Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Formatting Cells and Ranges
The functions in the Lookup & Reference category are used with tables created in Excel
itself (one exception is the HYPERLINK function). Functions in the Database category all
begin with the letter D and are used to perform calculations on the contents of lists or
databases on a worksheet.
If you know what Cube functions are, you probably also have a black belt in database
management. The seven functions in this group are specifically designed for use with data that
comes into Excel via connections to SQL Server Analysis Services or other online analytical
processing (OLAP) data sources. These queries are called cubes (or OLAP cubes), which
explains the name of the function category.
We cover all types of external data connections in “External Database Connections” on page 391.
The 38 advanced statistical functions listed under the Compatibility category are
living on borrowed time. Each one has been replaced in Excel 2010 with a new, rewritten
function—faster and more accurate and with a new name. The old GAMMADIST
function, for example, has been supplanted in Excel 2010 by the GAMMA.DIST function.
The old functions are around only for compatibility with Excel 2007 and earlier
versions. If you know that the worksheet you’re working with now will be used exclusively
with Excel 2010, you should use the new functions. However, if there’s any chance that
you’ll want to share your workbook with someone using an older version of Excel, stick
with the functions in the Compatibility category.
Formatting Cells and Ranges
When you enter values, text, or formulas in a cell, Excel applies default formatting to the
contents of those cells based on its best guess as to the data type. You can adjust this
formatting by using the commands in the Number group on the Home tab, as shown here. A
far more extensive set of options is available in the Format Cells dialog box, which opens
when you click the dialog box launcher in the lower right corner of the Number group (or
right-click any cell or range and choose Format Cells).
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