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

calculations on your worksheet data.

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).

1

2

3

4

1

2

3

4

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.

194