Copying Formulas

Instead of creating a formula each time you need one, Excel allows you to copy existing formulas from cell to cell. The rules for copying (discussed in Hour 3, "Organizing Your Files") are in effect when you copy a formula. Just like text and values, formulas that you copy are sent to the Windows Clipboard. You can paste the formula to one cell or to many.

When you copy a formula, relative addressing will change the cells that are referenced by the formula. If you need any of the cells to remain constant, make sure that absolute addressing has been added to the original formula before you copy it.


Formulas can be moved as well as copied. Instead of selecting the Copy command, choose Cut to move a formula.

In the final exercise in this hour, you work with a few simple functions and copy some formulas. The My Budget workbook should be open and visible on the screen before you begin.

To Do: Work with Functions

  1. Click the Summary tab on the Sales 1st Qtr workbook to make the Summary sheet active. Click into cell B8, type 500, and press Enter to enter sales for CDs.

  2. Click into cell B9. A border appears around the cell. In this cell, you're going to use the AutoSum function to create a formula that totals all the sales listed in the column.

  3. Click the AutoSum button on the Standard toolbar. The SUM formula appears in the cell and a marquee surrounds the range of values in the columns. Figure 5.12 shows the suggested range of cells to be added.

    Figure 5.12. The SUM function does the hard work for you.


  4. Click the AutoSum button again. The total of the preceding cells appears in the last cell.

  5. The completed formula can be copied to the total columns for the other two months. Click the fill handle located at the bottom-right corner of the cell and drag it across the row to cell D9. When you release the mouse button, the totals appear in the monthly columns.

  6. Click cell A12 and press Delete to remove the date you had entered when you created the worksheet in Hour 2.

  7. Click into the Formula bar and type =TODAY(). Press Enter when you're done. The current date appears inside the cell. Now whenever you open or save the Sales 1st Qtr file, the correct date appears.

  8. Save the file by clicking the Save button on the Standard toolbar. Unless you're planning to make additional changes, close the file by clicking the Close button or by opening the File menu and choosing Close.

    Part I: Excel Basics