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**Overview**

Formula fields make it simple to automatically calculate a value. You can figure out total cost by multiplying the price by quantity, see if a date falls in a particular range, or use advanced functions to compute a risk score based on a formula you specify.

Here's an example of a formula in action. The screenshot below shows a **Total Estimate** field that is adding together numbers that represent the estimated level of effort for a software development project:

Here are a few additional ways the formula field can streamline your SmartSuite apps:

**Create customized text**

You can use a formula to build a customized message by combining other fields' values.

Maybe you want to display the name of a salesperson along with their region when you create a sales performance chart - you could combine a "Salesperson" field with a "Sales Region" field to create a "Sales Rep" field with a value like *Mary Smith (West)*

**Compare dates**

Sometimes it's handy to display the number of days until a specified date so that you can quickly understand a timeline. This is a snap with a formula using one of SmartSuite's built-in functions to compare a "Due Date" with today's date.

## Field Properties

Formula fields can be added and named just like any other field. When you open the field properties, however, you’ll see how this field is different.

Instead of your typical properties display, the Formula field shows you a formula “builder” interface, along with panels that provide a fields list, a selection of *operators* and *functions*, and a help text area. You’ll notice that until you type anything into the formula builder area it contains the text “Write formula here” and a bit of information about the syntax that you can use to builder your formulas.

## Formula Builder

The formula builder interface is where the magic happens - this is where you input your formula using a combination of field names, operators and functions. SmartSuite helps you every step of the way with inline help for every option.

If the entry in the formula builder is invalid, you'll know at a glance with an *Invalid syntax* message displayed just under the text box.

## Fields List

The *Fields* list displayed in the lower-left corner of the formula window includes all of the fields in the current app. Click one and the Help panel to the right will display information about that field and how to reference it in your formula. The list will be filtered as you type in the formula builder, showing only matching field names.

Even easier - just click the *Use* button next to the field and the field name will be inserted into the formula builder at your current cursor location.

## Functions & Operators

The list of functions and operators is where the Function Field gets down to business. This is your toolbox, giving you access to a range of capabilities to evaluate input data and format your field's final output. This list will be filtered as you type in the formula builder, showing only those items that match.

Operators provide you with mathematical functions, allowing you to quickly add or multiply numbers, figure out if two values are equal, and much more.

Functions allow you to determine a value based on certain inputs. Examples of the capabilities represented in the functions library are:

Determining the number of days between two dates

Counting the number of items in a Linked Record field

Counting the number of items in a Sub-Items field

Displaying the year portion of a date

And dozens more...

The format and output of each function is beyond the scope of this help article, but we've put together a list of all Formatting, Functions, & Operators as an area to easily reference everything you need to know about how to use a Formula Field.

You can also find Text, Date, and Numeric examples in our Formula Operators & Functions solution template for those that are hands-on learners. It has basic formulas already set up so you can see how the information changes as you modify the example data, or even use the examples to create your own more complex formulas.

## Formula Field Help Panel

The help panel, displayed in the bottom right corner of the formula interface, displays help for the currently-selected field, operator, or function.

In addition to a description of the selected item and its use in your formula, the help panel will display information about the syntax and example usage of the item.

## Field Help Text

Need to make sure your users understand exactly what the select list is used for or what the values represent? Create customized help text that is displayed to users when they are entering data, making it a snap to personalize the user’s experience and guide them through every step.

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