Formulas contain information to perform a numerical calculation such as adding, subtracting, or multiplying. All formulas must start with an equal sign (=), followed by:

- Values or cell references joined by an operator. Example: =5+3 or =A1+A2.
- A
*function*name followed by parentheses containing function arguments. Functions are the most common way to enter formulas in Excel. Example: =SUM(A1:A2).

### Create a Formula

Here's how to create a formula in Excel.

- Click the cell where you want to add the formula.
- Press
**=**.Now you must specify what to calculate.

- Enter the formula.
Your formula should include:

**Values**, like the number 5.**Cell References**, like cell A1. You can add cell references by typing them or clicking the cell you want to reference.**Operators**, or math symbols you want to use in your calculations:

+ (add)

- (subtract)

* (multiply)

/ (divide)

- Click the
**Enter**button or press**Enter**when you're finished entering your formula.If you entered the formula correctly, the results of the formula will appear in the cell.

Operator | Formula Example | Description |
---|---|---|

= | All formulas must start with an equal sign. | |

+ | =2+2 | Add values. |

- | =A1-B1 | Subtract values. |

* | =B1*2 | Multiply values. |

/ | =A1/C2 | Divide values. |

SUM | =SUM(A1:A3) | Totals numbers in a range. |

Average | =AVERAGE(A2,B1,C3) | Averages numbers in a range. |

### Automatic Recalculation

If you change the data referenced in a formula, Excel will automatically recalculate the formula to include the updated data.

- Change the values of the cells that are referenced in a formula.

Any formulas are automatically recalculated with the changes.

### Edit a Formula

It's easy to make changes to a formula too.

- Click the formula you want to edit.
- Click in the
**Formula bar**. - Edit the formula.
- Press
**Enter**.

Excel updates the value of the cell(s) that your formula calculates.

### The Formulas Tab

The Formulas tab on the ribbon contains multiple commands that you can use when working with formulas.

- Click the
**Formulas**tab.The Formulas tab displays. There are two main areas to the tab:

- The
**left side**has options to help you create formulas and - The
**right side**has options to help fix errors.

- The