Creating Simple Formulas

In Google Sheets simple formulas can help you calculate important data. Learn how to create simple formulas in Google Sheets.

Creating formulas

In our example, we'll use simple formulas and cell references to help calculate a budget.

To create a formula:

  1. Select the cell that will display the calculated value.
    Selecting cell
  2. Type the equals sign (=).
  3. Type the cell address of the cell you want to reference first in the formula. A dotted border will appear around the cell being referenced.
    Typing a cell address
  4. Type the operator you want to use. For example, type the addition sign (+).
  5. Type the cell address of the cell you want to reference second in the formula.
    Completing the formula
  6. Press the Enter key on your keyboard. The formula calculates, and Google Sheets displays the result.
    The result

To see how the formula recalculates, try changing the value in either cell. The formula automatically displays the new value.

The recalculated value

Google Sheets 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, read our article on why you should Double-Check Your Formulas.