Excel is an spreadsheet program for manipulating data. It can store, arrange, organize, calculate and display data ind visual charts. Excel formulas are often used to perform automated math operations to data in the spreadsheet.

## Description

An Excel formula is a set of instruction that tells the program what it should so with certain data. Starting the text in a cell with "=" tells Excel that what follows is a formula. Excel also has functions, or pre-programed functions that automatically perform common calculations.

## Purpose

Formulas can be used to perform many operations and tasks automatically. Users can type numbers directly into the formulas or use cell references, so the formula will use whatever data the referenced cells contain.

## Benefits

Formulas can be copied and pasted to different cells and even to different worksheets. So users don't have to recreate the same formula if they want to perform the same operations over several sets of data. Formulas can be used for a set of two numbers or across a range of several cells of data.

## Examples

Type "=4*4" in a cell and the cell will display "16." Common functions include "Autosum" and "Average." Insert the Autosum function and select cells B2, B3, B4 and B5 and excel will add the values in those cells and show the sum in a selected cell. Type "=Average(B2:B5)" and excel will add the values in cells B2 through B5 and show the average of those numbers in a selected cell.