Microsoft Office Tutorials and References

In Depth Information

Figure 4-5:
The Function Arguments dialog box.

Let Excel insert functions for you

Most of the time, you're on your own when it comes to inserting functions. However, at least three situations can

arise in which Excel will enter functions for you automatically:

• When you choose Formulas⇒Function Library⇒AutoSum (or Home ⇒Editing⇒AutoSum), Excel does a quick

check of the surrounding cells. It then proposes a formula that uses the SUM function. If Excel guessed your in-

tentions correctly, just press Enter to accept the proposed formula(s). If Excel guessed incorrectly, you can simply

select the range with your mouse to override Excel's suggestion (or press Esc to cancel the AutoSum).

You can preselect the cells to be included in an AutoSum rather than let Excel guess which cells you want. To in-

sert a SUM function in cell A11 that sums A1:A10, select A1:A11 and then click the AutoSum button.

The AutoSum button displays an arrow that, when clicked, displays additional functions. For example, you can

use this button to insert a formula that uses the AVERAGE function.

• When you're working with a table (created by using Insert⇒Tables⇒Table), you can choose Table

Tools⇒Design⇒Total Row, and Excel displays a new row at the bottom of the table that contains summary formu-

las for the columns. See Chapter 9 for more information about tables.

• When you choose Data⇒Data Tools⇒Outline⇒Subtotal, Excel displays a dialog box that enables you to specify

some options. Then it proceeds to insert rows and enter some formulas automatically. These formulas use the

SUBTOTAL function.

More tips for entering functions

The following list contains some additional tips to keep in mind when you use the Insert Function dialog box to

enter functions:

• Click the Help on This Function link (lower left, Figure 4-5) to get help (see Figure 4-6) about the function

that you selected.