Microsoft Office Tutorials and References

In Depth Information

**Using functions in your formulas**

Every left parenthesis, of course, must have a matching right parenthesis. If you have

many levels of nested parentheses, keeping them straight can sometimes be difﬁ cult. If the

parentheses don’t match, Excel displays a message explaining the problem — and won’t let

you enter the formula.

In some cases, if your formula contains mismatched parentheses, Excel may propose a

correction to your formula. Figure 15.1 shows an example of a proposed correction. You may be

tempted simply to accept Excel’s suggestion, but be careful — in many cases, the proposed

formula, although syntactically correct, isn’t the formula you intended and it will produce

an incorrect result.

FIGURE 15.1

Excel sometimes suggests a syntactically correct formula, but not the formula

you had in mind.

When you’re editing a formula, Excel lends a hand in helping you match parentheses by displaying matching

parentheses in the same color.

Using functions in your formulas

Many formulas you create use worksheet functions. These functions enable you to greatly

enhance the power of your formulas and perform calculations that are difﬁ cult (or even

impossible) if you use only the operators discussed previously. For example, you can use the

TAN
function to calculate the tangent of an angle. You can’t do this complicated calculation

by using the mathematical operators alone.

Examples of formulas that use functions

A worksheet function can simplify a formula signiﬁ cantly.

15

Here’s an example. To calculate the average of the values in ten cells (A1:A10) without

using a function, you’d have to construct a formula like this:

=(A1+A2+A3+A4+A5+A6+A7+A8+A9+A10)/10