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Overview of formulas
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Formulas are equations that perform calculations on values in your worksheet. A formula starts with an equal sign (=). For example, the following formula multiplies 2 by 3 and then adds 5 to the result. =5+2*3

A formula can also contain any or all of the following: functions (function: A prewritten formula that takes a value or values, performs an operation, and returns a value or values. Use functions to simplify and shorten formulas on a worksheet, especially those that perform lengthy or complex calculations.), references, operators (operator: A sign or symbol that specifies the type of calculation to perform within an expression. There are mathematical, comparison, logical, and reference operators.), and constants (constant: A value that is not calculated and, therefore, does not change. For example, the number 210, and the text "Quarterly Earnings" are constants. An expression, or a value resulting from an expression, is not a constant.).

Parts of a formula
Functions: The PI() function returns the value of pi: 3.142... References: A2 returns the value in cell A2.
Constants: Numbers or text values entered directly into a formula, such as 2. Operators: The ^ (caret) operator raises a number to a power, and the * (asterisk) operator multiplies.

Using constants in formulas
A constant is a value that is not calculated. For example, the date 10/9/2008.An expression, or a value resulting from an expression, is not a constant. If you use constant values in the formula instead of references to the cells (for example, =30+70+110), the result changes only if you modify the formula yourself.

Using calculation operators in formulas
Operators specify the type of calculation that you want to perform on the elements of a formula. There is a default order in which calculations occur, but you can change this order by using parentheses.

Types of operators
There are four different types of calculation operators: arithmetic, comparison, text concatenation, and reference.

Arithmetic operators
To perform basic mathematical operations such as addition, subtraction, or multiplication; combine numbers; and produce numeric results, use the following arithmetic operators.ILLUSTRATION

Comparison operators
You can compare two values with the following operators. When two values are compared by using these operators, the result is a logical value either TRUE or FALSE. Comparison operator
Meaning
Example
= (equal sign)
Equal to
A1=B1
> (greater than sign)
Greater than
A1>B1
< (less than sign)
Less than
A1= (greater than or equal to sign)
Greater than or equal to
A1>=B1
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