Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Customizing the Worksheet with Formulas
If you go ahead and click IF, you’ll be brought to a dialog box that prompts you to fill in
the blanks—blanks consisting of precisely the parts of the function between the
parentheses shown in Figure 4–18.
Figure 4–18. Look familiar? The dialog box prompts you to enter data in the three IF elements between the
parentheses. In our test example, "Pass" is Value_if-True, and "Fail" is Value_if_False.
Thus, if you look back to that exercise, you would type I12>=65 in the Logical_test field,
and
(note that these between-the-parentheses elements are called arguments ), and when
they’re all filled, you’d click OK. And as you click in each of the fields, a small explanation
what the field does appears in the dialog box. If you click the Help on this function link in
the lower left of the dialog box, you will be delivered a lengthier discussion of how the
function works and is written. Just remember that each function will ask you to fill in a
different set of blanks, depending on what it does.
Customizing the Worksheet with Formulas
While functions are an integral part of the spreadsheet process, there may be times
when you need to do something more specific to your data, something that a built-in
function can’t anticipate. For example—what if you wanted to give every student a
bonus of three points after a challenging exam? Or what if you needed to calculate the
local sales tax on a series of purchases? Excel can’t supply a function to carry out just
those intentions, and so you may have to write a formula—or a series of formulas—
which do the work you need done.
Formulas can be very simple, or can get very complicated. They can incorporate Excel
functions, or they can exist in a stand-alone capacity. Here we’re going to explore the
essentials of formula writing, so you can get going and do real work with them.
 
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