Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Using Functions in Formulas
Function/Formula
Result
=SUM(A1:A5)
Returns the sum of the values in the range A1:A5.
This is an example of a function serving as the whole
formula.
Returns the sum of the values in the range A1:A5
divided by the value in cell B5. This is an example of
mixing a function’s result with other data.
=SUM(A1:A5) /B5
Returns the sum of the range A1:A5 added with the
average of the range B1:B5. This is an example of a
formula that combines the result of two functions.
=SUM(A1:A5) +
AVERAGE(B1:B5)
Ready to write your first formula with a function in it? This function creates
an average:
1. Enter some numbers in a column’s cells.
2. Click an empty cell where you want to see the result.
3. Enter =AVERAGE( to start the function.
Note: Excel presents a list of functions that have the same spelling as the
function name you type. The more letters you type, the shorter the list
becomes. The advantage is, for example, typing the letter A, using the ↓
to select the AVERAGE function, and then pressing the Tab key.
4. Click the first cell with an entered value and, while holding the mouse
button, drag the mouse pointer over the other cells that have values.
An alternative is to enter the range of those cells.
5. Enter a ).
6. Press Enter.
If all went well, your worksheet should look a little bit like mine, in Figure 1-20.
Cell B10 has the calculated result, but look up at the Formula Bar and you can
see the actual function as it was entered.
Formulas and functions are dependent on the cells and ranges to which
they refer. If you change the data in one of the cells, the result returned by
the function updates. You can try this now. In the example you just did with
making an average, click one of the cells with the values and enter a different
number. The returned average changes.
A formula can consist of nothing but a single function — preceded by an equal
sign, of course!
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