CELL: Excel Formulas Explained

When it comes to Microsoft Excel, there are a lot of things to love. It's an incredibly powerful tool that can solve a lot of problems and save you a lot of time, but it can also be intimidating if you're not familiar with it. One of the features that can cause people the most grief is formulas. But fear not! In this article, I'll walk you through some of the most important Excel formulas, so you can impress your boss and feel like a total Excel rockstar.

What Are Formulas?

So, what are formulas, exactly? In Excel, formulas are equations that perform calculations on values in your worksheet. For example, if you have a bunch of numbers in cells A1 through A10, you can use a formula to add them all up and show the result in another cell.

Formulas can also be used to manipulate text, dates, and a wide variety of other data types. You can think of formulas as the building blocks of Excel - the more you master, the more powerful your spreadsheets will become.

The Most Important Excel Formulas


Let's start with one of the most basic formulas in Excel: SUM. As you might expect, this formula adds up a range of cells. Here's how you use it:


This formula adds all of the numbers in cells A1 through A10 and displays the result in the cell where you enter the formula. Easy, right?


Next up is AVERAGE. This formula calculates the average (mean) value of a range of cells:


If you have a list of numbers and you want to know their average, this is the formula you need.


Another useful formula is COUNT. This formula counts the number of cells in a range that contain numbers:


If you have a list of numbers and you want to know how many there are, the COUNT formula is your friend.


Finally, let's look at two formulas that find the highest and lowest values in a range of cells. MAX returns the highest value:


While MIN returns the lowest:


If you have a list of numbers and you want to find the biggest or smallest value, these formulas will come in handy.

Other Useful Formulas

Of course, this is just the tip of the Excel formula iceberg. There are dozens of other useful formulas, depending on what you're trying to do. Here are a few more of my favorites:


VLOOKUP is a powerful formula that lets you search for a specific value in a table and return a corresponding value from another column. This can be incredibly useful if you're working with large datasets.


The IF formula lets you run a test, and return one value if the test is true, and another value if it's false.

=IF(A1>10, "Greater than 10", "Less than or equal to 10")

In this example, if the value in cell A1 is greater than 10, the formula will return "Greater than 10." Otherwise, it will return "Less than or equal to 10."


The COUNTIF formula lets you count the number of cells in a range that meet specific criteria. For example, you might use this formula to count the number of people in a list who are older than a certain age.


And there you have it - some of the most important Excel formulas to help you be the Excel rockstar you've always dreamed of being. Whether you're looking to impress your boss, save time on data entry, or just get better at using Excel, mastering these formulas is a great place to start.

Of course, there are plenty more formulas out there, so keep exploring and experimenting. And who knows - with a little practice, you might just become the Excel wizard you never knew you could be.

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