Use Excel as a Calculator (Table of Contents)
How to Use Excel as a Calculator?
In my career, I have never seen beyond excel to do the calculations. All most all the calculations are possible with excel spreadsheets. Not only simply the calculations, in fact, but they are also flexible enough to reflect the immediate results if there are any modifications to the numbers and that is the power of applying formulas.
By applying formulas we need to worry about all the steps in the calculations because formulas will capture the numbers and show immediate real-time results for us. To work with some of the complex calculations excel has hundreds of built-in formulas. On top of this, we see the spreadsheet as mathematics calculator to add, divide, subtract and multiply.
In this article, we will show you how to use excel as a calculator.
How to Calculate in Excel Sheet?
Below are the examples of how to use excel as a calculator
Example #1 – Use Formulas in Excel as a Calculator
As told excel has many of its own built-in formulas and on top of this, we can use excel in the form of the calculator as well. To enter anything in the cell we just type the content in the required cell but to apply the formula we need to start the equal sign in the cell.
So, to start any calculation we need to first enter equal sign and it is an indication that we are not just entering rather we are entering the formula.
Once the equal sign entered in the cell we can enter the formula. For an example assume if we want to do the calculation of addition of two numbers 50 and 30 first we need to enter the number we want to add.
Once the number is entered we need to go back to the basics of mathematics. Since we are doing the addition we need to apply PLUS (+) sign.
After the addition sign (+) we need to enter the second number we need to add to the first number.
Now press ENTER key to get the result in cell A1.
So, 50 + 30 = 80.
This is the basic use of Excel as a calculator. Similarly, we can use cell references to the formula.
Example #2 – Use Cell References
For Example, look at the below values in cell A1, A2, and A3.
Open equal sign in A4 cell.
Select cell A1 first.
After selecting the cell A1 put plus sign and select A2 cell.
Now put one more plus sign and select A3 cell.
Press ENTER key to get the result in A4 cell.
This is the result of using cell references.
Example #3 – Cell Reference Formulas are Flexible
By using cell references we can make the formula real-time and flexible. The reason why I said cell reference formulas are flexible because if we make any changes to the formula input cells (A1, A2, A3) it will reflect the changes in the formula cell (A4).
I will change the number in cell A2 from 40 to 50.
I have changed the number but not yet hit the ENTER key, if I hit the ENTER key we can see the result in A4 cell.
The moment we hit the ENTER key we can see the impact on cell A4.
Example #4 – Formula Cell is not Value, It is the only Formula
This is the important thing we need to know when we use a cell reference for formulas because formula cells hold the result of the formula, not the value itself.
If we have a value of 50 in cell C2.
If I copy and paste to the next cell we still get the value of 50 only.
But come back to the cell A4.
Here we can see 90 but this is not the value but formula. Now I will copy and paste to the next cell and see what we get.
Oh oh!!! We got zero.
The reason why we got zero because cell A4 has the formula =A1 + A2 + A3. When we copy the cell A4 and paste it to B4 cell, formulas referenced cells are changed from A1 + A2 + A3 to B1 + B2 + B3. Since there are no values in the cells B1, B2, and B3 we got zero as the result. Now I will put 60 in any of the cell in B1, B2, and B3 and see the result.
Look here the moment I have entered 60 we got the result as 60 because cell B4 already has the cell reference of above three cells (B1, B2, and B3).
Example #5 – Built-In Formulas are Best Suited for Excel
In the above examples, we have seen how to use cell references for the formulas. But those are best suited only for the small number of data set let’s say for a maximum of 5 to 10 cells.
Now, look at the below data.
We have numbers from A1 to D5 and in B7 cell we need the total of these numbers. In these large data sets, we cannot give individual cells references which take a lot of time for us. This is where Excel’s built-in formulas come into the example.
Open SUM function in cell B7.
Now hold the left click of the mouse and select the range of cells from A1 to D5.
Close the bracket and hit the enter key.
So, like this, we can use built-in formulas to work with large data set.
This is how to calculate in the excel sheet.
This has been a guide to Excel as Calculator. Here we discuss how to do a calculation in excel sheet with examples and downloadable excel templates. You may also look at these useful functions in excel –
- Turn Off Excel Scroll Lock
- Excel AVERAGEIFS
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- How to Multiply in Excel Formula?
- Divide in Excel Formula
- Excel Subtraction Formula
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