Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Understanding Functions
Understanding
Functions
If you are looking for a speedier way to enter formulas, you can use any one of a wide variety of
functions. Functions are ready-made formulas that perform a series of operations on a specified
range of values. Excel offers more than 300 functions that you can use to perform mathematical
Function Elements
All functions must start with an equal sign (=). Functions are distinct in
that each one has a name. For example, the function that sums data is
called SUM, and the function for averaging values is called AVERAGE. You
can create functions by typing them directly into your worksheet cells or
Formula bar; alternatively, you can use the Insert Function dialog box to
select and apply functions to your data.
Constructing Arguments
Functions use arguments to indicate which cells contain the values you
want to calculate. Arguments are enclosed in parentheses. When applying
a function to individual cells in a worksheet, you can use a comma to
separate the cell addresses, as in =SUM(A5,B5,C5). When applying a
function to a range of cells, you can use a colon to designate the first and
last cells in the range, as in =SUM(B5:E12). If your range has a name, you
can insert the name, as in =SUM(Sales).
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Types of Functions
Excel groups functions into 12 categories, each of which includes a variety of functions:
Category
Description
Financial
Includes functions for calculating loans, principal, interest, yield, and depreciation.
Date & Time
Includes functions for calculating dates, times, and minutes.
Math & Trig
Includes a wide variety of functions for calculations of all types.
Statistical
Includes functions for calculating averages, probabilities, rankings, trends, and more.
Lookup & Reference
Includes functions that enable you to locate references or specific values in your worksheets.
Database
Includes functions for counting, adding, and filtering database items.
Text
Includes text-based functions to search and replace data and other text tasks.
Logical
Includes functions for logical conjectures, such as if-then statements.
Information
Includes functions for testing your data.
Engineering
Offers many kinds of functions for engineering calculations.
Cube
Enables Excel to fetch data from SQL Server Analysis Services, such as members, sets, aggregated
values, properties, and KPIs.
Compatibility
Use these functions to keep your workbook compatible with earlier versions of Excel.
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