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Excel Functions
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Excel Functions

Excel Functions | Microsoft Excel XP | Page 2

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Learn all about Excel functions with step-by-step on how to use a function, enter functions manually and how to modify them.

Excel Office Helper What's on this page...
Using Functions in your Formulas
Entering Functions Manually
Modifying a range reference used in a function
Using the Insert Function command

Editing Formulas and Functions

Entering Excel Functions Manually

If you're familiar with the function that you want to use, you may choose to type the function and its arguments into your formula.

Often this is the most efficient method.

Excel functions are composed of three elements:

The equal sign (=)
to indicate that what follows is a formula.
The function name,
such as SUM or AVERAGE, which indicates what operation is to be performed.
The argument,
which indicates the cell addresses of the data that the function will act on and you can indicate the range of a row or column by inserting a colon (:) between the starting and ending cell addresses, such as A1:A20.

If you have a look at Excel Formulas, you can see the simple formula looks like this:

You can more easily express this as a function by typing the following:

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When you type a function into a cell, Excel always converts it to uppercase.

Its a good idea to use lowercase when entering functions:

If Excel doesn't convert it to uppercase, it means that Excel doesn't recognize your entry as a function (you probably spelled it incorrectly!).

Modifying A Range Reference Used In A Function

When you edit a cell that contains a formula, Excel color-codes the reference in the formula and places an outline around each cell or range referenced in the formula.

The color of the outline corresponds to the color displayed in the formula.

Each outlined cell or range also contains a fill handle (a small square in the lower-left corner).

Excel Funtions: Formula example 3

If your formula contains a function that uses a range argument, you can easily modify the range reference by following these steps:

1. To begin editing the formula, press F2


Double-click the cell


Click inside the formula in the Formula bar.
  Excel Functions: Formula example 4
2. Locate the range that the function uses (the range is outlined).
3. Drag the fill handle to extend or contract the range.

Or, you can click a border of the outlined range and move the outline to a new range.

In either case, Excel changes the range reference in the formula.
4. Press ENTER.
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see also... Using Functions in Formulas
Using the Insert Function command | Editing Formulas & Functions
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