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. Excel’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,
 
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