# Introduction to Using Formulas in Microsoft Excel

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This tutorial will show you how to use formulas in Microsoft Excel spreadsheets. This process will automatically calculate sums or other mathematical expressions. It will automatically recalculate when you change numbers and can be used to apply the same operation across many rows or columns of data. Here is a simple Excel spreadsheet with numbers entered to provide an example.//

We will look at adding as a sample test case. The formula is the equal sign, the capital letters S-U-M for sum, open parentheses, the beginning address, a colon mark and the end address. And then don’t forget the closed parentheses. For example, in the current document, the formula is =SUM(A1:A3). Here is how the process works.//

You can also add the items horizontally in the same way: =SUM(A1:C1). Here is how it works.//

One very useful function in Excel allows you to copy formulas, so you provide the same operation for multiple rows or columns. For example, if you copy and paste the formula adding the first column, it automatically uses the same relative addresses for other columns. That is, it will change =SUM(A1:A3) to =SUM(B1:B3) and =SUM(C1:C3) for as many columns where you cut and paste the formula. Like this://

And here it is horizontally, copying =SUM(A1:C1) into =SUM(A2:C2) and =SUM(A3:C3).//

Now, you can use this powerful process to automatically calculate large rows or columns of numbers. Of course, you can use other operators besides addition and beyond simple mathematical expressions. Go to Google and look up commonly used formulas in Microsoft Excel for more functions.