When using formulas in Excel you can add, subtract, multiply, and divide. Use simple Excel formulas to also make cell references in Excel.

### Simple formulas

#### Video: Simple Formulas in Excel 2010

Watch the video (3:24).A **formula** is an equation that performs a calculation. Like a calculator, Excel can execute formulas that add, subtract, multiply, and divide.

One of Excel's most useful features is its ability to calculate using a cell address to represent the value in a cell. This is called using a cell reference.

To maximize the capabilities of Excel, it is important to understand how to **create simple formulas **and** use cell references**.

Optional: You can download this example for extra practice.

### Creating simple formulas

Excel uses standard operators for equations, such as a **plus sign** for addition (+), **minus sign** for subtraction (-), **asterisk** for multiplication (*), **forward slash** for division (/), and **caret** (^) for exponents.

The key thing to remember when writing formulas for Excel is that all formulas must begin with an **equals sign** (=). This is because the cell contains—or is equal to—the formula and its value.

#### To create a simple formula in Excel:

- Select the cell where the answer will appear
**(B4,** for example). Selecting cell B4 - Type the
** equals sign (=)**. - Type in the formula you want Excel to calculate (
**75/250**, for example). Entering formula in B4 - Press
**Enter**. The formula will be calculated, and the value will be displayed in the cell. Result in B4

If the result of a formula is too large to be displayed in a cell, it may appear as **pound signs** (#######) instead of a value. This means the column is not wide enough to display the cell content. Simply **increase the column width** to show the cell content.