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Dust off your old math skills, we're getting into the meat of the Excel application now. Formulas are equations that perform calculations on values in your worksheet. You'll use them to save yourself time, when you need to repeat the same set of calculations to a large range of numbers. Open up a brand new worksheet. We've been ignoring this formula bar quite a bit so far, but now this is where our focus is going to go. Every formula begins with an equals sign. So let's go to cell A1 and see the difference between putting in 3+3 in Excel, and then moving over to cell C1 and putting inputting = 3 +3. Notice that when you put in the equals sign, the formula bar becomes active. And you know it's become active because you get these two new icons here. You have the Council icon, or the X, which removes the information you've put in the formula bar, and you get the Enter icon, or the check mark, which will accept the information that you put in. Watch what happens when I hit the Enter.
I get the answer, number 6. Notice how that's different than when I typed in 3+3 in cell A1 without the equals sign ahead of it. What's happening here? Well, in cell A1, the 3+3 there is seen as just in general format, and Excel does not do anything with it because it did not see the equals sign ahead of it. But in cell C1, because there was an equals sign at the beginning of that string of numbers, it indicated to Excel that it had to perform a calculation, which it's done in C1. So there's the big difference between putting in information with or without an equals sign in the application. The equals sign tells Excel to go ahead and calculate whatever it finds after words, where as if I don't put it in, it's just thinking I'm typing in some information and putting it in the cell as text in this example.
Another thing you're going to need to know when you're working with formulas in Excel is, what kind of operands or how do I tell Excel how to do the calculations? What keys do I type in to let it know I want it to divide something? Here's what it accepts. if I want to subtract two numbers from each other, I would put in a subtraction number or a hyphen. Just as I normally would. So 5-2 gives me 3. Moving over to cell H 1, I want to put in a formula that multiplies two numbers together. So let's put in 2 *, and I use the Shift+8 to get the asterix, which is the symbol for multiplying numbers together in Excel.
2*3 gives me 6. So the symbol to multiply information together is an asterix. Move over to cell I1. To divide numbers, 8 divided by, I use the slash right at the very bottom of my keyboard to the left of the shift key, the slash, 8 /2 is 4. Those are the basic operators that you're going to use within Excel.
You can combine those to get more complicated formulas and we'll be talking about the order of operations in our next movie.
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