There is very little that Microsoft Excel cannot do. At an advanced level, it can automate complex tasks and produce stunning graphics, but even a few tips for beginners about making formulas can make it work wonders for you.
After entering numbers in cells, the easiest way to save time with Excel is to make formulas. They range from simple additions to cross-references to multiple spreadsheets. Here is a quick start guide.
1. To create a formula in a cell, start with the equal sign (=). Your formula comes after that. For example:
= 10 + 5
would return the answer of 15. Easy huh?
2. If you use cell references instead of values, the formula uses the values in those cells. For example:
= C3 + C6
If in this example cell C3 contained the value 11 and C6 contained the value 20, those values would be added together and the formula would yield the value 31 .
3. This is clearly a sum, and actually SOM is one of the most common formulas in Excel. Most Excel formulas use one of these capital letters, such as AVERAGE, NUMBER, and IF. In fact, the same result as above can be achieved with the formula:
= SUM (C3, C6)
4. Do you need to add more values together? Just add more commas, so:
= SUM (C3, C4, C5, C6)
The values in these four cells are added together.
5. In fact, in this case you can do this even more efficiently using the formula:
= SUM (C3: C6)
This trick adds all the value between and including that in cells C3 to C6 . It is invaluable if you add 10, 20 or 500 values together.
What else can Excel do?
Adding numbers is just the tip of the iceberg. You would not believe how powerful Excel can be and the implications for your job prospects can be huge. With the right training, you and your spreadsheets can process as much in 30 seconds as your colleague can handle all day long with a calculator.
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