OK, I know the tag-line for this website is “…because it’s more than just a calculator”. Of course this is in reference to the almost endless number of functions that Excel can calculate when compared to a standard calculator. That isn’t to say though that Excel *can’t* calculate things just as well as a standard calculator.

For example, when balancing a checkbook, you could write out your bank balance and manually add or subtract the deposits and checks that haven’t cleared the bank yet. Or, you could type your bank balance into Excel, type the list of checks and deposits and have Excel do the math for you.

You could also add a list of numbers together in one cell the opposite way from how you would calculate them on a calculator. If you have the following list of numbers: 8, 17, 49, 32, 19, you would add them on a calculator by typing 8+17+49+32+19= to produce 125. In Excel, the equals sign is on the opposite side of the equation. You simply type =8+17+49+32+19 hit Enter and the cell will display the result, 125.

You can do this with all the familiar operators found on a calculator (add, subtract, multiply, and divide), as follows.

Operator | Calculator Input | Excel Formula |

Add (+) | 5+5= | =5+5 |

Subtract (-) | 5-5= | =5-5 |

Multiply (*) | 5×5= | =5*5 |

Divide (/) | 5÷5= | =5/5 |

So, while Excel *is* more than just a calculator, it can still perform various functions like a calculator.