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)

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Literal value:
=SQRT(121)

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Literal text string:
=PROPER(“john smith”)

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Expression:
=SQRT(183+12)

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Other functions:
=SQRT(SUM(A1:A24))

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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.