Formulas are equations that perform calculations on values in your worksheet. A formula always starts with an equal sign (=). You can create a simple formula by using numbers you type into a cell or directly into a formula (typed numbers are referred to as constants) separated by calculation operators. For more information on the types of Excel mathematical operators view the mathematical operators page under the Basic Excel section.

Simple formulas can include values you enter, cell references, or names you have defined.

For example, the formula = 2 + 2 is a simple formulas that adds the two specified values together. The numbers in the formula above can be replaced with cell referencesâ€”for example, = A1 + A2 will add together the values in cell A1 and cell A2. To enter a cell reference you can either type the cell reference into the formula or you can use the mouse to click on the cell you would like to which you would like to refer.

To a simple formula into a spreadsheet:

- Click on the cell you would like to enter the formula
- Type the equals sign ( = )
- Type either constants (i.e., numbers) or cell references separated by a mathematical operator

For example:

= 2 + 2

or

= A1 + A2