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.