Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
A Function Sampler and Formula Troubleshooting
A Function Sampler and
Excel is packed with dozens and dozens of functions. It’s like having a team of
number- and text-crunching spreadsheet jockeys by your desk, ready to help.
(Yep, functions can also work their magic on your prose, doing things like
joining together words, trimming out unwanted spaces, and serving as a kind of
super-powered find-and-replace tool.) This chapter dips its toe into the giant pool
of built-in functions. You’ll take a “greatest hits”-style tour and then wind things up
with a look at a related and similarly helpful aid: the program’s formula evaluation
and error-checking tools.
Most people don’t devote enough thought to rounding , the process by which you
adjust fractional numbers so they’re less precise but more manageable. For example,
rounding can transform the unwieldy number 1.984323125 to 2. Excel has two ways
to use rounding:
• Modify the number format of the cell . With this method, Excel rounds the
displayed value, but it doesn’t change the underlying value. The advantage to
this approach is that you can use the value in other calculations without losing
any precision. When Excel rounds your numbers using this method, it simply
rounds to the last displayed digit (rounding up if the next digit is 5 or greater).
For example, if you tell Excel to show the number 3.145 using two decimal
places, then Excel displays the rounded value of 3.15. (Cell value formatting is
described in Chapter 16.)