Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
How to Make Your Formulas Function Even Better
the information in all the cells in one operation. You first select the cell
ranges to hold the information. (Excel lets you select more than one cell
range for this kind of thing — see Chapter 3 for details.) Then you construct
the entry on the Formula bar and press Ctrl+Enter to put the entry into all the
selected ranges.
The key to making this operation a success on a physical keyboard is to hold
the Ctrl key down while you press Enter so that Excel inserts the entry on the
Formula bar into all the selected cells. If you forget to hold Ctrl and you just
press Enter, Excel places the entry in the first cell only of the selected cell
range. On the Windows virtual keyboard, you just tap Ctrl followed by Enter
in succession.
You can also speed up data entry in a list that includes formulas by making
sure that the Extend Data Range Formats and Formulas check box is selected
in the Editing Options section of the Advanced tab in the Excel Options dialog
box. (Choose File Options Advanced or press Alt+FTA.) When this check
box is selected, Excel automatically formats new data that you type in the
last row of a list to match that of like data in earlier rows and copies down
formulas that appear in the preceding rows. Note, however, that for this new
feature to kick in, you must manually enter the formulas and format the data
entries in at least three rows preceding the new row.
Function Even Better
Earlier in this chapter, I show you how to create formulas that perform a
series of simple mathematical operations, such as addition, subtraction,
multiplication, and division. (See the section “Fabricating those fabulous
formulas!”) Instead of creating complex formulas from scratch out of an intricate
combination of these operations, you can find an Excel function to get the
job done.
A function is a predefined formula that performs a particular type of
computation. All you have to do to use a function is supply the values that the
function uses when performing its calculations. (In the parlance of the
Spreadsheet Guru, such values are the arguments of the function. ) As with
simple formulas, you can enter the arguments for most functions either as a
numerical value (for example, or – 4.56 ) or, as is more common, as a cell 22
reference ( B10 ) or as a cell range ( C3:F3 ).
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