You can use formulas in Excel and other spreadsheet programs to add, subtract, multiply, and divide. Use simple Excel formulas to also make cell references.
In our example below, we'll use a simple formula and cell references to calculate a budget.
Entering the = sign
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.
The true advantage of cell references is that they allow you to update data in your worksheet without having to rewrite formulas. In the example below, we've modified the value of cell B1 from $1,200 to $1,800. The formula in B3 will automatically recalculate and display the new value in cell B3.
Excel will not always tell you if your formula contains an error, so it's up to you to check all of your formulas. To learn how to do this, you can read the Double-Check Your Formulas lesson from our Excel Formulas tutorial.