Microsoft Office Tutorials and References

In Depth Information

• You can use the Insert Function dialog box to insert a function into an existing formula. Just edit the formula

and move the insertion point to the location where you want to insert the function. Then open the Insert

Function dialog box and select the function.

• If you change your mind about entering a function, click Cancel.

• The number of arguments used by the function that you select determines the number of boxes that you see

in the Function Arguments dialog box. If a function uses no arguments, you won't see any boxes. If the

function uses a variable number of arguments (as with the AVERAGE function), Excel adds a new box

every time you enter an optional argument.

• On the right side of each box in the Function Arguments dialog box, you'll see the current value for each ar-

gument that's entered or the type of argument (such as text or number) for arguments yet to be entered.

• A few functions, such as INDEX, have more than one form. If you choose such a function, Excel displays

the Select Arguments dialog box that enables you to choose which form you want to use.

• To locate a function quickly in the Function Name list that appears in the Insert Function dialog box, open

the list box, type the first letter of the function name, and then scroll to the desired function. For example, if

you select the All category and want to insert the SIN function, click anywhere on the Select a Function list

box and type
S
. Excel selects the first function that begins with S. Keep typing S (or press the down arrow

key) until you reach the SIN function.

• If the active cell contains a formula that uses one or more functions, the Function Arguments dialog box en-

ables you to edit each function. In the Formula bar, click the function that you want to edit and then click

the Insert Function button.

Function Categories

I list and briefly describe Excel's function categories in the following sections.

Refer to subsequent chapters for many specific examples of using the functions.

Financial functions

The financial functions enable you to perform common business calculations that deal with money. For ex-

ample, you can use the PMT function to calculate the monthly payment for a car loan. You need to provide the

loan amount, interest rate, and loan term as arguments.

Date and time functions

The functions in this category enable you to analyze and work with date and time values in formulas. For ex-

ample, the TODAY function returns the current date (as stored in the system clock).

Math and trig functions

This category contains a wide variety of functions that perform mathematical and trigonometric calculations.