Introduction: Running Simple Formulas in Excel

Microsoft Excel is a powerful tool that has a wide variety of business and personal applications. By understanding how to run a few basic commands in Excel, you can analyze data in a much more efficient way than by performing hand calculations. Using Excel and other database tools wisely will save money on labor costs and the costs of physical materials as opposed to Excel's all digital format.


You will need the following items before you begin:

1. A computer (laptop/desktop) OR a cell phone capable of running Excel (no internet connection required!)

2. A current copy of Microsoft Excel (Microsoft Office Suite can be purchased at

By the end of this tutorial, you will be able to successfully run simple formulas in Excel. This process The will reduce the time and energy needed to analyze large sets of data.

DISCLAIMER: Extended work with computer screens and keyboards can cause discomfort to your eyes and joints among other issues. Be sure to take breaks often and monitor your daily screen time.

Step 1: Open Excel and Open a New Document

Locate Microsoft Excel on your device, open the application, then select "blank workbook" (or your workbook template of choice) to begin working.

Step 2: Input Data to Be Analyzed

In the new Excel workbook, input whatever data needs to be analyzed. In this example, the date shows the number of students in a class that received an A, B, C, D, or F.

Step 3: Input Formula of Choice

Now it's time to analyze or data about grades. Let's say that we want to count the number of students in the class:

1. In a cell of your choice, type =SUM(

2. Select the range of cells which contain your data

3. Close the parenthesis

4. Press enter....

Step 4: Check the Results

You've now run your first formula in Excel! Always double check the results and make sure the number is reasonable. Although Excel will not error on a calculation, sometimes through human error the formula is typed incorrectly and the answer will show an incorrect number. In this case, Excel gives us the correct number of students in the class, 52.

Step 5: Keep Exploring!

Microsoft Excel has over 475 formulas to choose from, each performing a different function that will help you analyze your data. Take a look at the list and practice using other formulas!

Some of the most commonly used excel formulas are:





Step 6: Video Tutorial

Watch the above video to see Excel formulas in action!