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

If you're having trouble finding the right function, the** Insert Function** command allows you to search for functions using **keywords**. While it can be useful, this command is sometimes difficult to use. If you don't have much experience with functions, you may have more success browsing the **Function Library **instead. For more **advanced** **users**, however, the Insert Function command can be a powerful way to find a function quickly.

In our example below, we want to find a function that will count the total number of **items **ordered. We want to count the cells in the **Item** column, which uses text. We cannot use the basic COUNT function because it will only count cells with numerical information. Instead, we will need to find a function that counts the **total number of cells** within a cell range.

- Select the
**cell**that will contain the function. In our example, we'll select cell**B16**.Selecting cell B16 - Click the
**Formulas**tab on the**Ribbon**, then select the**Insert Function**command.Selecting the Insert Function command - The
**Insert Function**dialog box will appear. - Type a few
**keywords**describing the calculation you want the function to perform, then click**Go**. In our example, we'll type**Count****cells**, but you can also search by selecting a**category**from the drop-down list.Searching for a function with keywords - Review the
**results**to find the desired function, then click**OK**. In our example, we'll choose**COUNTA**because it will count the number of cells in a cell range.Selecting a function and clicking OK - The
**Function Arguments**dialog box will appear. Select the**Value1:**field, then enter or select the desired cells. In our example, we'll enter the cell range**A3:A10**. You may continue to add arguments in the**Value2**: field, but in this case we only want to count the number of cells in the cell range**A3:A10**. - When you're satisfied, click
**OK**.Entering an argument and clicking OK - The function will be
**calculated**, and the**result**will appear in the cell. In our example, the result shows that a total of**eight items**were ordered.The completed function and calculated value

If you're comfortable with basic functions, you may want to try a more advanced one like **VLOOKUP**. You can check out our article on How to Use Excel's VLOOKUP Function for more information. If you want to learn even more about functions, check out our Excel Formulas tutorial.