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How to Work With Formulas in Google Docs: a Starter Guide

Student life is full of new experiences and discoveries. This is the time when you go partying all night, meet new people, write essays and business capstones, purchase term papers, and learn using different tools that will be useful not only for your study period but also in the future at work.

Most organizations today require the periodic filing of various reports. For these purposes, it is not necessary to spend a lot of time on manual calculations. It is quite enough to learn how to use Google Docs.

Formulas in Google Docs – what they are, types, and elements

Google Docs is an application, the distinctive feature of which is the possibility to work online with several people at the same time. Besides, work in the application completely excludes loss of information because of the interrupted session.

Also, Google Docs allows you to automatically perform all kinds of mathematical calculations.

Numerous formulas can be divided into 2 types: simple and complex. They differ in the presence of the following elements:

  1. Constants are fixed data. They are usually numbers.
  2. Operators are signs of mathematical calculations: division, addition, multiplication, and subtraction. The division symbol is called a “slash”.
  3. Cell references are divided into absolute, relative, and mixed in complexity.
  4. Range names are the names of individual cells. Their positives include the ability to transfer with all calculations intact. In the relative varieties, this possibility is excluded.
  5. Functions are the ability to give a program certain requirements, such as SUM, COUNT, IMPORTRANGE.

Simple ones, as opposed to complex ones, are limited to having a constant, operators, and cell references within a worksheet. Complex ones, in addition to all of the above, have range names and can perform several tasks simultaneously.

Rules for working with formulas in Google documents

Working with formulas in Google tables starts with using a named range of cells. Later, in the formula bar, which is located at the top under the toolbar, mark the necessary option. It can also be set manually. The name of the formulas in the application is fixed and presented in English: SUM is the summation, AVERAGE is the average value, MAX is the maximum value, and so on. For self-entry, we enter the name of the cells and use the operator to mark which action the program needs to perform.

To use formulas in other Google documents, open the “Insert” menu in the upper left corner, then select “Formula” and use the cursor to indicate where it should be inserted. Look for missing notations in the “Symbols” menu. If you want to create one or several more formulas, go to “New Formula”.

How to add, copy and edit a formula

Any work with formulas starts with inserting the (=) sign on the desired line. Then you need to select the desired cell, designate its name range, and put the cursor in the formula line. After that, select the name of the formula on the toolbar, copy it, and create your version using the reference types.

To edit or delete it, also select it and do all the necessary operations.

You can select a line by pressing F2 after the cursor is moved to it.

For copying, there are 2 ways:

  1. You need to move the cursor to the line with the formula and, using Ctrl+C to copy, and Ctrl+V to paste, perform the desired action.
  2. Once the cursor is positioned on the line, right-click the mouse, select the “Copy” function, and left-click “Paste” to copy.

Applying formulas with data from multiple sheets

To process material that is on different pages, the line for the formula must refer to the necessary pages. To do this, also begin the entry with an (=) sign, then mark the necessary action, e.g. SUM, then indicate the required sheets in parentheses. To make sure the program doesn’t crash, use a capital letter and single quotes for the word ‘sheet’ (‘Sheet’). Next, put an exclamation mark and write the name range of the required cells, and between them mark the required operator for the calculation.

If mathematical or stylistic errors are made in the design of the automatic calculation, the program will notify the user with a message on the pop-up window.

Three Google Spreadsheet formulas worth trying

Tables are incredibly powerful, but you don’t always know which Google Tables formula you need to use to solve a problem.

The functions of Tables give you a range of possibilities. Take a look at a few of our favorite features.

1. =TRIM

When you open data inside spreadsheets, it may not always be neat. They may have gaps in them.

In such cases, the TRIM function really helps save time. It automates the work of cleaning up the in-between and end gaps. Instead of clicking and working with each cell, use TRIM to do everything automatically.

To use TRIM, just type =TRIM, and specify the cell that needs to be processed. Press enter, and you’ll quickly clear the data, which you can see in the example below. For example, =TRIM(A2).

Scale TRIM by spreading it out and running automation on the cells you want. Think of this Google Spreadsheets feature whenever you get data that needs to be stripped of extra spaces.


Continuing the topic of putting data in order. You can get data in a mixed format, such as when you have both uppercase and lowercase letters. This is a job for the PROPER function, which will save you from agony and retyping manually, and will automatically get everything in the right order.

To use the PROPER function, just type =PROPER, and point to the cell where you want to process the data. Press enter and the first letters of the words will be capitalized.

As usual, you can simply spread the formula over other cells to process them as well.


Google Translate is a very useful tool, which allows you to quickly translate. But it is even better when you can make this translation directly in the table, thanks to =GOOGLETRANSLATE.

Let’s say you often have to upload data and systems with text in a foreign language. You need to translate them quickly, and every time you load data, you put the translation in the table.

Instead of constantly switching from table to Google Translator pages, copying and pasting words back and forth, just use =GOOGLETRANSLATE right in the table.

The easiest way to use the function is to simply type =GOOGLETRANSLATE(A2) to tell the function to translate the text in cell A2. Google will try to guess the language and present the translation in the language of your account.

Expand your knowledge and skills in using Google Spreadsheets to complete the tasks much faster. You should spend your youth properly, so make sure you do everything to make the most from it. Learn the ways to do your homework faster, so you could also go out with your friends and make a lot of useful connections. Get your paper done by finding on reddit essay writing service if you want to go to the master class on dancing or visit some conference. Find your balance in studying, improving yourself, and just having fun. This is what makes your college life most useful and interesting!

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