The most basic way of using a a spreadsheet is to use it as a glorified calculator, where you simply enter some values then apply a formula to work out the answer.
For instance you have a set of numbers you want to add up.
So you enter them into a worksheet and simply add them up using a formula (as in cell A3)
Most people can quickly master the use of basic formulae and can use spreadsheets to add together lists of things, multiply a few items and come up with a grand total.
However, there are literally hundreds of different formulae and functions already built into spreadsheets. They allow you to use a spreadsheet not just for basic calculations but also for statistical analysis, as a database and for modelling different scenarios.
Over the next few pages we will take a look at formulae and functions and also discuss the difference between relative and absolute cell addresses.