Microsoft Office Tutorials and References

In Depth Information

Chapter 4: Introducing

Worksheet Functions

In This Chapter

• The advantages of using functions in your formulas

• The types of arguments used by functions

• How to enter a function into a formula

• Excel's function categories

A thorough knowledge of Excel's worksheet functions is essential for anyone who wants to master the art of for-

mulas. This chapter provides an overview of the functions available for use in formulas.

What Is a Function?

A
worksheet function
is a built-in tool that you use in a formula. Worksheet functions allow you to perform calcu-

lations or operations that would otherwise be impossible. A typical function (such as SUM) takes one or more ar-

guments and then returns a result. The SUM function, for example, accepts a range argument and then returns the

sum of the values in that range.

You'll find functions useful because they

• Simplify your formulas

• Permit formulas to perform otherwise impossible calculations

• Speed up some editing tasks

• Allow
conditional
execution of formulas — giving them rudimentary decision-making capability

The examples in the sections that follow demonstrate each of these points.

Simplify your formulas

Using a built-in function can simplify a formula significantly. For example, you might need to calculate the aver-

age of the values in 10 cells (A1:A10). Without the help of any functions, you would need to construct a formula

like this:

=(A1+A2+A3+A4+A5+A6+A7+A8+A9+A10)/10