Entering a formula

  1. Start with Excel running and displaying the worksheet containing the data. Lets suppose that the data are in column B and that you want to put the results of the formula in column C.
  2. For example you want to convert a temperature from Fahrenheit to Celsius. The appropriate formula is:
    1. T (C) = (T (F) - 32)*5/9

  3. Go to the first row containing the data and move the mouse into the cell that should contain the result of your unit conversion, for example cell C3.
  4. Type: =(B3-32)*5/9 and hit enter. The result of your conversion will appear in cell C3.
  5. If you want to do the conversion for the rest of the column, you do not need to retype the formula. Instead, go to the lower right corner of the cell C3 and the mouse will change to a narrow +. Hold the (left) mouse button and drag the corner of the cell all the way down to the last cell in the column, and then release the mouse. This will copy the formula into the remaining cells of column C.
  6. As an alternative, you can highlight the part of column C that will contain the results of the conversion, then go to the Edit menu and select Fill and then Down.
  7. Copying the formula will update the references, i.e. the formula in cell C10 will read: =(B10-32)*5/9. Sometimes it is desireable to not update the reference to a cell, but use the content of a particular cell for all calculations. In the formula above, you could put the constant, 32, into one cell, for example A1. Your formula then should read: =(B3-$A$1)*5/9. Using $ signs makes sure that the referenced cell will not change when you update the formula.