About formulas

Formulas are equations that perform calculations on values in a list. A formula starts with an equal sign (=). For example, the following formula multiplies 2 by 3 and then adds 5 to the result.


You can use a formula in a calculated column and to calculate default values for a column.

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

Parts of a formula


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

References (or column names)     [Result] represents the value in the Result column for the current row.

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.

A formulas might use one or more of the above elements. Here are some examples of formulas (in order of complexity).

ShowSimple formulas (such as =128+345)

The following formulas contain literal values and operators.

Example Description
=128+345 Adds 128 and 345
=5^2 Squares 5

ShowFormulas that contain column references (such as =[Revenue] - [Cost])

The following formulas refer to other columns in the same list.

Example Description
=[Revenue] Use the value in the Revenue column
=[Revenue]*10/100 10% of the value in the Revenue column
=[Revenue] > [Cost] Returns Yes if the value in the Revenue column is greater than the value in the Cost column

ShowFormulas that call functions (such as =AVG(1, 2, 3, 4, 5))

The following formulas call built-in functions.

Example Description
=MAX(Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4) Returns the largest value in a set of values
=IF(Cost>Revenue, "Not OK", "OK") Returns Not OK if cost is greater than revenue. Else, returns OK.
=DAY("15-Apr-2008") Returns a day part of a date. This formula returns the number 15.

ShowFormulas with nested functions (such as =SUM(ROUND([Cost],2),[Profit])

The following formulas specify one or more functions as function arguments.

Example Description
=SUM(IF(A>B, A-B, 10), C)

The IF function returns the difference between the values in columns A and B, or 10.

The SUM function adds the return value of the IF function and the value in column C.


The PI function returns the number 3.14159265358979.

The DEGREES function converts a value specified in radians to degrees. This formula returns the value 180.


The FIND function searches for the string BD in Column1 and returns the starting position of the string. It returns an error value if the string is not found.

The ISNUMBER function returns Yes if the FIND function returned a numeric value. Else, it returns No.

Applies to:
Windows Sharepoint Services 2.0