### Excel Formulas Overview

Related Tutorial: Using a Range Name in Excel Formulas

Formulas are one of the most commonly used features of Excel. They can be used to carry out simple addition and subtraction or far more complex mathematical calculations.

All formulas in Excel, no matter how complex, always begin with the same two steps:

- Click on the cell where you want the formula's result to be displayed.
- Type an equal sign (
**=**) to let Excel know you are creating a formula.

Many formulas in Excel perform basic mathematical calculations such as subtraction and multiplication.

For these formulas, after the two steps listed above, we only need to add, in the correct order, the data to be used in the calculations and the mathematical operators that tell Excel which mathematical operation to perform.

### Using Cell References in Formulas

Rather than enter the data directly into a formula, it is better to enter the cell references where the data is located into the formula.

The advantages of this are that:

- if you later change your data the formula automatically updates to show the new result
- in certain instances, using cell references makes it possible to copy formulas from one location to another in a worksheet

The easiest and best way to add cell references to a formula is to use pointing, which means to click with the mouse pointer on the cell containing the data you want added to the formula.