Microsoft Office Tutorials and References

In Depth Information

**Not Just Your Average Function**

Figure 3–15.
What you see when you click that arrow

Click the arrow and you’ll see a small list of additional functions, and pretty important ones, ones

I’ve used a million times:

Sum

Average

Count Numbers

Max

Min

How do these work and what do they do? To answer those questions in order—these functions

behave virtually identically to SUM, in the sense that they’re written in the same manner, with the same

kinds of range references and issues as described above. Moreover, each of these has an “Auto”

character—meaning that if you click beneath a column or to the right of a row of numbers, you can click

on their names and install them in the desired cell—just as with AutoSum.

Now let’s explain what these functions actually do.

Not Just Your Average Function

AVERAGE
is a spreadsheet staple that performs as advertised—it computes the average of a range,

or a set of selected cells. Again, its structure is a virtual clone of SUM, so for example:

=AVERAGE(D23:D42)

returns the average of that range. As implied earlier in our discussion of SUM, AVERAGE
ignores
any

blank cell in a range, refusing to treat it as the mathematical equivalent of zero. Thus AVERAGE yields a

result of 8 for the range below, and not the 6.4 you’d compile if the blank cell were assigned an ad hoc

value of zero.

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