I used to think that you can just type
=13*57 into an org-mode table's cell, hit Tab or Ret, and have it enter the result for you. Today, I learned that this isn't true the hard way as I used this a lot, recomputed the entire table via
C-u C-c C-c, and performed too many steps to undo the mistakes before I noticed them. Until recently, I didn't recompute entire tables, so I probably got tables using this which will explode upon recomputation.
Apparently, using the above lets the table know that the entire column ought to have that value, for some reason. Upon recomputation of the affected cells, this takes effect.
This yields the question of what I assumed
=13*57 does can be done in a similarly easy fashion.
I know that you could use
:=13*57 but that enters the formula into the table formulas line which can get it cluttered up pretty quickly. I just want the result of the computation to be entered. How it came to be doesn't have to be preserved.