Overview of formulas Microsoft Office Excel 2007
Author: mety Nagm Labels:: Overview of formulas Microsoft Office Excel 2007
Formulas are equations that perform calculations on values in your worksheet. A formula starts with an equal sign (=). For example, the following formula multiplies 2 by 3 and then adds 5 to the result. =5+2*3 A formula can also contain any or all of the following: functions (function: A prewritten formula that takes a value or values, performs an operation, and returns a value or values. Use functions to simplify and shorten formulas on a worksheet, especially those that perform lengthy or complex calculations.), references, operators (operator: A sign or symbol that specifies the type of calculation to perform within an expression. There are mathematical, comparison, logical, and reference operators.), and constants (constant: A value that is not calculated and, therefore, does not change. For example, the number 210, and the text "Quarterly Earnings" are constants. An expression, or a value resulting from an expression, is not a constant.).
Parts of a formula Functions: The PI() function returns the value of pi: 3.142... References: A2 returns the value in cell A2. Constants: Numbers or text values entered directly into a formula, such as 2. Operators: The ^ (caret) operator raises a number to a power, and the * (asterisk) operator multiplies. Using constants in formulasA constant is a value that is not calculated. For example, the date 10/9/2008, the number 210, and the text "Quarterly Earnings" are all constants. An expression, or a value resulting from an expression, is not a constant. If you use constant values in the formula instead of references to the cells (for example, =30+70+110), the result changes only if you modify the formula yourself. Using calculation operators in formulasOperators specify the type of calculation that you want to perform on the elements of a formula. There is a default order in which calculations occur, but you can change this order by using parentheses. Types of operatorsThere are four different types of calculation operators: arithmetic, comparison, text concatenation, and reference. Arithmetic operatorsTo perform basic mathematical operations such as addition, subtraction, or multiplication; combine numbers; and produce numeric results, use the following arithmetic operators.
Comparison operatorsYou can compare two values with the following operators. When two values are compared by using these oper
ators, the result is a logical value either TRUE or FALSE. Text concatenation operatorUse the ampersand (&) to join, or concatenate, one or more text strings to produce a single piece of text.
Reference operatorsCombine ranges of cells for calculations with the following operators.
The order in which Excel performs operations in formulasIn some cases, the order in which calculation is performed can affect the return value of the formula, so it's important to understand how the order is determined and how you can change the order to obtain desired results. Calculation orderFormulas calculate values in a specific order. A formula in Excel always begins with an equal sign (=). The equal sign tells Excel that the succeeding characters constitute a formula. Following the equal sign are the elements to be calculated (the operands), which are separated by calculation operators. Excel calculates the formula from left to right, according to a specific order for each operator in the formula. Operator precedenceIf you combine several operators in a single formula, Excel performs the operations in the order shown in the following table. If a formula contains operators with the same precedence — for example, if a formula contains both a multiplication and division operator — Excel evaluates the operators from left to right.
Use of parenthesesTo change the order of evaluation, enclose in parentheses the part of the formula to be calculated first. For example, the following formula produces 11 because Excel calculates multiplication before addition. The formula multiplies 2 by 3 and then adds 5 to the result. =5+2*3 In contrast, if you use parentheses to change the syntax, Excel adds 5 and 2 together and then multiplies the result by 3 to produce 21. =(5+2)*3 In the example below, the parentheses around the first part of the formula force Excel to calculate B4+25 first and then divide the result by the sum of the values in cells D5, E5, and F5. =(B4+25)/SUM(D5:F5) Using functions and nested functions in formulasFunctions are predefined formulas that perform calculations by using specific values, called arguments, in a particular order, or structure. Functions can be used to perform simple or complex calculations. The syntax of functionsThe following example of the ROUND function rounding off a number in cell A10 illustrates the syntax of a function.
Structure of a function Structure. The structure of a function begins with an equal sign (=), followed by the function name, an opening parenthesis, the arguments for the function separated by commas, and a closing parenthesis. Function name. For a list of available functions, click a cell and press SHIFT+F3. Arguments. Arguments can be numbers, text, logical values such as TRUE or FALSE, arrays (array: Used to build single formulas that produce multiple results or that operate on a group of arguments that are arranged in rows and columns. An array range shares a common formula; an array constant is a group of constants used as an argument.), error values such as #N/A, or cell references (cell reference: The set of coordinates that a cell occupies on a worksheet. For example, the reference of the cell that appears at the intersection of column B and row 3 is B3.). The argument you designate must produce a valid value for that argument. Arguments can also be constants (constant: A value that is not calculated and, therefore, does not change. For example, the number 210, and the text "Quarterly Earnings" are constants. An expression, or a value resulting from an expression, is not a constant.), formulas, or other functions. Argument tooltip. A tooltip with the syntax and arguments appears as you type the function. For example, type =ROUND( and the tooltip appears. Tooltips only appear for builtin functions. Entering functionsWhen you create a formula that contains a function, the Insert Function dialog box helps you enter worksheet functions. As you enter a function into the formula, the Insert Function dialog box displays the name of the function, each of its arguments, a description of the function and each argument, the current result of the function, and the current result of the entire formula. To make it easier to create and edit formulas and minimize typing and syntax errors, use formula autocomplete. After you type an = (equal sign) and beginning letters or a display trigger, Microsoft Office Excel displays below the cell a dynamic drop down list of valid functions, arguments, and names that match the letters or trigger. You can then insert an item in the dropdown list into the formula. Nesting functionsIn certain cases, you may need to use a function as one of the arguments (argument: The values that a function uses to perform operations or calculations. The type of argument a function uses is specific to the function. Common arguments that are used within functions include numbers, text, cell references, and names.) of another function. For example, the following formula uses a nested AVERAGE function and compares the result with the value 50.
The AVERAGE and SUM functions are nested within the IF function. Valid returns When a nested function is used as an argument, it must return the same type of value that the argument uses. For example, if the argument returns a TRUE or FALSE value, then the nested function must return a TRUE or FALSE. If it doesn't, Microsoft Excel displays a #VALUE! error value. Nesting level limits A formula can contain up to seven levels of nested functions. When Function B is used as an argument in Function A, Function B is a secondlevel function. For instance, the AVERAGE function and the SUM function are both secondlevel functions because they are arguments of the IF function. A function nested within the AVERAGE function would be a thirdlevel function, and so on. Using references in formulasA reference identifies a cell or a range of cells on a worksheet and tells Microsoft Excel where to look for the values or data you want to use in a formula. With references, you can use data contained in different parts of a worksheet in one formula or use the value from one cell in several formulas. You can also refer to cells on other sheets in the same workbook, and to other workbooks. References to cells in other workbooks are called links or external references (external reference: A reference to a cell or range on a sheet in another Excel workbook, or a reference to a defined name in another workbook.). The A1 reference styleThe default reference style By default, Excel uses the A1 reference style, which refers to columns with letters (A through XFD, for a total of 16,384 columns) and refers to rows with numbers (1 through 1,048,576). These letters and numbers are called row and column headings. To refer to a cell, enter the column letter followed by the row number. For example, B2 refers to the cell at the intersection of column B and row 2.
Making a reference to another worksheet In the following example, the AVERAGE worksheet function calculates the average value for the range B1:B10 on the worksheet named Marketing in the same workbook.
Reference to a range of cells on another worksheet in the same workbook Refers to the worksheet named Marketing Refers to the range of cells between B1 and B10, inclusively Separates the worksheet reference from the cell range reference The difference between absolute, relative and mixed referencesRelative references A relative cell reference in a formula, such as A1, is based on the relative position of the cell that contains the formula and the cell the reference refers to. If the position of the cell that contains the formula changes, the reference is changed. If you copy or fill the formula across rows or down columns, the reference automatically adjusts. By default, new formulas use relative references. For example, if you copy or fill a relative reference in cell B2 to cell B3, it automatically adjusts from =A1 to =A2.
Copied formula with relative reference Absolute references An absolute cell reference in a formula, such as $A$1, always refer to a cell in a specific location. If the position of the cell that contains the formula changes, the absolute reference remains the same. If you copy or fill the formula across rows or down columns, the absolute reference does not adjust. By default, new formulas use relative references, and you may need to switch them to absolute references. For example, if you copy or fill an absolute reference in cell B2 to cell B3, it stays the same in both cells =$A$1.
Copied formula with absolute reference Mixed references A mixed reference has either an absolute column and relative row, or absolute row and relative column. An absolute column reference takes the form $A1, $B1, and so on. An absolute row reference takes the form A$1, B$1, and so on. If the position of the cell that contains the formula changes, the relative reference is changed, and the absolute reference does not change. If you copy or fill the formula across rows or down columns, the relative reference automatically adjusts, and the absolute reference does not adjust. For example, if you copy or fill a mixed reference from cell A2 to B3, it adjusts from =A$1 to =B$1.
Copied formula with mixed reference The 3D reference styleConveniently referencing multiple worksheets If you want to analyze data in the same cell or range of cells on multiple worksheets within the workbook, use a 3D reference. A 3D reference includes the cell or range reference, preceded by a range of worksheet names. Excel uses any worksheets stored between the starting and ending names of the reference. For example, =SUM(Sheet2:Sheet13!B5) adds all the values contained in cell B5 on all the worksheets between and including Sheet 2 and Sheet 13.
What happens when you move, copy, insert, or delete worksheets The following examples explain what happens when you move, copy, insert, or delete worksheets that are included in a 3D reference. The examples use the formula =SUM(Sheet2:Sheet6!A2:A5) to add cells A2 through A5 on worksheets 2 through 6.
The R1C1 reference styleYou can also use a reference style where both the rows and the columns on the worksheet are numbered. The R1C1 reference style is useful for computing row and column positions in macros (macro: An action or a set of actions that you can use to automate tasks. Macros are recorded in the Visual Basic for Applications programming language.). In the R1C1 style, Excel indicates the location of a cell with an "R" followed by a row number and a "C" followed by a column number.
When you record a macro, Excel records some commands by using the R1C1 reference style. For example, if you record a command such as clicking the AutoSum button to insert a formula that adds a range of cells, Excel records the formula by using R1C1 style, not A1 style, references. You can turn the R1C1 reference style on or off by setting or clearing the R1C1 reference style check box under the Working with formulas section in the Formulas category of the Excel Settings dialog box that you display from the Microsoft Office Button . Using names in formulasYou can create defined names (name: A word or string of characters that represents a cell, range of cells, formula, or constant value. Use easytounderstand names, such as Products, to refer to hard to understand ranges, such as Sales!C20:C30.) to represent cells, ranges of cells, formulas, constant (constant: A value that is not calculated and, therefore, does not change. For example, the number 210, and the text "Quarterly Earnings" are constants. An expression, or a value resulting from an expression, is not a constant.) values, or Excel tables. A name is a meaningful shorthand that makes it easier to understand the purpose of a cell reference (cell reference: The set of coordinates that a cell occupies on a worksheet. For example, the reference of the cell that appears at the intersection of column B and row 3 is B3.), constant (constant: A value that is not calculated. For example, the number 210 and the text "Quarterly Earnings" are constants. An expression, or a value resulting from an expression, is not a constant.), formula (formula: A sequence of values, cell references, names, functions, or operators in a cell that together produce a new value. A formula always begins with an equal sign (=).), or table (table: A collection of data about a particular subject that is stored in records (rows) and fields (columns).), each of which may be difficult to comprehend at first glance. The following information shows common examples of names and how they can improve clarity and understanding.
Types of namesThere are several types of names you can create and use. Defined name A name that represents a cell, range of cells, formula, or constant value. You can create your own defined name, and Excel sometimes creates a defined name for you, such as when you set a print area. Table name A name for an Excel table, which is a collection of data about a particular subject that is stored in records (rows) and fields (columns). Excel creates a default Excel table name of "Table1", "Table2", and so on, each time you insert an Excel table, but you can change the name to make it more meaningful. For more information on Excel tables, see Using structured references with Excel tables. Creating and entering namesYou create a name by using the:
Note By default, names use absolute cell references (absolute cell reference: In a formula, the exact address of a cell, regardless of the position of the cell that contains the formula. An absolute cell reference takes the form $A$1.). You can enter a name by:
For more information, see Use names to clarify formulas. Using array formulas and array constantsAn array formula can perform multiple calculations and then return either a single result or multiple results. Array formulas act on two or more sets of values known as array arguments. Each array argument must have the same number of rows and columns. You create array formulas in the same way that you create other formulas, except you press CTRL+SHIFT+ENTER to enter the formula. Some of the builtin functions are array formulas, and must be entered as arrays to get the correct results. Array constants can be used in place of references when you don't want to enter each constant value in a separate cell on the worksheet. Using an array formula to calculate single and multiple resultsWhen you enter an array formula (array formula: A formula that performs multiple calculations on one or more sets of values, and then returns either a single result or multiple results. Array formulas are enclosed between braces { } and are entered by pressing CTRL+SHIFT+ENTER.), Microsoft Excel automatically inserts the formula between { } (braces). To calculate a single result This type of array formula can simplify a worksheet model by replacing several different formulas with a single array formula. For example, the following calculates the total value of an array of stock prices and shares, without using a row of cells to calculate and display the individual values for each stock.
Array formula that produces a single result When you enter the formula ={SUM(B2:D2*B3:D3)} as an array formula, it multiples the Shares and Price for each stock, and then adds the results of those calculations together. To calculate multiple results Some worksheet functions return arrays of values, or require an array of values as an argument. To calculate multiple results with an array formula, you must enter the array into a range of cells that has the same number of rows and columns as the array arguments. For example, given a series of three sales figures (in column B) for a series of three months (in column A), the TREND function determines the straightline values for the sales figures. To display all of the results of the formula, it is entered into three cells in column C (C1:C3).
Array formula that produces multiple results When you enter the formula =TREND(B1:B3,A1:A3) as an array formula, it produces three separate results (22196, 17079, and 11962), based on the three sales figures and the three months. Using array constantsIn an ordinary formula, you can enter a reference to a cell containing a value, or the value itself, also called a constant (constant: A value that is not calculated and, therefore, does not change. For example, the number 210, and the text "Quarterly Earnings" are constants. An expression, or a value resulting from an expression, is not a constant.). Similarly, in an array formula you can enter a reference to an array, or enter the array of values contained within the cells, also called an array constant. Array formulas accept constants in the same way that nonarray formulas do, but you must enter the array constants in a certain format. Array constants can contain numbers, text, logical values such as TRUE or FALSE, or error values such as #N/A. Different types of values can be in the same array constant — for example, {1,3,4;TRUE,FALSE,TRUE}. Numbers in array constants can be in integer, decimal, or scientific format. Text must be enclosed in double quotation marks — for example, "Tuesday". Array constants cannot contain cell references, columns or rows of unequal length, formulas, or the special characters $ (dollar sign), parentheses, or % (percent sign). When you format array constants, make sure you:
