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Spreadsheet Formulas: Google Sheets and Excel

Functions are the engine inside the cells of your spreadsheet. They power all your most important operations.

Whether you’re calculating compound interest, concatenating cells, or projecting financial expectations, you’ll need to use formulas in Google Sheets and Excel.

Here, we’ll talk about how they work. Our team of experts includes data analysts, programmers, and financial wonks.

Use our search function to look for any specific formula you want to explore, or read on for some of the most popular Google Sheets formulas we’ve ever covered.

Popular Formulas in Google Sheets

We already mentioned a few powerful built-in formulas. The most common might be using a spreadsheet to calculate compound interest.

The same formulas also allow financial planners to project potential investment growth for retirement investments.

We use similar spreadsheet formulas for linear regression, which is helpful for predicting all sorts of financial situations.

Of course, many formulas are so ubiquitous they can’t be confined to a single category. You might need to concatenate cells for all sorts of imported data.

Understanding Syntax

We cover the syntax of Google Sheets and Excel functions in every one of our articles. That means we’ll break down any formula with an equals sign.

In our article on the IF CONTAINS formula, you’ll see this:

=REGEXMATCH(text, expression)

Then, we break down what that means. The first term is the name of the function. The terms in parenthesis are arguments for the formula.

Those vary based on the Google Sheets function, so we give examples for exactly what you need.

Spreadsheet Formula Examples

We also include step-by-step instructions on how to use each formula. That’s true for Google Sheets and Excel functions.

Read my guide to ISERROR, for example. I give a complete guide on how to use it to highlight rows with errors. The guide also includes instructions on how to modify the formula to check for errors in multiple rows or across your whole spreadsheet.

Spreadsheet Formula Cheat Sheet

Looking for quick answers in a single PDF? We wrote a popular Google Sheets Formulas Cheat Sheet. You can download it for free.

How-To Videos

Our team of spreadsheet experts regularly makes videos on complex formulas. Check out our YouTube channel.

Recently, we’ve covered VLOOKUP, SPLIT, and the COUNTIF formula.

Find a Specific Formula

To import Stock Prices into Google Sheets, use the File menu and select import. Then, upload your CSV file. Here’s a video I made that shows the whole process. Where to Find Historical Stock Pri...
To calculate age in Google Sheets, use the DATEDIF or YEARFRAC formulas. Follow along for screenshots and full formula explanations....
Here's how to hide gridlines in Google Sheets with the view menu or the print menu. The guide also shows how to show lines in specific cells....
To make a Google Sheet drop down list, use the insert menu or right click. This guide also covers data validation in drop downs menus....
If you keep and manage records in Google Sheets, having a column with serial numbers is something you may need. While you can easily create a column with serial numbers by manually entering these, it&...
To make a Google Sheet drop down list, use the insert menu or right click. This guide also covers data validation in drop downs menus....
Learn how to subtract in Google Sheets with my ultimate 2024 guide. I cover several ways to find the difference between cells and ranges of data....
Learn how to make a bar graph in Google Sheets. We cover every type of bar chart you can make and you can go through the entire guide in under 10 minutes!...
In this tutorial, I will show you five simple ways to insert Euro symbol in Google Sheets (including a keyboard shortcut and a formula method)...
If you often print your work in Google Sheets, I am sure you have faced the issue of some rows or columns spilling to the next sheet (leading to an extra print copy). While you may want this in some c...
There are many reasons you'd need to use Google Sheets conditional formatting based on another cell. Follow this simple guide to learn how to do it....
Learn how to use Google Sheets copy conditional formatting using three easy methods, including the Paint Format and the Special Paint method....
This article will walk you through 3 ways to remove duplicates in Google Sheets. We also have a video guide....
You can use Google Sheets strikethrough formatting in 3 ways, this guide makes it easy to understand how to do them all....
In this tutorial, learn how to quickly add error bars in Google Sheets. You can easily ass these to columns charts, line charts, or area charts...
Follow this Google Sheets COUNTIF not blank guide to learn 4 different ways to count cells that don't contain data. ...