Formulas in Excel (on numbers)

In Excel, you will want to make operations on the data you have entered. The basic operations are of course addition (+), subtraction (-), multiplication (x) and division (/). This page shows you how to use these operators. Then you should go to the more complex operation where you will be introduced to the summing and other functions.

If you look for all the functions listed one by one, then go to our function page.

To make any basic operation in Excel the basic, you have to type the text with the keyboard. 

In Excel, to enter a value in a Cell you do it by writing your entry in the input line or in the cell. To do this, first select (with the mouse by clicking into it or by moving with the keyboard arrows) the cell you want to write your formula in. Then start typing. What you write will be displayed in the input line as well as in the cell.

You can then hit ENTER or click on the little green icon (tick) if you are satisfied or the red cross if your want to cancel your entry.

input line

Now to add two numbers, enter the formula as follow:

  • Always start with the equal sign (=).
  • Then click on the first cell.
  • Type + or - or / or *
  • Click on the second cell
  • Press ENTER.


It works vertically and horizontally.


Labeling or putting Label to your data.

In Excel, a label is the title (text entry) you give to a cell, a group of cells. For this, double click on the cell and start typing your labels. Type ENTER when finished. If you want to enter a number as a label, you should enter it with like '456.3



In Excel, a constant is a value you give to a cell. This value is called a constant because it is assigned to this cell. For example, the monthly deposit you put on your bank account, your age, the interest rate, etc... Next to the labels (only if you need labels), you enter the value of the constant. In Excel, you can add a few units behind it. Usually this is done for currency or Percentage. Like $5000 or 4.5%.


In the next chapter, called Complex Operation, we will look at the main operations, likes SUM, SUBTOTAL (very important), Trig functions, etc...

You can see the FULL list of function on this page.

Sometimes, it can happen that the formula do not update correctly. You can do this manually by pressing the F9 key.

These were some basics. Now you will learn by doing.