Complex Formulas

In Excel complex formulas can include several operations. Use complex formulas in Excel to calculate more extensive data.

Filling formulas

Once you've created a working formula, don't waste time typing and retyping it. Simply fill it to the other cells. To do this, you will need to recognize the mouse pointer's various shapes. When you move the mouse pointer around the Excel window, it changes shape and function.

If you'll be copying a formula to a surrounding cell, you can use the Fill method. The square box in the lower-right corner of the cell pointer is the fill handle.

Fill Handle

To use the fill handle:

  • Click the cell that contains the formula.
  • Position the mouse pointer on the lower-right corner of the beginning of the cell pointer (fill handle). The mouse pointer becomes a black crosshair.
  • Click and hold the left mouse button and drag to select the next cells to be filled in. The cells are now selected.
  • Release the mouse button. The formula is copied.

Important PointIn Excel, the references change as the formula is copied. Remember, you use references to identify cells containing the numbers you want to calculate in a formula.

Important PointYou can also use copy and paste to copy a formula to other cells. This will be discussed on the next page.