Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Creating a Total with the SUM Function
4. Select one of the functions listed in the
Select a Function box. A description of the
function, and its syntax, appears just below
this box. We want to use the SUM function,
so select it from the functions listed.
With some functions, such as the SUM
function, Excel will often guess the cells you
want to use as the argument. In this case, it
guessed that I wanted to use the range
Q8:Q17 because that range of cells was just
above the result cell. Still, as often as Excel
gets it right, it sometimes guesses wrong. If
that has happened to you, or if Excel hasn’t
taken a guess, click inside the first argument
box, which in this case, is labeled Number1.
A description of the argument appears in the
bottom of the Function wizard. This helps
you to enter appropriate values into each
of the argument boxes. Type the argument
value. For example, type the range address
Q8:Q17.
5. Click OK to insert the selected function. The
Function wizard appears (see Figure 3-6).
6. Now it’s time to feed the function the
information it needs to perform its calculation.
You feed this information to the function
through its arguments. Required arguments
appear in bold in the Function wizard;
optional arguments (if any) appear in regular
text. Here you can see that the SUM function
requires only one argument—a range of cells
to add.
As you enter the arguments, the value of that
argument is displayed to the right of the text
box. By “value,” I don’t necessarily mean the
amount—if you enter a range, you will see
the values for each cell in the range listed
to the right. If you enter a single cell address,
you’ll see its value. If you enter a text
string, you’ll see the text listed to the right,
and so on.
Required
Argument
Argument
Description
Collapse
Button
Function
Result
Using Help for Arguments
If you need help understanding the
arguments for a particular function, click the
Help button located in the upper-right
corner of the dialog box.
Formula
Result
Figure 3-6
The Function wizard helps you to
enter arguments for a function.
 
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