Formulas are equations that can perform calculations, return information, manipulate the contents of other cells, test conditions, and more. A formula always starts with an equal sign (=).
The following table shows some examples of formulas and their descriptions.
Formula 
Description 
=5+2*3 
Adds 5 to the product of 2 times 3. 
=SQRT(A1) 
Uses the SQRT function to return the square root of the value in A1. 
=TODAY() 
Returns the current date. 
=IF(A1>0,"Plus","Minus") 
Tests the cell A1 to determine if it contains a value greater than 0. If the result of the test is true, the text "Plus" appears in the cell; if the result is false, the text "Minus" appears. 
How?

Select a cell and start typing In a cell, type an equal sign (=) to start the formula. 

Fill in the rest of the formula Do one of the following:


Complete the formula
Your completed formulas might look like the following examples:

Next steps

Watch a video to get started with formulas: Video: Enter a simple formula

See Create or delete a formula and Overview of formulas for more detailed information and additional examples.

See Quick start: Use a function in a formula to learn how to use worksheet functions in a formula.

See Use Formula AutoComplete to learn how Excel can assist you in creating and editing formulas.