How to Create a Formula in Excel 2013: A Step-by-Step Guide

Creating a formula in Excel 2013 is a straightforward process that involves typing the formula into a cell. Once you’ve entered the formula, Excel will automatically calculate and display the result. This quick overview tells you that by typing in a formula, Excel does the math for you.

Once you’ve created a formula, Excel will continue to update the result automatically as you change the data that the formula references.


Are you tired of doing calculations manually? Do you need a way to crunch numbers efficiently? Enter Excel 2013 – the spreadsheet software that can make your life easier. Whether you’re a student trying to manage your grades, a small business owner keeping track of finances, or a data analyst examining trends, Excel 2013 is an essential tool for anyone working with numbers.

Creating formulas in Excel 2013 is a fundamental skill that allows you to perform calculations, analyze data, and automate tasks. It’s like having a personal mathematician right at your fingertips. Gone are the days of tedious manual computations. With Excel 2013, you can let the software do the heavy lifting, giving you more time to interpret the results and make informed decisions. Plus, it’s a skill that looks great on a resume!

How to Create a Formula in Excel 2013

The following steps will guide you on how to create and use formulas in Excel 2013.

Step 1: Select the Cell

Click on the cell where you want to enter the formula.

Selecting a cell is the first step to creating a formula. The cell becomes the “home” of the formula and its resulting value.

Step 2: Type the Equals Sign

Begin your formula with an equals sign (=).

Typing the equals sign tells Excel that you’re about to enter a formula, not just data.

Step 3: Enter the Formula

Type in the formula you want to use.

Formulas can range from simple operations like addition and subtraction to more complex functions.

Step 4: Press Enter

Press the Enter key to complete the formula.

After pressing enter, Excel will evaluate the formula and display the result in the cell you selected.


AutomationCreating formulas in Excel 2013 automates calculations, saving you time and reducing the risk of errors.
Real-time UpdatesAs data changes, Excel updates the results of formulas in real-time, ensuring that your information is always current.
Complex CalculationsExcel can handle complex calculations that would be time-consuming and difficult to do by hand.


Learning CurveLearning how to create effective formulas can be challenging for new users.
Error-ProneIncorrectly entered formulas can lead to mistakes in your data analysis.
Over-relianceRelying too much on Excel can mean missing out on understanding the underlying calculations.

Additional Information

Creating a formula in Excel 2013 can be as simple or as complex as you need it to be. Besides the basic operators like addition (+), subtraction (-), multiplication (*), and division (/), Excel 2013 also offers a wide range of built-in functions for statistical, financial, and text operations, among others. Understanding the syntax of these functions is crucial. Each function has a specific structure, with arguments that need to be provided for the function to work correctly. For example, the SUM function to add numbers requires the numbers to be included within parentheses: =SUM(number1, number2).

Another tip is to use cell references in your formulas. This means that instead of typing numbers directly into your formula, you can refer to the cells where these numbers are located. This makes your formulas dynamic, as they automatically update when the data in the referenced cells change.


  1. Select the cell where you want the formula.
  2. Type the equals sign (=) to begin the formula.
  3. Enter the formula you wish to use.
  4. Press Enter to complete and calculate the formula.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a cell reference?

A cell reference is the unique identifier for a cell in Excel, usually consisting of a letter and a number (e.g., A1).

Can Excel 2013 formulas include functions from previous versions?

Yes, Excel 2013 is backward compatible with functions from earlier versions.

How can I copy a formula to other cells?

You can copy a formula by selecting the cell with the formula, then dragging the fill handle (a small square in the bottom-right corner of the cell) across the cells you want to copy to.

What is the difference between a relative and absolute cell reference?

A relative cell reference changes when the formula is copied to another cell, while an absolute cell reference remains the same.

How do I debug an error in my formula?

Excel has a built-in feature called ‘Formula Auditing’ that can help you trace and correct errors in formulas.


Mastering the creation of formulas in Excel 2013 is a game-changer. It not only boosts your productivity but also opens up a world of possibilities for data analysis and decision-making. Remember, practice makes perfect. So, dive into Excel, experiment with different formulas, and watch as it transforms your number-crunching tasks into a walk in the park.

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting, Excel 2013 is a tool that adapts to your needs and grows with your skills. Keep exploring, and happy calculating!

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