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Formulas are used to specify calculations based on values in designated cells. Excel supports basic calculations as well as statistical, trigonometric and other specialized functions.
Formulas used in Excel must follow a certain syntax.
All formulas begin with an equals sign (=).
Some formulas use operands such as +,-, *,/ for addition, subtraction, multiplication or division. For example, the formula =A1+A2+A3 would add the contents of cells A1, A2 and A3.
Other formulas refer to different functions such as SUM, AVERAGE and others. For example, the formula =SUM(A1:A3) would add the contents for the range A1 through A3.
Formulas can be combined with operands. For example, the formula =10*SUM(A1:A3) would add the contents cells A1 through A3 and multiply them by 10.
Functions can be nested within each other. For example, the formula =SQRT(10*SUM(A1:A3)) would take the square root of ten times the sum of cells A1 through A3. When functions are nested, it is important that the number of left parentheses match the number of right parentheses.
Ok - if your question is "What is Excel" - then the answer is that it is a spreadsheet program that allows you the ability to compute data (usually numbers) for example, pulling together a list of hours worked by employees and adding them up automatically. It also can be used to develop sophisticated computational models and I have used it to develop professional services proposal sizing tools using formulas and functions ... which is a good segwey into my other answer.
If your question is "what is a function or formula in Excel" - then the answer is a function or formula in Excel is a collection of mathematical, text, statistical, etc. preprogrammed tools that allows you to manipulate the data you have in your spreadsheet e.g. a SUM() function that adds a series of numbers, and AVERAGE() funtion that computes the average of a series of numbers, etc.
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Any formula in Excel starts with the equals sign ("="). This is how Excel distinguishes between formulas and literal values. Knowing this, you can create lots of formulas using the usual operators of +, -, * and / for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, respectively. Please see the examples below.
Add 1 + 1: =1+1
Add the contents of cell A1 to the contents of cell B1: =A1+B1
Subtract 2 - 1: =2-1
Add the contents of cell A1 from the contents of cell B1: =B1-A1
Multiply 1 times 2: =1*2
Multiply the contents of cell A1 times the contents of cell B1: =A1*B1
I hope this resolves the question. If not, please let me know.
That depends on which version of Excel you are using. Excel 2003 supports up to 65,335 formulas Excel 2007 has no limit. you can communicate between the worksheets which are contained by one workbook (one excel-file). Communicating between files cannot be done with formula's.