9.4.2 Spreadsheet Formulas

Activity Symbol Activity: Spreadsheet Formulas

The formulas used in a spreadsheet can be displayed as shown in the diagram below. Note that * is the notation for multiplication and that all entries have been rounded to the closest cent. This example shows Maryland state sales tax, which was 6% in 2011 (6% as a decimal is 0.06).

(a) The values in columns C and D will be displayed to two decimal places as they represent an amount of money. What values will be displayed in cell C3 and cell D3?

Answer Symbol


(a) The formula in C3 is: value in cap c three equals value in cap b three prefix multiplication of 0.06.

So, value in cap c three multirelation equals 16.49 multiplication 0.06 almost equals 0.99 (rounded to 2 decimal places).

The value in D3 is obtained by adding together the values in B3 and C3.

So, value in cap d three equals value in cap b three plus value in cap c three equation left hand side equals right hand side 16.49 plus 0.99 = 17.48.

(b) What do you think is being calculated in the cells in column D? Can you suggest a suitable heading for this column, to be entered into D1?

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(b) Column D represents the total cost of the item plus sales tax. A suitable heading might be “Total.” You can think of other correct titles such as “Final Price ($).”

(c) In cell D5 the sum of the values in D2, D3, and D4 will be calculated. Write down a formula that could be entered in cell D5. What does this value represent?

Answer Symbol


(c) The sum can be found by adding together the values in cells D2, D3, and D4. The formula “=D2+D3+D4” could be entered into cell D5. (Note that you do not have to use the formulas that are present in each of the cells you are adding. Just the cell title is sufficient.) Alternatively, you could use “SUM(D2:D4)”, which sums up the cells from D2 to D4 as well. The resulting entry represents the total cost (including Maryland sales tax) of the radio, kettle, and fan together.

With these changes, and the title “Total ($)” typed into cell C5, the spreadsheet will look like the following.

9.4.1 Finding the Balance

9.5 Your Own Formulas