Microsoft Office Tutorials and References

In Depth Information

Work with Formulas

and Functions

Excel provides you with tools for storing

numbers and other kinds of information.

However, the real power of Excel comes from

manipulating all this information. You can use

formulas and functions to calculate in Excel.

and any other values required to get your

results.

Many Excel functions do special-purpose

financial, statistical, engineering, and

mathematical calculations. The Function

Wizard arranges functions in categories for

easy access. The Payment (
PMT
) function in the

Financial category, for example, enables you to

determine an optimal loan payment for a given

principal, interest rate, and length of loan.

The more than 300 functions built into Excel

enable you to perform tasks of every kind,

from adding numbers to calculating the

internal rate of return for an investment. You

can think of a function as a black box. You put

your information into the box, and out come

the results you want. You do not need to know

any obscure algorithms to use functions.

This chapter introduces useful techniques for

making formulas and functions even easier,

including the Function Wizard and the Excel

calculator. You can also find tips for working

more efficiently with functions by naming cells,

creating constants, and documenting your

work. Finally, you can find tips for functions

such as
IF
and special-purpose functions such

as
PMT
and Internal Rate of Return (
IRR
).

Each bit of information you provide is called

an argument. Excelâ€™s Function Wizard provides

guidance for every argument for every function.

A formula consists of an equal sign, one or

more functions, their arguments, operators

such as the division and multiplication symbols,