Equations in Excel

What Do You Mean by Equations in Excel?

Equations in excel are none other than our formulas which we type in cell, to write an equation we start with an equals to sign (=) which excel recognizes as to calculate and then we use variables which are connected with each other with some operators, depending upon the operators we get results, an equation can be both linear or non linear.


In an excel equation, we use two things:

  1. Cell References
  2. Operators

Cell references are cells like A1, B1, or range of cells A1:A3 and so on, whereas operators are the basic operators such as + for sum – for subtraction * for multiplication and so on.

Like a calculator, Excel can execute formulas such as addition, subtraction, etc. One of the most useful features of  MS Excel is the ability to calculate using a cell address to represent a value in a cell.

This is the basic definition of the cell referenceCell ReferenceCell reference in excel is referring the other cells to a cell to use its values or properties. For instance, if we have data in cell A2 and want to use that in cell A1, use =A2 in cell A1, and this will copy the A2 value in A1.read more.

Excel uses both cell reference and basic operators to make an equation.

You are free to use this image on your website, templates etc, Please provide us with an attribution linkHow to Provide Attribution?Article Link to be Hyperlinked
For eg:
Source: Equations in Excel (wallstreetmojo.com)

How to Use Equations in Excel? (with Examples)

To make an equation in excel, we need to keep three things in mind:

  1. Every equation starts with an equals sign.
  2. Excel uses cell addresses as values in excel.
  3. Operators are used to making an equation.
You can download this Equations Excel Template here – Equations Excel Template

Example #1

I have my own monthly budget for the past five months. The budget includes data for rent, food, electricity, credit card, and car.

Credit Card50005500600056985632

In the first example, we will create an equation for the sum or addition of the bills for each month.

Below are the steps used for creation of equation for the sum and addition of bills for each month –

  1. In cell B7, start with typing an equals to sign and add each cell reference from B1 to B6 with a + operator in between.

    Equation in Excel Example 1-1

  2. When we press enter, we get the total spendings done in Jan month

    Equation in Excel Example 1-2

    In the above two steps, we used cell references and an operator + for addition, and the equation was created as =B2+B3+B4+B5+B6, which gave us our result.

Also, there is an inbuilt function in excel, which gives us the same result, but it saves us the time of giving each cell reference one at a time.

  • Step #1 – In the cell C7, start with typing an equals to sign and type sum then press Tab; it opens an inbuilt sum function for us.
using SUM Equation in Excel Example 1
  • Step #2 – Now select the range of cells from C2 to C6 and press enter.
using SUM Equation in Excel Example 1-1

This also gives the addition of total money spent in the month of February.

using SUM Equation in Excel Example 1-2
  • Step #3 – Repeat the same process for the month of March April & may get the total money spent for the respective months.
using SUM Equation in Excel Example 1-3

I have my money spent on all the months.

using SUM Equation in Excel Example 1-4

Example #2

The above example was a simple addition using equations. Let us make a complex equation.

This time I want to excel to intimate if my money spent was high or average. If the amount spent in total for five months is above 10000, then it should show as “High” else it should show as “Average.” In this type of equation, the operators used are “If Statement.”

Equation in Excel Example 2
  • Step #1 – First, we need to total the money spent on each bill. In cell G2, we will create an equation for the addition of the money spent on rent for five months. We start by typing an equals sign and type Sum, then press the tab button.
Equation in Excel Example 2-1
  • Step #2 – Select the cell references B2 to F6, and press enter.
Equation in Excel Example 2-2
  • Step #3 – We repeat the same addition equation for each and every bill.
Equation in Excel Example 2-3
  • Step #4 – Now in cell H2, type an equals sign and type If then press Tab.
Example 2-4
  • Step #5 – To better understand the If equation, click on fx in the function address bar, and a dialog box pops up.
Example 2-5
Example 2-6
  • Step #7 – If the value is true means the total is greater than 10000, we want it to show as high else average.
Example 2-7
  • Step #8 – As we are giving excel value in the string, to start and end it with inverted commas. Click on ok.
Example 2-8
  • Step #9 – Drag the formula to cell H6, and we have our final output.
Example 2-9

In the above example, we have used cell references and If statement as an operator to make an equation.

Things to Remember

  1. Always remember to start an equation with an equals sign.
  2. Creating an equation with cell reference is useful because we can update our data without having to rewrite the formula.
  3. Excel will not always tell us if our equation is wrong or not. So it’s up to us to check all of our equations.

Recommended Articles

This has been a guide to Equations in Excel. Here we discuss how to create simple formulas in excel using examples of SUM and IF Formula in excel and downloadable excel templates. You may also look at these useful excel tools –

  • 35+ Courses
  • 120+ Hours
  • Full Lifetime Access
  • Certificate of Completion

Reader Interactions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *