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How to Do Everything With Microsoft Office 2003

How to Do Everything With Microsoft Office 2003

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Published by: Muahammad Tufail Awan on Oct 22, 2012
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PerformingmathematicaloperationsinExcelisprettysimple,andeventhemorecomplex

calculations can be performed with functions, built by tools that guide you through the process

of“doingthemath.”Forformulasyoucreatefromscratch,however,youneedtoknowthe

math behind the operation. If you want to figure out the difference between last year’s sales and

this year’s, you need to know how to structure that formula—is it this year’s minus last year’s

or last year’s minus this year’s? Once you know how the math should go, however, constructing

the formula is easy, and Excel will perform the calculations flawlessly. And unlike your speedy

fingers on a calculator, Excel won’t make a mistake.

When it comes to calculations on an Excel worksheet, they’re generally performed by telling

Excel to take one cell’s numeric content and add it to, subtract it from, multiply it by, or divide

it by another cell’s content. For example, if the number 50 is in cell B5 and the number 72 is in

cellC5andyouwanttomultiplythem,theformulashouldmultiplyB5timesC5,not50times75.

Why? So that if you change the number in B5 to 60, the result changes automatically. If you

use the actual numbers in the formula, you have to redo the formula from the beginning, editing

the formula within the worksheet to recalculate with new numbers. By using cell addresses in the

formula, whatever’s in the cell is used in the formula, and changes need only be made in the cell

in order to see them reflected in the formula result.

Excel has some basic structural requirements for formulas. First, the formula goes in the

cell where the result should be, not in any of the cells that contribute to the formula. As shown

next, the formula that calculates the difference between two years’sales goes in the Difference

column, and it refers to cells in the 2001 Sales and 2002 Sales columns.

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CHAPTER 11: Working with Formulas and Functions 199

HowTo-Tght (8)/ How to Do Everything with Microsoft Office 2003 / Ulrich / 222937-3 / Chapter11

The second requirement is that all formulas begin with an equal sign. Why? Think of it this

way: “This cell is EQUAL to...” as you click in a cell to start a formula. If you think of each

formula as simply a sentence, expressed mathematically, you won’t forget the equal sign, and it

can also help you organize your formula in your head before you begin to create it.

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