Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Entering Formulas into Your Worksheets
consist of a cell reference, literal values, literal text strings, expressions, and even other
functions. Here are some examples of functions that use various types of arguments:
Cell reference: =SUM(A1:A24)
Literal value: =SQRT(121)
Literal text string: =PROPER(“john smith”)
Expression: =SQRT(183+12)
Other functions: =SQRT(SUM(A1:A24))
A comma is the list separator character for the U.S. version of Excel. Some other versions may use a semicolon. The
list separator is a Windows setting, which can be adjusted in the Windows 8 Control Panel (in the Customize Format
dialog box accessed via clicking Additional settings on the Formats tab of the Region dialog box; open the dialog box
by navigating to Clock, Language, and Region and clicking Region).
More about functions
All told, Excel includes more than 450 functions. And if that’s not enough, you can
download or purchase additional specialized functions from third-party suppliers — and even
create your own custom functions (by using VBA) if you’re so inclined.
Some users feel a bit overwhelmed by the sheer number of functions, but you’fill probably
fi nd that you use only a dozen or so on a regular basis. And as you’fill see, the Excel Insert
Function dialog box (described later in this chapter) makes it easy to locate and insert a
function, even if it’s not one that you use frequently.
Entering Formulas into Your Worksheets
Every formula must begin with an equal sign to inform Excel that the cell contains a
formula rather than text. Excel provides two ways to enter a formula into a cell: manually, or
by pointing to cell references. The following sections discuss each way in detail.
Excel provides additional assistance when you create formulas by displaying a drop-down
list that contains function names and range names. The items displayed in the list are
determined by what you’ve already typed. For example, if you’re entering a formula and
then type the letters you’fill see the drop-down list shown in Figure 15.2. If you type an SU,
additional letter, the list is shortened to show only the matching functions. To have Excel
AutoComplete an entry in that list, use the navigation keys to highlight the entry, and
then press Tab. Notice that highlighting a function in the list also displays a brief
description of the function. See the sidebar “Using Formula AutoComplete” for an example of how
this feature works.
 
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