Equations form the foundation of many mathematical and scientific applications. Many of these are commonly found inside Excel spreadsheets and projects. Excel makes it easy to write equations in standard notation, making them helpful to all users. Let’s learn how to write equations in Microsoft Excel.
How to Write Equations in Excel
While you can simply type basic equations in Excel cells, it becomes more challenging when you have complex notation of the type often found in advanced math. This is where it pays to use Excel’s built-in Equation menu. The Equation feature lets you type in equations, and automatically corrects them to match proper notation.
Imagine for a moment that you want to type in Albert Einstein’s classic theory of relativity, written as 𝑒=𝑚𝑐². If you simply typed into a single cell, you’d be left with e=mc2, which isn’t correct. The Equation feature helps you.
To write equations in Excel, begin by going to the Insert tab, found on the ribbon. On the right side, you’ll see the Equation option. Go ahead and click on it.
Excel will launch a new tab on the ribbon, called Equation. On it, you’ll see buttons to insert an array of complex notation: fractions, scripts, radicals, integrals, and many more.
You’ll also see a text box in the center of your spreadsheet, labeled Type Equation Here. Inside, you can input the equation of your choice. For this example, begin by typing e=. Both characters will automatically be formatted in equation style and italicized.
Continue with mc, then type ^2, then a space. Excel will automatically apply equation styling to the remaining characters, for an end result of 𝑒=𝑚𝑐².
This feature works with equations long and short, simple and complex. It’s a great way to properly notate math and scientific equations right inside of your spreadsheets.