**What Is Write Basic Formulas In Excel?**

The

Write Formula in Excelhelps us to create a basic formula to perform the required mathematical calculations. The formula starts with the ‘=’ sign, followed by constants and arithmetic operators.

The

ExcelWrite Formulahelps users insert formulas using inbuilt functions to conduct complex mathematical evaluations in domains such as finance and statistics.

For example, the table below contains the total income and expenses figures.

We will determine the difference between the two values to obtain the total savings in cell E3.

Therefore, choose cell **E3**, **Write the Formula =C3-D3, **to subtract the total income and expenses figures, and achieve the required output, as shown below.

In the above example, the formula accepts the references to the cells containing the total income and expenses data, cells **C3** and **C4**. And then, it subtracts the two values to return the difference, **$4,000**, as the required total savings value in the target cell.

And, as the inputs are two currency values, the target cell also retains the same format to show the result as a currency value.

##### Table of contents

###### Key Takeaways

- The
**Write Formula in Excel**enables one to build from simple to advance formulas for performing a wide range of mathematical calculations. - Users can manually Write Formulas for conducting arithmetic evaluations. And Excel’s inbuilt functions help users to perform complex calculations and solve mathematical problems in the fields such as finance, statistics, and engineering.
- We can directly type the formula in a cell or choose the cell and enter the formula in the Formula Bar.
- We can use constants, cell references to values, named cells and ranges, inbuilt functions, and arithmetic operators to create a formula in Excel.

**How To Write/Insert Formulas In Excel?**

We can insert or **Write Formulas in Excel** using three methods, namely:

**Using constants and arithmetic operators.****Using cell references and arithmetic operators.****Using defined names and arithmetic operators.**

#### Method #1 – Using Constants and Arithmetic Operators

It is useful when the calculation is simple and involves a few values.

The steps to **Write Formulas in Excel** using constants and arithmetic operators are as follows:

- Choose the cell where we must insert the formula.
- Enter the
**‘=’**symbol, followed by the constants and the arithmetic operators, to build the required formula. - Press
**Enter**to execute the inserted formula in the chosen cell.

##### Example #1

The table below contains the mass and acceleration values.

We will determine the product of the two values to obtain the Force value in cell **D4**.

The steps to **Write Formula in Excel cell** **D4** to multiply the two values are,

**Step 1: **Choose cell **D4**, and enter the formula*=10*2.5*

[Alternatively, select cell **D4**, click, and **Write Formula in Excel Formula Bar**.

The cursor will remain in the Formula Bar, as shown above.]

**Step 2: **Press **Enter** to execute the formula, and view the required product value in the target cell.

The formula multiplies the two specified values to return their product, **25**, as shown above.

#### Method #2 – Using Cell References and Arithmetic Operators

We can supply the cell references to the values while inserting a formula in a cell. And the benefit of using this technique is that if we revise the values in the referred cells, the values get updated in the formula. And it recalculates the new result automatically.

The steps to **Write Formulas In Excel** using cell references and arithmetic operators are as follows:

- Choose the cell where we must enter the formula.
- Enter the
**‘=’**symbol. And then, we must click the cells containing the values to insert the corresponding cell references in the formula. Otherwise, we can type the required cell references in excel. And include the applicable operators in the formula to complete the expression. - Press
**Enter**to execute the inserted formula in the target cell.

**Example #2**

Cell **C2** in the below image shows the calculation we must perform. And the second table contains the values to use for the evaluation in the target cell **E5**.

Then, we can use the cell references to the three values and include the applicable arithmetic operators to create the required formula in the target cell. The steps are,

**Step 1: **Select cell **E5**, and start typing in the formula with the ‘**=**’ symbol and ‘**(**‘, as *=(*

**Step 2: **Click cell **B5** to select it.

Next, enter the **‘*’** symbol and click cell **D5** to choose it.

And then, enter the ‘**)**’, ‘**/**’, and click cell **C5** to enter it in the formula.

[Alternatively, we can type in the required cell references and the appropriate operators in the required order in cell **E5**.

Otherwise, choose cell **E5**, click the Formula Bar, and insert the formula as explained in steps 1 & 2.

Or, as depicted above, we can directly type the formula containing the cell references and the operators in the required order in the Formula Bar.]

**Step 3: **Press **Enter** to execute the expression and view the required value in cell **E5**.

The formula accepts the cell **B5** value, **3**, and the cell **D5** value, **5000**. It then multiplies the two values to determine their product, **15000**. Next, it accepts the cell **C5** value, **4**. And finally, it divides the value in the numerator, **15000**, with the value in the denominator, **4**, to return the value **3750** as 3/4^{th} of 5000.

#### Method #3 – Using Defined Names and Arithmetic Operators

We can define names for cells or ranges of cells containing the values required to perform the calculations and use them with the operators to write formulas in Excel.

The steps to **Write Formulas in Excel** using defined names and arithmetic operators are as follows:

- Select the cell for which we must create a defined name. And enter the required name in the Name Box in excel. [Alternatively, we can select the cell and choose the
**Define Name**option in the**Formulas**tab or press**Alt**+**M**+**M**+**D**to open the**New Name**window. And then, we can enter the required name for the chosen cell in the**Name**field in the**New Name**window.

On the other hand, we can select the cell and use the option **Name Manager** in the **Formulas** tab or press **Ctrl **+ **F3** to open the **Name Manager** window. And then, when we click **New**, the **New Name **window will open, where we can complete the cell name defining process, as explained earlier.]

- Choose the cell where we must enter the formula.
- Enter the ‘
**=**’ symbol. And then, type the first few initial characters of the defined name of the first cell, whose value we must use in the calculation. And Excel will list all the defined names starting with the specified characters. Next, double-click the required defined name to include it in the formula. And include the applicable operators and the remaining defined names to include the corresponding cells in the formula and complete the expression. - Press
**Enter**to execute the inserted formula in the target cell.

**Example #3**

The first table contains the inputs required to determine the simple interest value in cell **E7**. And the target cell’s data format is **Currency** in **Home **– **Number Format**.

The steps to use the defined names and arithmetic operators for writing a simple interest formula in cell **E7** are,

**Step 1: **Choose cell **E3**, and enter the term “**Principal**” in the Name Box to set a defined name for the chosen cell.

[Alternatively, we can choose cell **E3**, and select **Formulas **– **Define Name**.

The **New Name **window will open.

Next, update the name in the **Name **field to set a defined name for the chosen cell. And click **OK**.

Otherwise, we can choose **Formulas** – **Name Manager**.

The **Name Manager** window will open, where we must click the “**New” **option.

The **New Name** window will open, as shown below.

And we must update the **Name** field with the name we need to define for the required cell and the reference to the specific cell in the **Refers to **field, in the **New Name** window.

Clicking **OK** will close the **New Name** window, and reopen the **Name Manager** window, where we can view the newly created defined name for cell **E3**.

Finally, click “**Close**” to close the window.]

**Step 2: **Iterate step 1 to define names for cells **E4 **and** E5** as **Rate** and **Time**.

**Step 3: **Choose cell **E7**, and enter the ‘**=**’ symbol. And then, enter the first few characters of the defined name, **Principal**, set for cell **E3**.

Excel will list the defined names and inbuilt functions starting with the specified characters. Double-click on the required defined name, **Principal**, to select it.

Next, enter the arithmetic operator **‘*’**. And then, enter the second defined name, **Rate**, as explained above, to include the cell **E4** value in the formula.

And then, enter **‘*’**, and the defined name for the cell **E5** to complete the formula.

**Step 4: **Press **Enter** to execute the formula, and view the required simple interest value, **$100**, in the target cell.

The cell **E7** formula accepts the value in the cell with the defined name **Principal**,** $1,000**. Next, it accepts the value in the cell with the defined name **Rate**,** 5%**. And then, the formula multiplies the two values to give their product, **50**.

Further, the formula accepts the value in the cell the defined name **Time** references, **2**. And finally, it multiplies the previously determined product, **50**, by the last input value, **2**, to return the required simple interest value as **$100**.

**How To Use Built-In Excel Functions?**

In some scenarios, we may be **unable to Write Formula in Excel** directly. Then, we can use Excel’s built-in functions to build formulas for quickly performing easy to the most cumbersome calculations.

We can use the built-in functions to **Write Formula in Excel** by following the below methods:

**Access from the Formulas tab in the Excel ribbon.****Enter the function in the Excel cell manually.**

**Method #1 – Access from The Formulas tab In the Excel ribbon**

The steps to insert the required inbuilt function from the **Formulas** tab are as follows:

- Choose the cell where we must enter the required formula using the inbuilt function.
- Select the
**Formulas**tab – Click the**Insert Function**wizard to open the**Insert Function**window. Otherwise, we can click the**Insert Function**icon on the left of the Formula Bar to access the**Insert Function**window.

Here, we can enter the function description in the **Search for a function **field if we are unsure about the function name. Otherwise, if we know the function name and the category it belongs to, we can select the category, and choose the function from the list in the **Select a function **field. And then clicking **OK **will open the **Function Arguments** window.

[Alternatively, if we know the function name and the category it belongs to, choose the target cell and select the **Formulas **tab. We can find a list of function categories in the **Function Library** group in the **Formulas **tab, where we can click the required category. And then click the required inbuilt function from the functions listed in the chosen category to open the **Function Arguments **window.]

- Update the chosen function argument values in the corresponding fields provided in the
**Function Arguments**window. - Press
**OK**to view the function return value in the target cell.

#### Example #1 – SUM Function

The table below contains the unit’s sold data for two products.

To determine the total units of the two products sold and display the output in cell F7, we can use the **SUM()** in the target cell to obtain the required data as follows:

**Step 1: **Select cell **F7**, and choose **Formulas **– **Insert Function**.

[Alternatively, we can choose cell **F7** and click the **Insert Function **button.

The option is next to the Formula Bar.]

The **Insert Function** window will open.

**Step 2: **As the **SUM()** is a mathematical function in excel,we can select the category **Math & Trig**.

And then, we can scroll down the functions list to choose **SUM()**.

Next, clicking **OK** will open the **Function Arguments **window.

**Step 3: **With the cursor in the first field in the **Function Arguments** window, drag the mouse cursor across the cell range **F4:I5** to choose the cell range of numbers to add.

And as we do not have further numbers to add, we need not update any argument value in the next field.

**Step 4: **Click **OK** to view the **SUM()** return value, **2494**, in the target cell **F7**.

[Alternatively, choose cell **F7,** and select **Formulas **– **Math & Trig **– **SUM** function.

The above step will open the **Function Arguments** window, where we must update the argument value in the first field.

And click **OK** to execute the **SUM()**, as explained earlier.]

**Method #2 – Enter the Function in the Excel Cell Manually**

The steps to insert the required inbuilt function directly into a cell are as follows:

- Choose the cell where we must enter the required formula using the inbuilt function.
- Type the ‘
**=**’ symbol, the function name, and ‘**(**‘. [Alternatively, enter ‘**=**’, and the first few characters of the function name to choose the required function name from the Excel suggestions by double-clicking it.] - Enter the arguments as cell values or references and close the bracket.
- Press
**Enter**to view the function return value in the target cell.

Please note that we can also enter the inbuilt function in a cell by choosing the target cell, clicking in the Formula Bar, and following steps 2 to 4.

##### Example #2 – AVERAGE Function

We have the 2021-22 annual sales figures of three branch offices of a firm in two worksheets, **2021_Annual Sales** and **2022_Annual Sales**, as shown in the below image.

And we must calculate the average annual sales over the two years and display the output in cell **D8** in the second worksheet, **2022_Annual Sales**. Also, cell D8’s data format is **Currency** in the **Home** à **Number Format**.

Typically, a beginner may be **unable to Write Formula In Excel** without inbuilt functions in a scenario where the calculations involve multiple sheets.

The steps to manually enter the inbuilt function **AVERAGE** in the target cell to achieve the desired outcome are as follows:

**Step 1: **Choose cell **D8**, and start typing the function ** =AV**, as shown below.

Excel will list the functions starting with the entered characters. And as we require the **AVERAGE** Excel Function, double-click the function name in the list to select and enter it in the cell.

Next, Excel will show the **AVERAG**E() syntax, as depicted below, highlighting the argument for which we must provide the value, one at a time.

And then, click the first worksheet tab, **2021_Annual Sales**, and select the data range, **D3:D5**, required for determining the annual average sales.

Next, enter a comma.

And then, click the second worksheet tab, **2022_Annual Sales**.

Next, choose the cell range **D3:D5**, containing the next set of values required to determine the average annual sales figure in cell **D8**.

Finally, close the bracket.

**Step 2: **Press **Enter** to view the **AVERAGE()** return value, **$569,500**, as the required average annual sales in 2021-22, in the target cell **D8**.

[Alternatively, we can choose cell **D8**, and click on the Formula Bar.

Next, follow the above-mentioned process to enter the inbuilt function in the Formula Bar manually.

The above method will also enter the required formula in the target cell. And pressing **Enter** will show the **AVERAGE()** return value in cell **D8**.]

The cell **D8** **AVERAGE() **accepts two data ranges, one from each sheet. And then, it adds the six values and divides the result by 6 to return the value, **$569,500**, as the required average annual sales figure.

**Important Things To Note**

- When we
**Write Formula in Excel**, we must start with the ‘**=**’ symbol. - Ensure to use the correct characters as arithmetic operators while using them to enter a formula in a cell manually. Use the characters ‘
**+**’, ‘**–**‘, ‘*****’,’**/**’, and ‘**^**’ for addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and exponent. - Use the Excel inbuilt functions to create advanced excel formulas required to perform complex calculations involving data in the same and different sheets.

**Frequently Asked Questions**

**1. How to Write a Percentage Formula in Excel?**

We can write a percentage formula in Excel using the arithmetic operator ‘**/**’ (Forward Slash). And then, click the **Percent Style** option in the “**Home”** tab to set the cell data format as **Percentage**.

For example, the table contains the total price and discounted amount figures.

The steps to determine the discount percentage for the given discounted amount and display the percentage value in cell **D3** are as follows:**1: **Choose cell **D3**, and enter the formula ** =C3/B3**.

**2:**Press

**Enter**to execute the formula, and view the output in the target cell.

**3:**With the target cell

**D3**chosen, select the

**Percent Style**option (‘

**%**’) in the “

**Home”**tab or press

**Ctrl**+

**Shift**+

**%**.

The above step will set the cell

**D3**data format as

**Percentage**, which the

**Home**–

**Number Format**setting confirms.

The formula divides the total price by the discounted amount and gives the output of

**0.1**. And then, setting the target cell format as

**Percentage**shows the formula output’s percentage equivalent,

**10%**.

**2. How to Write Date in Excel Formula?**

We can Write a Date in Excel formula using the inbuilt Excel function **DATE()**. And it is in the **Date & Time** function category in the **Formulas** tab.

**3. How to apply a formula to an entire column in Excel without increment?**

We can apply the formula to an entire column in Excel without increment using the following steps:

1. First, make the cell references absolute in the formula we must apply to the entire column.

2. And then, copy the formula into the remaining cells down the column.

**Download Template**

This article must help understand the **Write Formula in Excel**, with its formula and examples. You can download the template here to use it instantly.

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