Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Revisiting Function Structure
In our second try, in which the student scored 60, the word Fail
appears instead. This is because the score hasn’t met the condition
(the logical test), and failure to meet that condition triggers the value if
false (see Figure 4–14.—in this case, the word Fail .
Got all that? If not, with a bit of playing around with the expression (e.g., you could edit it
to enter a different passing score), it will start making more sense. As usual, practice is
the hidden ingredient.
Revisiting Function Structure
Now I’ll offer a few general observations about how to use functions:
You must write an equal sign (=) before you can use the function
(functions can only appear in formulas).
The equal sign is always followed by the function’s name (e.g.,
SUM
or
AVERAGE
).
A parenthesis always comes next in the expression, and the function
always concludes with a closed parenthesis, like so:
=AVERAGE(A23:A72)
The kind of information you enter between the parentheses varies,
from ranges to logical tests.
NOTE: You can also always type the function if you wish, instead of clicking button options.
Locating Functions in the Function Library
As already stated, Excel has hundreds of functions that do all kinds of things. When I
was first exposed to functions sometime during the last century, I was mystified why
anyone would actually want to use these curiously named things, and they seemed
bewilderingly obscure. But as I began to learn more about spreadsheets, I began to
appreciate the many uses to which functions can be put, and the more you know about
them, the more you’ll be able to do in Excel.
All of Excel’s functions are stored in a collection of buttons in the Function Library button
group on the Formulas tab, as shown in Figure 4–16.
Figure 4–16. Good reading: The Function Library
Table 4–2 briefly summarizes the types of functions contained in each group.
 
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