A spreadsheet is a powerful program for performing calculations and you can do very complex calculations if you need to.

You could think of each cell in the spreadsheet’s work area as being that of a pocket calculator’s window.

Any cell in the spreadsheet work area can be used in a similar way to a pocket calculator. The main difference is that in a spreadsheet you have to type the **whole** of the calculation, and then press the [Enter] key to tell it to carry out the calculation. Pressing the [Enter] key can be thought of as being the same as pressing the equals sign on a pocket calculator.

In a spreadsheet the arithmetic signs used are:

Symbol | Description |

+ | For Addition |

- | For Subtraction |

* | For Multiplication |

/ | For Division |

Note: The * is used for multiplication because using an X meant that it could be mistaken for the capital letter X, or an x for the lowercase letter x.

Some basic calculations inbuilt calculations include:

• Sum

• Average

• Maximum

• Minimum

There are also some very complex ones for statistical analysis, engineering, mathematical, logical and financial. You might not use all of them but you should know how to use the basic ones.