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.

Book III

Chapter 3

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:

=SUM(F11,F14,23)