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Microsoft Excel 2016 - Creating and Copying Simple Formulas

This guide will show you how to create and use simple formulas in Excel.

Creating Formulas


In Excel, there are two simple rules to follow when creating formulas:

  • Formulas must start with an = sign.
  • Use parentheses () when doing more than one equation in a formula.
    • EX. =B2-C2, =(B2-C2) - (D2-F2)
When creating a formula it can be done by simply typing the information into the cell. However, there are easier ways to create formulas. 
  • Option 1
    1. Type = into the cell.
    2. Begin typing the name of the formula.
    3. From the pop-up list, select the desired one.
  • Option 2
    1. Click on the formula tab
    2. select the desired formula from the different sections on the Formula Tab.

Copying Formulas


Often times a formula in one cell is needed in other cells. This often occurs within the same row or column. Excel makes it easy to copy them by changing the cells in the formula to the correct cell when the formula is copied in the following manner:
  • Hover the cursor over the bottom right corner of the cell with the original formula until the cursor turns into the black/thinner +.
  • Left-click and drag until the formula has been copied into all the desired cells. Release the mouse button and the formula will have been copied to the cells.

If you need further assistance please contact the Information Technology Help Desk at 920-424-3020 or

Keywords:"Copying Formulas", "Data Entry",   Doc ID:65918
Owner:Richard L.Group:UW Oshkosh
Created:2016-08-09 14:27 CDTUpdated:2016-12-20 10:58 CDT
Sites:UW Oshkosh
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