The simplest way to interact with data in a spreadsheet is using operators.

Mathematical operators

You can use a cell just like a calculator with the following:

AB
1Add+
2Subtract-
3Multiply*
4Divide/
5Exponent^

Like a calculator, the cell will follow the order of operations.

Inserting the following formula:

=5+4/2

Displays the number 7 in the cell.

=5*4-2

Displays 18.

=4^2

Displays 16.

You can also use decimals to calculate root values:

=16^0.5

Displays 4.

You can even insert parentheses () to manage the order of operations.

=(3*(5+2)+9)/10

Displays 3.

You can use cell references that contain numbers in place of the numbers in these formulas!

Text operators

Text data has one operator: &

The ampersand operator works by joining text together.

="Name"&"Surname"

Displays: NameSurname

Notice that there's no space between the two pieces of text. That's because the & operator just joins, nothing more. To fix this, you could instead write:

="Name"&" "&"Surname"

Displays: Name Surname

It works on numbers too, but converts the output to text. That's why it's considered a text operator.

Logic operators

A lot of spreadsheet functions are based on logic.

To describe this simply, If this: Then that.

The 'this' is usually a logic test using an operator.

For example, If A1=A2: Then that.

The logic test A1=A2 outputs either TRUE or FALSE:

The data in cells A1 and A2 are equal (true) or the data in cells A1 and A2 are not equal (false).

If TRUE, 'Then that' happens.

If FALSE, 'Then that' does not happen.

Here are all of the operators you can use to test logic:

ABCD
1DescriptionOperatorExampleResult
2Equal to=1=2FALSE
3Not equal to<>1<>2TRUE
4Greater than>1>2FALSE
5Greater than or equal to>=1>=2FALSE
6Less than<1<2TRUE
7Less than or equal to<=1<=2TRUE

Each operator allows for only a TRUE or FALSE output allowing logic tests to pass or fail.

Operator Exercises
Enter a formula for each question in the formula bar for the spreadsheet below to access the next lesson.
1. Adding
In cell B8, enter a formula that calculates Dwight and Jim's total sales. Remember to start your formula with '='.
2. Subtracting
In cell B9, enter a formula that calculates the difference between Dwight and Jim's sales.
3. Joining
In cell B10, enter a formula that displays Andy's full name.
4. Logic
In cell B11, enter a formula that tests if Jim's sales are greater than Dwight's. The desired output is FALSE.
ABC
1FirstLastSales
2DwightSchrute10,000
3JimHalpert8,000
4StanleyHudson7,000
5PhyllisVance6,000
6AndyBernard4,000
7
8Add:
9Substract:
10Text:
11Logic:
12
Next Lesson

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