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Creating formulas

From: Excel 2003 Essential Training

Video: Creating formulas

Before we begin we should talk about the building blocks that we have at our disposal for making a complete statement. I've created a chart. If you look in your student folders under a folder called Extras, you'll see this sheet that I've created that outlines the mathematical operators that you have at your disposal. Within a complete formula you will have mathematical operators, a cell reference possibly, values or text, and some functions. Functions are covered in a later lesson, so we won't be talking about them too much here. The reason I built this chart, and it's made for printing so go ahead and print it off and stick it somewhere in your desk. I made it for those people who may have been out of school for a little while and not familiar with all of the operators, plus the symbols have changed a little bit from the ones that you use to write. Addition, subtraction, multiplication and division; those are pretty straightforward, and they get used in a variety of applications, so you may be familiar with those. But things like concatenation, or adding exponents or any of the logical operators may be completely foreign to you. Take a look at them here and understand that at least they're at your disposal. A statement that says this is less than that, will simply produce a true or false, a yes or no. A statement that says if this is less than that, will allow you to go on and perform an action, and that's where those logical operators really come into play, but I'm getting ahead of myself. Now it's time to open up the Quarterly_Sales spreadsheet again and once again I've created a special version just for this lesson, so please don't use one of the older ones from the Recently Opened file list. Browse with me to the Student Folders, mine are on the Desktop and here in Lesson 06 Formulas Introduction, we have Quarterly_Sales, and I already have that open so I'm not going to do that. So I'll just cancel, but you can open that up if you will, and here we are, and you can see, right here, I've started to add up the totals for this quarter.

Creating formulas

Before we begin we should talk about the building blocks that we have at our disposal for making a complete statement. I've created a chart. If you look in your student folders under a folder called Extras, you'll see this sheet that I've created that outlines the mathematical operators that you have at your disposal. Within a complete formula you will have mathematical operators, a cell reference possibly, values or text, and some functions. Functions are covered in a later lesson, so we won't be talking about them too much here. The reason I built this chart, and it's made for printing so go ahead and print it off and stick it somewhere in your desk. I made it for those people who may have been out of school for a little while and not familiar with all of the operators, plus the symbols have changed a little bit from the ones that you use to write. Addition, subtraction, multiplication and division; those are pretty straightforward, and they get used in a variety of applications, so you may be familiar with those. But things like concatenation, or adding exponents or any of the logical operators may be completely foreign to you. Take a look at them here and understand that at least they're at your disposal. A statement that says this is less than that, will simply produce a true or false, a yes or no. A statement that says if this is less than that, will allow you to go on and perform an action, and that's where those logical operators really come into play, but I'm getting ahead of myself. Now it's time to open up the Quarterly_Sales spreadsheet again and once again I've created a special version just for this lesson, so please don't use one of the older ones from the Recently Opened file list. Browse with me to the Student Folders, mine are on the Desktop and here in Lesson 06 Formulas Introduction, we have Quarterly_Sales, and I already have that open so I'm not going to do that. So I'll just cancel, but you can open that up if you will, and here we are, and you can see, right here, I've started to add up the totals for this quarter.

Now although the value of that cell is 115,860 and it's all formatted nicely to represent dollars, the actual contents of the cell you can see up here in the Formula bar. A formula never really gets seen inside of a spreadsheet unless you do some special things to force it to show the formula behind the scenes. This formula is made up of a number of operators. The equal sign here, although it is a logical operator, is also the first indication to Excel that you want to begin a formula. If at any time within a cell you type the equal sign, let me do that here, equals b1, then what I'm telling Excel is that I want this cell to equal B1. So the operator is equals and the cell reference is B1. Let me just get rid of that. The formula that I've entered here in B7, a little more useful, is adding up the totals from B2, B3, B4, and B5, and I've explicitly said add this to this, and this to this and this to this. Now we've only used the addition operator here, and you'll notice that all of our statement is included in brackets. That's not entirely necessary, but here's another reminder I'll give you, for people who've been away from the classroom a little bit. When I was studying math, way back maybe in the fourth or fifth grade, my math teacher said BEDMAS. I'm not sure if you remember the term BEDMAS, or if you were ever taught the term. BEDMAS. BEDMAS is an acronym, reminder of the order of operations within a spreadsheet. It goes like this: brackets, exponents, division and multiplication in the order that they appear, addition and subtraction in the order that they appear. And it means brackets are going to take precedence over exponents. Whereas an exponent is going to take precedence over an addition or a multiplication. So the order that you see them there is the order of importance. What this means for you is if I say equals, now I've started a formula inside of Excel. Two plus three times four divided by two. Let's see what value we get there; 8. Now let's figure that one out. Let's go up to our Formula bar. If I add two plus three, that's five, times four should be 20, divided by two would be 10, and yet the value is 8.

According to BEDMAS, three times four would be 12, divided by two is six, plus two is eight, and again it's the order of operations. In a mathematical statement multiplication and division will always take precedence over an addition or subtraction sign. So it does all of the multiplication and division first and then goes back and gets the addition, even though the addition came first in our statement. So that's where brackets come in to play, and that's why I've used brackets in this formula, just out of good habit and good practice, I've put everything in brackets in case I want to do further calculations later on. How we can change this formula to meet what we were thinking in the first place, possibly I'm going to edit it up here in the Formula bar is to put this statement in brackets, this part of the statement in brackets. There we go. Now because brackets are first in the order of importance, as far as BEDMAS, that means that you're going to have two plus three happen first and then you'll multiply the result by four and divide by two, and let's see if we get 10 this time. Yes indeed. So now we have 2 plus 3 is 5, times 4 is 20, divided by 2 is 10. We've explicitly told it what order we want a function in, and that's an important lesson to learn. So there's BEDMAS in action, and there's a brief introduction to creating formulas. We'll take a look at some of the other issues relative to creating formulas next.

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This video is part of

Image for Excel 2003 Essential Training
Excel 2003 Essential Training

65 video lessons · 51521 viewers

Mark Swift
Author

 
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  1. 16s
    1. Welcome
      16s
  2. 22m 44s
    1. Spreadsheet uses
      1m 59s
    2. Toolbars and menus
      8m 53s
    3. Moving around
      8m 1s
    4. Getting help
      3m 51s
  3. 18m 43s
    1. Opening new workbooks
      5m 13s
    2. Entering data
      6m 12s
    3. Commenting and saving
      7m 18s
  4. 17m 31s
    1. Opening worksheets
      1m 55s
    2. Add and delete worksheets
      2m 23s
    3. Insert and delete cells
      3m 46s
    4. Worksheet data
      9m 27s
  5. 36m 0s
    1. Width and height
      6m 7s
    2. Numeric formats
      6m 1s
    3. Alignment of data
      3m 43s
    4. Naming cells and ranges
      5m 48s
    5. Naming constants
      1m 52s
    6. Creating lists
      5m 48s
    7. Autofilter
      4m 13s
    8. Designated lists
      2m 28s
  6. 11m 19s
    1. Print options
      5m 51s
    2. Printing and hiding data
      1m 58s
    3. Headers and footers
      3m 30s
  7. 21m 52s
    1. Creating formulas
      6m 30s
    2. Relative and absolute
      6m 1s
    3. External references
      6m 0s
    4. Named constants
      3m 21s
  8. 7m 47s
    1. Functions
      7m 47s
  9. 19m 6s
    1. Fonts and merging
      3m 52s
    2. Rotate and indent
      1m 47s
    3. Borders
      2m 41s
    4. Shading and format painter
      2m 30s
    5. Rename and color worksheet tabs
      1m 52s
    6. Working with pictures
      6m 24s
  10. 11m 31s
    1. Templates
      3m 45s
    2. Styles
      3m 55s
    3. Autoformat
      55s
    4. Smart documents
      2m 56s
  11. 13m 15s
    1. Chart terminology
      2m 23s
    2. Chart wizard
      5m 10s
    3. Formatting charts
      3m 22s
    4. Inserting images
      1m 42s
    5. Printing charts
      38s
  12. 5m 1s
    1. File search
      1m 51s
    2. Find and replace
      3m 10s
  13. 8m 19s
    1. Import from Word
      1m 17s
    2. Delimited data
      2m 53s
    3. Import from the web
      1m 49s
    4. Exporting data
      2m 20s
  14. 7m 54s
    1. Consolidation
      5m 12s
    2. 3D formulas
      2m 42s
  15. 5m 33s
    1. Multiple panes
      1m 12s
    2. More screen options
      4m 21s
  16. 13m 37s
    1. If
      2m 22s
    2. Time
      4m 16s
    3. Date and time
      2m 14s
    4. Lookup
      4m 45s
  17. 6m 55s
    1. Compare text
      3m 27s
    2. Concatenation
      1m 47s
    3. Special characters
      1m 41s
  18. 6m 10s
    1. Pivot tables
      6m 10s
  19. 16m 0s
    1. Recording a macro
      8m 43s
    2. Macro menus
      3m 45s
    3. Global macros
      3m 32s
  20. 11s
    1. Goodbye
      11s

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