Back when you were a student at architecture school, Microsoft Excel was probably not on the top of your most used and mastered computer software. However, now as a graduate, practicing real-life architecture, you have most likely realized that you actually need this spreadsheet and graphing software you have been trying to avoid for long. After all, there is no better tool you can use to compose a well-organized and formatted bill of quantities. And, if you are reading this, then you have probably thought that it is about time you learn more about Excel Formulas.

How to create simple Excel formulas

Excel uses standard operators for equations, such as a plus sign for addition (+), minus sign for subtraction (-), asterisk for multiplication (*), forward slash for division (/), and caret (^) for exponents.

The key thing to remember when writing formulas for Excel is that all formulas must begin with an equals sign (=). This is because the cell contains—or is equal to—the formula and its value.

Standard operators

To create a simple formula in Excel:

  1. Select the cell where the answer will appear (B4, for example).
    Selecting cell B4
  2. Type the equals sign (=).
  3. Type in the formula you want Excel to calculate (75/250, for example).
    Entering formula in B4
  4. Press Enter. The formula will be calculated, and the value will be displayed in the cell.
    Result in B4

If the result of a formula is too large to be displayed in a cell, it may appear as pound signs (#######) instead of a value. This means the column is not wide enough to display the cell content. Simply increase the column width to show the cell content. Excel might seem a bit confusing in the beginning, but once you get familiar with the basic formulae, tools, and shortcuts, you will find it quite handy. So, here we will help you get accustomed to it by providing you with a list of some of the most commonly used and quite helpful formulae which will get you started and rolling.

1.     SUM It sums all the values within a defined range, for a single or multiple rows or columns. =SUM(A1:F1)


2.     MIN It gives the “smallest” value within a defined range. =MIN(A1:F1)


3.     MAX It gives the “largest” value within a defined range. =MAX(A1:F1)


4.     AVERAGE It calculates the average / Arithmetic mean for a defined range. =AVERAGE(A1:F1)


5.     COUNT It counts the cells containing numbers within a defined range. =COUNT(A1:F1)


6.     COUNTA It counts all non-empty cells within a defined range, regardless the content. =COUNTA(A1:F1)


7.     COUNTBLANK It counts the empty cells within a defined range. =COUNTBLANK(A1:F1)


8.     IF It gives one of two different outcomes depending on whether a condition is satisfied or not. =IF(Condition, “if true value”, “if false value”)

=IF(A1<B1, “Yes”, “NO”)

9.     SUMIF It operates the SUM only if a given condition is satisfied. =SUMIF(B1:B7, “<100”)
10.  SUMIFS It operates the SUM only if multiple conditions are satisfied. =SUMIFS(B1:B7, B1:B7, “>10”, B1:B7, “<100”)
11.  COUNTIF It counts cells with numbers that satisfy the specified conditions only. =COUNTIF(A1:A7, “>10″)
12.  ROUND It rounds numbers to specified number of digits. =ROUND(8.39,1)

. . 8.39 will be 8.4

13.  ROUNDUP It defines the direction of the rounding to upwards. =ROUNDUP(8.39,0)

. . 8.39 will be 9

14. ROUNDDOWN It defines the direction of the rounding to upwards. =ROUNDDOWN(8.39, 1) . . 8.39 will be 8.3
15. Floor It rounds a number down to a specified multiple. =Floor(B2, 1000)

e.g. 1350 will be 1000

16. Ceiling It rounds a number up to a specified multiple. =Ceiling(B2, 1500)

e.g. 1350 will be 1500



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