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.