Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Chapter 4: Introducing
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