Microsoft Office Tutorials and References

In Depth Information

**Working with Functions**

where
FUNCTION
is the name of the function, and
argument1
,
argument2
, and so forth

are arguments, which are the numbers, text, or cell references used by the function to

return a value. Arguments are always separated by a comma.

Not all functions have arguments. Some functions have optional arguments, which

are not required for the function to return a value, but can be included to provide more

control over how Excel calculates the returned value. If an optional argument is not

included, Excel assumes a default value for it. These tutorials show optional arguments

within square brackets along with the argument’s default value, as follows:

FUNCTION
argument1
,ƒ[
argument2
value2
,ƒ...])
=

In this function,
argument1
is required,
argument2
is an optional argument, and
value2

is the default value used for this argument. As you learn more about individual functions,

you will learn which arguments are required and which are optional, and the default

values used for optional arguments.

The hundreds of available Excel functions are organized into 11 categories. Figure 3-9

describes these different categories.

Optional arguments are

always placed last in the

argument list.

Figure 3-9

Excel function categories

Category

Functions That

Cube

Retrieve data from multidimensional databases involving online analytical

processing or OLAP

Database

Retrieve and analyze data stored in databases

Date & Time

Analyze or create date and time values and time intervals

Engineering

Analyze engineering problems

Financial

Have financial applications

Information

Return information about the format, location, or contents of worksheet cells

Logical

Return logical (true-false) values

Lookup & Reference

Look up and return data matching a set of specified conditions from a range

Math & Trig

Have math and trigonometry applications

Statistical

Provide statistical analyses of a set of data

Text

Return text values or evaluate text

You can learn about each function using the Help system. Figure 3-10 describes some

of the more common Math, Trig, and Statistical functions used in workbooks.