Formulas are equations that can perform calculations, return information, manipulate the contents of other cells, test conditions, and more. A formula always starts with an equal sign (=).
The following table shows some examples of formulas and their descriptions.
Formula 
Description 
=5+2*3 
Adds 5 to the product of 2 times 3. 
=SQRT(A1) 
Uses the SQRT function to return the square root of the value in A1. 
=TODAY() 
Returns the current date. 
=IF(A1>0,"Plus","Minus") 
Tests the cell A1 to determine if it contains a value greater than 0. If the result of the test is true, the text "Plus" appears in the cell; if the result is false, the text "Minus" appears. 
How?

Select a cell and start typing
In a cell, type an equal sign (=) to start the formula.


Fill in the rest of the formula
Do one of the following:
 Type a combination of numbers and operators; for example, 3+7.
 Use the mouse to select other cells (inserting an operator between them). For example, select B1 and then type a plus sign (+), select C1 and type +, and then select D1.
 Type a letter to choose from a list of worksheet functions. For example, typing "a" displays all available functions that start with the letter "a."


Complete the formula
 To complete a formula that uses a combination of numbers, cell references, and operators, press ENTER.
 To complete a formula that uses a function, fill in the required information for the function and then press ENTER. For example, the ABS function requires one numeric value — this can be a number that you type, or a cell that you select that contains a number.
Your completed formulas might look like the following examples:
Formula 
Description 
=3+7 
Adds two numbers 
=B1+C1+D1 
Adds the values in three cells 
=ABS(3) 
Converts a number to its positive value 

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