Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Working with Functions
Using arguments in functions
Every function takes one or more arguments. Arguments are the cell references
or numbers, enclosed in parentheses, which the function acts upon. For
example, =AVERAGE(B1:B4) returns the average of the numbers in the cell
range B1 through B4; =PRODUCT(6.5,C4) returns the product of multiplying
the number 6.5 by the number in cell C4. When a function requires more
than one argument, enter a comma between the arguments (enter a comma
without a space).
Entering a function in a formula
To enter a function in a formula, you can enter the function name by typing
it in the Formula bar, or you can rely on Excel to enter it for you. Enter
function names yourself if you’re well acquainted with a function and
comfortable using it.
No matter how you want to enter a function as part of a formula, start this way:
1. Select the cell where you want to enter the formula.
2. In the Formula bar, type an equal sign (=).
Please, please, please be sure to start every formula by entering an
equal sign (=). Without it, Excel thinks you’re entering text or a number
in the cell.
3. Start constructing your formula, and when you come to the place
where you want to enter the function, type the function’s name or call
upon Excel to help you enter the function and its arguments.
Later in this chapter, “Manually entering a function” shows how to type
in the function yourself; “Getting Excel’s help to enter a function” shows
how to get Excel to do the work.
If you enter the function on your own, it’s up to you to type the arguments
correctly; if you get Excel’s help, you also get help with entering the cell
references for the arguments.
Manually entering a function
Be sure to enclose the function’s argument or arguments in parentheses.
Don’t enter a space between the function’s name and the first parenthesis.
Likewise, don’t enter a comma and a space between arguments; enter a
comma, nothing more: