Basic formula writing in Excel

In your daily routines, you may come across situations where you need to perform certain basic calculations on your numeric data like Adding, Averaging or Counting and so on.

To perform these basic operations, Excel provides in-built functions that can be used to speed up your calculations.

Quick easy steps to get familiarise with basic functions are explained below-

Writing SUM Function

As name suggests this function is used to ADD up any list of numbers in excel sheets.

In table below, you will find that Sum function has been used in 3 different forms and all of them show the same result.

Example 1. Formula in cell F2 is “=SUM(56,45,90,85)” where cells values are directly provided as inputs to sum function. One drawback of this method is that even if values in cells(B2,C2,D2,E2) change, formula result will not change as static values(56, 45, 90 & 85) are given in function.

Example 2. Formula in cell F3 is “=SUM(B3,C3,D3,E3)”. In this formula, cell addresses(B3,C3,D3,E3) are given as inputs to sum function and hence if value in any cells (B3, C3, D3, E3) changes in future, result in cell F3 will change accordingly. Few drawbacks in this method : If any cell address is missed in function, formula will result into incorrect calculation & secondly this method is more time consuming as one has to manually type cell addresses in formula.

Example 3. Formula in cell F4 is “=SUM(B4:E4)”. Basic difference of formula written in cell F4 is that cell addresses are given as a range(B4:E4) to sum function and change of data in any of the cells between B4:E4, result in cell F4 will change accordingly.

If you are not sure about how to include cell ranges in your formula, please refer to our earlier tutorial Formula writing in Excel.

Ideal way to write Sum function is the one used in example 3.

Table below will help you understand Sum function through mix of examples.

Writing AVERAGE Function

As name suggests this function is used to Average up any list of numbers in excel sheets. Average function gives simple average of data lying in different cells.

Syntax to write this function is exactly same as that of sum function. Same has been explained in table below-

Writing COUNT Function

This function is used to Count non blank cells in given list of cells.

Syntax to write this function is exactly same as that of sum function. Same has been explained in table below-

Writing MAX Function

This function is used find the largest number in given list of cells.

Syntax to write this function is exactly same as that of sum function. Same has been explained in table below-

Writing MIN Function

This function is used find the smallest number in given list of cells.

Syntax to write this function is exactly same as that of sum function. Same has been explained in table below-