Section 4: Basic formulas

The basic mathematical function keys are as follows:

+ for addition

– for subtraction

* for multiplication

/ for division

All formulas must begin with an operator such as   +   –    = 

If you enter a formula into a cell without a mathematical operator, Excel treats the formula as text. Eg.  5+5 will not result in 10, but instead, the characters 5+5 will appear in the cell. The formula +5+5 will result in 10.  

When referencing two cells in a formula, it is best to use their cell address instead of the cell contents. Eg. +A1+B1 or =A1+B1 instead of   +5+5

The result of a formula appears in the cell; the formula bar displays the formula when the cell is selected.