Setting up Microsoft Excel spreadsheet formulas

Microsoft Excel formulas
Open source software
How do I set up spread sheet formulas. The help section that came with the software is useless to me as it is much too technical. Our children's charity nonprofit runs off one PC, and being able to use the spread sheet would be wonderful instead of making up documents adding on a calculator for hours and then putting it a word style document for our records.

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Try looking for some online Excel tutorials. The concepts are the same in most spreadsheet programs. The general functions are about the same but may have a slightly different name and that is where the online help would be useful in seeing what the function name is in one spreadsheet program vs another.

One online Excel tutorial resource I found is at


I think you will need to specify the “brand” or “name” of the spread sheet program, since you included an ‘excel formulas’ tag, but also an ‘open source applications for linux’ tag.

If the pc is running linux, it could be Star Office, or Open Office, which are pretty similar to Excel.

In general, to write a formula, you need to start with the equal sign (=), for example, to compute a sum for a range of cells (say from A3 to A7), you would write this formula:


or you could write this:


Usually you do not need to write the cell names, but select them with the mouse.

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  • Linux - Ask the Expert
    The questioner provided this additional information about the program: It is sun micro systems open office the question was about the program included in it called Calc. I have been able to get it to add and can manually make it subtract but have no idea how to set up a formula for a column. Thanks for the help.
    270 pointsBadges:
  • Leah Rosin
    I found a help with StarOffice Calc page, and the instructions for setting up a formula are copied here: To Create a Formula 1. Click in the cell where you want to display the result of the formula. 2. Type =, and then type the formula. For example, if you want to add the contents of cell A1 to the contents of cell A2, type =A1+A2 in another cell. 3. Press Return. I would take a look there, hopefully they are less complicated than in the original instructions.
    600 pointsBadges:

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