are initiated in the Excel formula dialogue box.

  1. Create a simple formula in Excel with constants and calculation operators

    To create a simple calculation, click the cell in which you wish to enter the formula and type an equal sign. Enter the constants and operators that you wish to use in the calculation within the cell. Use the plus sign for addition, minus sign for subtraction, the backslash for division and the asterisk for multiplication. For instance, to add ten and ten in a cell, enter "=10+10" within the desired cell and press the Enter key.

  2. Use cell references and names

    To add, subtract, divide or multiply the values of multiple cells, click the cell in which you wish to input the data and type the equal sign. Instead of using constants and operators, enter the names of the cells in which you want to take data from. Apply the same calculation operators to perform your calculation. For instance, if you want to multiply the value of cell A1 with the value of cell C1 in cell D1, you would select D1 and type "=A1*C1" then click Enter.

  3. Use a function

    To utilize more complex functions click the cell in which you want to enter the formula and select Insert Function on the Formula Bar at the top of the worksheet. Use the category box to select the desired function and enter the data or arguments within the formula dialogue section. Utilize Excel's Function Wizard within the dialogue box to review the associated functions and correct format of each formula.