How to Construct an Excel Formula on the iPad

By Peter Weverka

Construct formulas in an Excel worksheet to compute the data you so carefully and painstakingly entered in cells on your iPad. Constructing a formula is a matter of doing these tasks:

  • Tell Excel which cells to use in the computation.

  • Tell Excel how to compute the data in the cells by using operators or a function.

Constructing a simple formula

Follow these basic steps to construct a formula:

  1. Double‐tap the cell where you want to enter the formula.

    Double‐tapping selects the cell and activates the Formula bar.

  2. If necessary because the numbered keyboard isn’t displayed, click the Numbers button to display the numbered keyboard.

  3. In the Formula bar, enter the equals sign (=).

    Be sure to enter the equals sign to enter a formula. All formulas must begin with an equals sign.

  4. Enter the formula, including cell references and operators.

    For example, enter =C1*.04. Make sure to enter all cell addresses
    correctly. To enter cell references:

    • Type a cell reference in the Formula bar.

    • Tap a cell to reference it. Excel enters the address of the cell you tapped on the Formula bar. You can also select cells on the screen to enter a cell range as a reference. For example, selecting cells D27, D28, and D29 enters the cell range D27:D29 in the Formula bar.

    Notice that Excel color‐codes cell references as you enter them to help you identify which cells are used in a formula.

  5. Press Return or click the Enter button (the check mark on the right side of Formula bar).

    The results of the formula appear in the cell you selected in Step 1.

Including functions in formulas

Functions are ready‐made formulas that Excel provides. A function works with one or more arguments to compute a result. For example, the SUM function totals the data in a cell range; the AVG function averages the data in a cell range.

Make sure the cursor is in the Formula bar where you want the function to appear and use one of these techniques to include a function in a formula:

  • On the Formulas tab, tap a button that represents the function category you need, and choose a function on the drop‐down list.

  • Type the first couple letters of the function you want to enter. A drop‐down menu of functions appears. Tap a function to select and enter it in the Formula bar.

After you select a function, Excel enters the function and placeholders for entering arguments on the Formula bar.

Enter a function or choose one on the Formulas tab.

Enter a function or choose one on the Formulas tab.