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!