When using Excel functions play an important role in finding values for a range of cells. Learn all about using functions in Excel.

### Introduction

#### Video: Functions

Watch the video (5:17).A **function** is a **predefined formula** that performs calculations using specific values in a particular order. Excel includes many common functions that can be useful for quickly finding the **sum**, **average**, **count**, **maximum value**, and **minimum value** for a range of cells. In order to use functions correctly, you'll need to understand the different **parts of a function** and how to create **arguments **to calculate values and cell references.

Optional: Download our practice workbook.

#### The parts of a function

In order to work correctly, a function must be written a specific way, which is called the **syntax**. The basic syntax for a function is the **equals sign (=)**, the **function name **(SUM, for example), and one or more **arguments**. Arguments contain the information you want to calculate. The function in the example below would add the values of the cell range A1:A20.

Syntax of a basic function #### Working with arguments

Arguments can refer to both **individual cells** and **cell ranges **and must be enclosed within **parentheses**. You can include one argument or multiple arguments, depending on the syntax required for the function.

For example, the function **=AVERAGE(B1:B9) **would calculate the **average** of the values in the cell range B1:B9. This function contains only one argument.

A function with a single argument Multiple arguments must be separated by a **comma**. For example, the function **=SUM(A1:A3, C1:C2, E1) **will **add** the values of all the cells in the three arguments.

A function with multiple arguments