Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Using the Insert Function Button
Formula Shortcuts
When you spot a function that looks promising, click it once to highlight its name.
Excel then displays a brief description of the function at the bottom of the window.
For more information, you can click the “Help on this function” link in the
bottomleft corner of the window. To build a formula using this function, click OK.
Excel then inserts the function into the currently active cell, followed by a set of
parentheses. Next, it closes the Insert Function dialog box, and then opens the
Function Arguments dialog box (Figure 17-10).
Collapse dialog box
Figure 17-10:
Top: Here, the COMBIN()
function has just been inserted via
the Insert Function dialog box.
Because the COMBIN() function
requires two arguments (Number
and Number_chosen), the
Function Arguments dialog box shows
two text boxes. The first argument
uses a literal value (52), while
the second argument uses a cell
reference (A1). (You can use literal
values or a cell reference for either
argument—it’s up to you.) As you
enter the arguments, Excel updates
the formula in the worksheet’s
active cell, and displays the result
the calculation at the bottom of the
Function Arguments dialog box.
Bottom: If you need more room to
see the worksheet and select cells,
you can click the Collapse Dialog
Box icon to reduce the window
to a single text box. Clicking the
Expand Dialog Box icon restores
the window to its normal size.
Expand dialog box
Note: Depending on the function you’re using, Excel may make a (somewhat wild) guess about which
arguments you want to supply. For example, if you use the Insert Function dialog box to add a SUM()
function, you’ll see that Excel picks a nearby range of cells. If this isn’t what you want, just replace the
range with the correct values.
Now you can finish creating your formula by using the Function Arguments dialog
box, which includes a text box for every argument in the function. It also includes
a help link for detailed information about the function, as shown in Figure 17-11.
 
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