Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Session 2.1
Amanda would like the worksheet to calculate the family’s total income and expenses
for each month. She would also like to see a year-end summary that displays the family’s
total income and expenses for the entire year. This summary should also display the aver-
age income and expenses so that Amanda can get a picture of what a typical month looks
like for her family. Amanda realizes that some expenses increase and decrease during cer-
tain months, so she would like to calculate the minimum and maximum values for each
expense category, which will give her an idea of the range of these values throughout the
year. All of this information will help Amanda and Joseph budget for the upcoming year.
To perform these calculations, you’ll have to add several formulas to the workbook. As
discussed in the previous tutorial, formulas are one of the most useful features in Excel
because they enable you to calculate values based on data entered into the workbook. For
more complex calculations, you can enter formulas that contain one or more functions.
Recall that a function is a predefined formula that performs calculations using specific
values. Each Excel function has a name and syntax. The syntax is the rule specifying how
the function should be written. The general syntax of all Excel functions is
FUNCTION ( argument1 , argument2 , ...)
where FUNCTION is the name of the Excel function and argument1 , argument2 , and so
forth are arguments specifying the numbers, text, or cell references used by the function to
calculate a value. An argument can also be an optional argument that is not necessary for
the function to calculate a value. If an optional argument is not included, Excel assumes a
default value for it. Each argument entered in a function is separated by a comma. The con-
vention used in this text shows optional arguments within square brackets along with the
argument’s default value, as follows:
FUNCTION ( argument1, [ argument2 = value2 ])
where argument2 is an optional argument and value2 is the default value for this argument.
As you learn more about individual functions, you will also learn which arguments are
required and which are optional.
Another convention followed in this text is to write function names in uppercase let-
ters, but Excel recognizes the function names entered in either uppercase or lowercase
letters, converting the lowercase letters to uppercase automatically.
There are 350 different Excel functions organized into the following 10 categories:
• Database functions
• Date and Time functions
• Engineering functions
• Financial functions
• Information functions
• Logical functions
• Lookup and Reference functions
• Math and Trigonometry functions
• Statistical functions
• Text and Data functions
You can learn about each function using Excel’s online Help. Figure 2-2 describes some of
the more important Math and Statistical functions that you may often use in your workbooks.

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