A formula is an expression telling the computer what mathematical operation to perform upon a specific value. When referring to computer software, formulas are most often used in spreadsheet programs such as Microsoft Excel. In the picture below, is an example of a Microsoft Excel formula =SUM(A$1:A$3), which adds the total of cells A1,A2, and A3. In this formula SUM is the function of the formula.

Formula in Microsoft Excel

Tip: Press the shortcut key Shift + F3 to open the Excel Formula or Insert Function window.

Note: A formula will not be seen unless the cell is selected.

Related pages

Also see: Absolute cell reference, Autosum, Formula bar, Lookup, Range, Relative cell reference, Sum, Whatif