Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
How to Make Your Formulas Function Even Better
arguments of a function, select the cell references in the appropriate
argument’s text box (marked Number1, Number2, Number3, and so on) and then
make whatever changes are required to the cell addresses or select a new
range of cells.
Excel automatically adds any cell or cell range that you highlight in the
worksheet to the current argument. If you want to replace the current argument,
you need to highlight it and remove its cell addresses by pressing the Delete
key before you highlight the new cell or cell range to use as the argument.
(Remember that you can always minimize this dialog box or move it to a new
location if it obscures the cells you need to select.)
When you finish editing the function, press Enter or click the OK button in
the Function Arguments dialog box to put it away and update the formula in
I’d be totally lost without AutoSum
Before leaving this fascinating discussion on entering functions, I want you to
get to the AutoSum tool in the Editing group on the Home tab of the Ribbon.
Look for the Greek sigma (Σ) symbol. This little tool is worth its weight in
gold. In addition to entering the SUM, AVERAGE, COUNT, MAX, or MIN functions,
it also selects the most likely range of cells in the current column or row that
you want to use as the function’s argument and then automatically enters
them as the function’s argument. Nine times out of ten, Excel selects (with
the marquee or moving dotted line) the correct cell range to total, average,
count, and so forth. For that tenth case, you can manually correct the range
by simply dragging the cell pointer through the block of cells to sum.
Simply select the AutoSum button followed by Sum on the drop-down menu
on the Home tab when you want to insert the SUM function into the current
cell. The quicker method to select this function is to press Alt+= (the Alt key
plus the equal to symbol on the top row).
If you want to use the AutoSum button to insert another function, such as
AVERAGE, COUNT, MAX, or MIN, you need to click its drop-down button and
select the name of the desired function on its pop-up menu (click Count
Numbers on the menu to insert the COUNT function). If you select the More
Functions command on this menu, Excel opens the Insert Function dialog box
as though you had clicked the fx button on the Formula bar.
In Figure 2-16, check out how to use AutoSum to total the sales of Jack Sprat
Diet Centers in row 3. Position the cell pointer in cell E3 where the first-quarter