How to Create a Formula in Google Sheets: Step-by-Step Guide

Creating a formula in Google Sheets is a breeze if you know the steps. First, you’ll need to open up a Google Sheets document. Then, click on the cell where you want the formula to go. Next, type an equals sign (=), followed by the formula you want to use. Finally, press Enter and voila! Your formula is ready to go.

Step by Step Tutorial: Creating a Formula in Google Sheets

Before we dive into the steps, let’s get a quick understanding of what we’re about to do. Creating a formula in Google Sheets is like giving the program a set of instructions to calculate something for you. It could be as simple as adding two numbers or as complex as finding the average of a whole list of data.

Step 1: Select the Cell

Click on the cell where you want the formula to go.

When you select the cell, it becomes the active cell. This is where your formula will live. Make sure it’s the right one because this is where the magic happens.

Step 2: Type the Equals Sign (=)

Type an equals sign (=) into the selected cell.

The equals sign is essential because it tells Google Sheets that you’re about to input a formula, not just data.

Step 3: Enter Your Formula

After the equals sign, type the formula you want to use.

Remember, formulas can vary from simple operations like addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, to more complex functions like SUM, AVERAGE, or IF statements.

Step 4: Press Enter

Once you’ve typed your formula, press Enter on your keyboard.

After pressing Enter, Google Sheets will process the formula and display the result in the cell you selected. If you’ve done everything correctly, you should see the answer you’re looking for.

After completing these steps, your formula will start working immediately. If you’ve set up a formula to add two numbers and you change one of those numbers later, Google Sheets will automatically update the result. That’s the beauty of formulas; they make your spreadsheets dynamic and responsive.

Tips: Making the Most of Formulas in Google Sheets

  • Always start your formula with an equals sign (=).
  • If you’re unsure about a formula, use the ‘Insert Function’ option for guidance.
  • Use cell references like A1 or B2 in your formulas to make them dynamic.
  • Double-check your formulas for any errors before pressing Enter.
  • Explore Google Sheets’ vast library of functions to enhance your formulas.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a cell reference in Google Sheets?

A cell reference is like a pointer to a specific cell in your spreadsheet, such as A1 or B2.

Can I copy a formula to another cell?

Absolutely! Just copy the cell with the formula and paste it into a new cell. Google Sheets will adjust the cell references automatically.

What is the difference between a formula and a function in Google Sheets?

A formula is like an equation that you create, while a function is a predefined operation like SUM or AVERAGE that you can use within a formula.

How do I create a formula that adds two cells together?

To add two cells, just type the equals sign followed by the two cell references separated by a plus sign. For example, “=A1+B1”.

Can I use formulas across different sheets within the same document?

Yes, you can! Just include the sheet name followed by an exclamation mark before the cell reference, like “Sheet2!A1”.


  1. Select the cell where you want the formula.
  2. Type the equals sign (=).
  3. Enter your formula.
  4. Press Enter.


Creating a formula in Google Sheets is a fundamental skill that can significantly enhance your data analysis and productivity. With just a few clicks and keystrokes, you can automate calculations, analyze data, and bring a level of sophistication to your spreadsheets that simply isn’t possible with manual input alone. Whether you’re a student, a business professional, or someone who loves to organize personal data, mastering the art of formula creation in Google Sheets is a game-changer.

Remember, practice makes perfect. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different formulas and functions. The more you play around with Google Sheets, the more comfortable you’ll become. And if you ever get stuck, don’t hesitate to use the ‘Insert Function’ option or reach out to the vast community of Google Sheets users online.

In conclusion, creating a formula in Google Sheets is a skill worth having in your toolbox. Embrace the power of automation and let Google Sheets do the heavy lifting for you. Your future self will thank you for the time and effort saved. Happy spreadsheeting!

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