Most people haven’t created a formula in Excel using the Equation Editor. If you are writing specifications for what statistical analyses must be performed on a project, it is appropriate to begin with a professional looking formula. Excel’s Equation Editor isn’t difficult to use and you shouldn’t be afraid of it. It is just a collection of templates or frameworks that you nest one inside another. Once you have practiced a few times with the Equation Editor, you should be able to create a formula like the one shown in Figure 1 in less than 3 minutes. You can achieve proficiency with the Equation Editor after creating only a few equations.

*Figure 1. Standard deviation of a sample’s frequency distribution.*

To invoke the Equation Editor, first click **INSERT** in the menu bar and then click **Equation**, which is on the right in the Symbols menu.

*Figure 2. Click Equation to start the Equation Editor.*

After Excel switches to Equation Editor mode, I suggest right-clicking where it says **Type equation here** and selecting a larger font size. I chose a 24 point font size.

*Figure 3. Increasing the equation’s font size.*

The next several steps consist of choosing the appropriate formatting templates for your equation. The order in which you build an equation makes a difference on how easy it is to complete it. Build starting at the outside and go progressively inward.

*Figure 4. The easy part of my equation.*

The outermost part of my equation is a radical, so that is where I began. I selected the square root template as shown.

*Figure 5. Choosing the square root template.*

Notice that the cursor is set to the right of the equation. That’s not where it needs to be for the next step.

*Figure 6. The cursor appears to the right of the highlighted formula.*

Click the square box to set focus there and click on **Fraction** to see the list of fraction templates.

*Figure 7. Click the square box and select a template to insert where the square box is.*

We need the stacked fraction template for our formula.

*Figure 8. Selecting a stacked fraction template.*

Once again, the cursor appears to the right. You’ll need to change focus twice, once to the numerator and once to the denominator.

*Figure 9. Square root template containing a stacked fraction template.*

Set focus to the numerator and select the simple summation operator.

*Figure 10. Ready to place a summation operator in the numerator.*

After the summation operator template in place, click the square box to set focus to it.

*Figure 11. The superscript template is found under ***Script**.

Select the superscript template.

*Figure 12. Selecting the ***Superscript** template.

You’ll need to set focus to each of the Superscript’s square boxes, one at a time.

*Figure 13. Initial appearance of a newly inserted Superscript template.*

Set focus to the exponent square box and enter the exponent.

*Figure 14. Focus set to the exponent before entering it.*

After entering the exponent, set focus to the base and enter the parentheses.

*Figure 15. Parentheses for the base.*

We need x bar for the mean of the sample, which requires the use of the Accent template.

*Figure 16. Putting a bar over a symbol is accomplished with an Accent template.*

Make sure the cursor is in the correct location before selecting the **Bar** template.

*Figure 17. Selecting the ***Bar** template.

Once the Bar template is in place, set focus to the square box and enter the letter x to create x bar.

*Figure 18. Using the Bar template.*

Once the numerator is complete, it is time to complete the denominator.

*Figure 19. Numerator finally complete.*

Set focus to the denominator to enter another summation template.

*Figure 20. Fraction template with focus set to the denominator.*

I recommend entering the parentheses before inserting the summation operator.

*Figure 21. Ready to insert summation template.*

*Figure 22. Summation template inserted.*

Set focus to the square box to set focus and add the f.

*Figure 23. Focus set to add the f.*

Add the minus and the 1 to complete the equation.

*Figure 24. All items entered into the Equation Editor.*

*Figure 25. Impressive looking end result.*

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