# Creating simple formulas: Totals and averages

## Video: Creating simple formulas: Totals and averages

In Excel, writing formulas is probably one of the more important things that you do. In fact, in some worksheets they're just loaded with formulas and also with functions as we'll see. In this particular worksheet called "Formulas". It's in the workbook 03-- Creating Formulas and Functions. We need to calculate some answers in row 4. The numbers here are pretty easy, we can do the math in our heads. This is going to be a 20, this is going to be a 30, and so on. We're going to be subtracting these numbers, but what is unusual, at least at first when you work with formulas, is we will not be typing in or using the exact entries 120, 420 or 100.

## Creating simple formulas: Totals and averages

In Excel, writing formulas is probably one of the more important things that you do. In fact, in some worksheets they're just loaded with formulas and also with functions as we'll see. In this particular worksheet called "Formulas". It's in the workbook 03-- Creating Formulas and Functions. We need to calculate some answers in row 4. The numbers here are pretty easy, we can do the math in our heads. This is going to be a 20, this is going to be a 30, and so on. We're going to be subtracting these numbers, but what is unusual, at least at first when you work with formulas, is we will not be typing in or using the exact entries 120, 420 or 100.

We won't be typing those at all. We do this by location. What we're really about to say is "whatever is here minus whatever is there". By implication we're saying that B4 is equal to the difference of those two cells. So, we don't type the B4, it's implied, we type "equal" to begin a formula in Excel. We can type in the B2 minus B3. That's certainly a common way of entering formulas. There is this color coding that takes place as well. When we press Enter, one of the Arrow Keys or Tab, the formula is complete and we have our answer; but the formula gives us the added advantage of, if either of these two cells changes, then our formula reacts and we get a different answer.

In a certain sense, this cell doesn't really contain 20, it contains a formula. When you click on cells--keep an eye on the Formula Bar--it reminds you what the cell contains. If you happen to double-click a cell-- sometimes you'll need to do this to change the formula-- it displays the formula in a color-coded way. Now, if the Overhead number was incorrect and we find out that the Expenses here were really 125, we'll make that change, but we don't have to rewrite our formula, it reacts immediately giving us the correct answer here.

I'm going to undo that with Ctrl+Z. Let's talk about two other ways to enter a formula. Once again, beginning with the equal sign, but this time using Arrow Keys to get to the cells we need. I'm going to press the Up Arrow Key twice. Now, press the minus key on the keyboard and then the Up Arrow Key once-- indicate B3--once again, Enter, same formula, same result. It's just a question of saving a little bit of time by not having to type in addresses. A third way might involve two hands, it might sound like it's going to take longer, but it can be pretty fast as well.

It begins as you would expect--equal sign-- I'm going to click on B2, then minus on the keyboard, then click cell B3, and then Enter. Here too, same result as before, same formula. In cell H2, we need a total of these six cells right here. If we haven't seen much of Excel formulas or other techniques, we're going to be typing =b2+c2+d2, I'm going stop there.

This method will work but I got to put in three more locations. What would happen if this is 12 months of data? Three years of data? This is not the best way, although, it would give us a correct answer ultimately. Let's show a better way. Built-in to Excel is a feature called "Functions" and there are over 400 of them. "Quick capsule description" is a function--is a shortcut for a formula. They can often be a lot more than that. Probably, the most commonly used function by most Excel users is the one called SUM.

Functions begin with the equal sign also, so it indicates they are in the family of formulas. SUM, it's followed by parentheses and within the parentheses we're either going to see a range of cells across a row, possibly down the column or possibly across many, many cells. We can even have commas in different cells located in different locations. But in this example here, we simply want to select the six cells to the left-- and you can click and drag rightward or click and drag leftward, doesn't make any difference--so I've got the mouse right here in G2, hold down the Left Mouse button, drag leftward, there we go, let go of the mouse and we're done, except for pressing Enter.

We don't need to type that right parenthesis, but it would be there anyway--"Enter". That's a function. That's a correct answer. Double-clicking it simply redisplays it and we can also see it of course in the Formula Bar. Add up all the cells, B2 through G2. Now, for an average here, we need to add up those first six months and divide by six, but we already have the total here, so we don't have to really do the addition here. The average begins with equal and here's the amount that's totaled right there on H2, so you can type it or click on it.

Slash for division. You cannot use the slash that goes in the other direction. You'll see the slash on larger keyboards on the number pad, on most standard keyboards it tends to be above the Enter Key. Divide by 6--Enter"-- we've got our average here. Earlier we saw how to use a function here to tabulate totals and before that we saw a simple subtraction of cells right here. Of course, you will see in some formulas a plus sign for addition. The other symbol that we haven't seen just yet is the asterisk which is used for multiplication, but there's no question that formulas are critical to the operation of many, many Excel worksheets.

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#### This video is part of

Excel 2013 Essential Training

82 video lessons · 77062 viewers

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1. ### Introduction

1m 6s
1. Welcome
43s
2. Using the exercise files
23s
2. ### 1. Getting Started with Excel 2013

29m 37s
1. What is Excel used for?
1m 49s
4m 30s
4m 41s
4. The structure of a worksheet or workbook
3m 41s
5. Using the Formula bar
1m 43s
6. Using the Status bar
2m 24s
2m 20s
8. Shortcut menus and the Mini toolbar
3m 24s
9. Using the built-in help
2m 54s
10. Creating new files
2m 11s
3. ### 2. Entering Data

24m 1s
1. Exploring data entry and editing techniques
4m 41s
2. Entering data with AutoFill
4m 6s
3. Working with dates and times
3m 32s
4. Using Undo and Redo
4m 50s
2m 55s
6. Using Save or Save As
3m 57s
4. ### 3. Creating Formulas and Functions

30m 7s
1. Creating simple formulas: Totals and averages
5m 25s
2. Copying a formula for adjacent cells
2m 54s
3. Calculating year-to-date profits
3m 9s
4. Creating a percentage-increase formula
4m 7s
5. Working with relative, absolute, and mixed references
4m 7s
6. Using SUM and AVERAGE
3m 25s
7. Using other common functions
7m 0s
5. ### 4. Formatting

46m 7s
1. Exploring font styles and effects
4m 7s
2. Adjusting row heights and column widths
3m 37s
3. Working with alignment and Wrap Text
4m 2s
4. Designing borders
3m 26s
5. Exploring numeric and special formatting
5m 36s
6. Formatting numbers and dates
4m 31s
7. Conditional formatting
4m 21s
8. Creating and using tables
9m 59s
9. Inserting shapes, arrows, and other visual features
6m 28s
6. ### 5. Adjusting Worksheet Layout and Data

20m 40s
1. Inserting and deleting rows and columns
4m 52s
2. Hiding and unhiding rows and columns
4m 2s
3. Moving, copying, and inserting data
5m 42s
4. Finding and replacing data
6m 4s
7. ### 6. Printing

17m 51s
1. Exploring the Page Layout tab and view
7m 20s
2. Previewing page breaks
4m 56s
3. Working with Page Setup and printing controls
5m 35s
8. ### 7. Introduction to Charting

30m 30s
1. Creating charts
4m 36s
2. Exploring chart types
7m 47s
3. Formatting charts
5m 42s
4. Working with axes, labels, gridlines, and other chart elements
5m 35s
5. Creating in-cell charts with sparklines
6m 50s
9. ### 8. Adjusting Worksheet Views

12m 49s
1. Freezing and unfreezing panes
2m 39s
2. Splitting screens horizontally and vertically
4m 48s
3. Showing necessary information with the Outlining feature
5m 22s
10. ### 9. Multiple Worksheets and Workbooks

23m 0s
1. Displaying multiple worksheets and workbooks
4m 17s
2. Renaming, inserting, and deleting sheets
2m 23s
3. Moving, copying, and grouping sheets
3m 39s
4. Using formulas to link worksheets and workbooks
6m 1s
6m 40s
11. ### 10. IF, VLOOKUP, and Power Functions

20m 25s
1. Using IF functions and relational operators
3m 43s
2. Getting approximate table data with the VLOOKUP function
7m 6s
3. Getting exact table data with the VLOOKUP function
4m 42s
4. Using the COUNTIF family of functions
4m 54s
12. ### 11. Security and Sharing

23m 50s
1. Unlocking cells and protecting worksheets
7m 50s
2. Protecting workbooks
2m 40s
4m 41s
4. Sharing workbooks
4m 7s
5. Tracking changes
4m 32s
13. ### 12. Database Features

28m 32s
1. Sorting data
6m 9s
2. Inserting subtotals in a sorted list
8m 25s
3. Using filters
6m 16s
4. Splitting data into multiple columns
5m 4s
5. Removing duplicate records
2m 38s
14. ### 13. PivotTables

35m 2s
1. Creating PivotTables
8m 36s
2. Manipulating PivotTable data
9m 47s
3. Grouping by date and time
6m 0s
4. Grouping by other factors
2m 33s
5. Using slicers to clarify and manipulate fields
4m 7s
6. Using PivotCharts
3m 59s
15. ### 14. Data Analysis Tools

23m 29s
1. Using Goal Seek
6m 8s
2. Using Solver
6m 34s
3. Using Scenario Manager
6m 11s
4. Using Data Tables
4m 36s
16. ### 15. Introduction to Macros

24m 31s
1. Definition and examples
6m 48s
2. Creating a simple macro
7m 0s
3. Running a macro
10m 43s
17. ### Conclusion

29s
1. Next steps
29s

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