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

- Use functions

- A
**function**is a**predefined formula**that helps perform common mathematical functions.

Each function has a specific order, called **syntax**. Syntax must be followed for the function to work correctly.

- All functions begin with the equals sign.
- After the equals sign is the
**function name**. - One or more
**arguments**are enclosed in parentheses. If there is more than one argument, they are separated by commas.

An example of a function with **one argument**:

An example of a function with **more than one argument**:

Excel has hundreds of **functions or predefined formulas** to assist you with your calculations. As you know, building individual formulas can be difficult and time consuming. Using Excel's functions can save you a lot of time and headaches.

There are many functions in **Excel**. For our purposes in Excel 2000, we will discuss some common functions.

**SUM**: **Summation** adds a range of cells together.

**AVERAGE**: **Average** calculates the average of a range of cells.

**COUNT**: This **counts** the number of chosen data in a range of cells.

**MAX**: This identifies the **largest number** in a range of cells.

**MIN**: This identifies the **smallest number** in a range of cells.

Interest rates

Loan payments

Depreciation amounts

Day of week

Year

Time

Date

You don't have to memorize the functions, but you should have an idea of what they will do for you.

The **Sum function** is located on the **Standard** toolbar.

- If necessary, enter the numbers you want to calculate.
- Select the numbers you want to total.
- On the
**Standard**toolbar, click the**Sum**button. - Your total appears in the cell below the range you selected.

- Click the cell where you want the result of the function to appear.
- Type the equals sign.
- On the Formula bar, click the
**Edit Formula**button. - Choose a function from the
**Function Box**drop-down list. - The result of the function appears.

If you didn't see the function you were looking for, there are other functions available through the **Paste Function** dialog box, which are explained below.

Excel **will not always tell you** if your function contains an error, so it's up to you to check all of your functions. To learn how to do this, read the Double-Check Your Formulas lesson from our Excel Formulas tutorial.

- Click the cell where you want to place the
**end result**. - Type the equals sign.
- On the Formula bar, in the
**function box**drop-down list, choose**More Functions**. - The
**Paste Function**dialog box opens. Choosing**Insert****Functions**or clicking the**Paste Function**button opens the**Paste Function**dialog box as well. - Notice the
**function categories**available, including statistical, financial, and date and time. - When a function category is selected, the corresponding
**function names**display. Additional information about the function name displays in the lower part of the dialog box. - Click
**OK**.

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.

- In Excel, re-create the spreadsheet shown below.
- In cell address B11, enter the
**sum**of the range B5:B9 using the**Sum function**. **Copy the formula**to the other columns (C11:F11), totaling columns C, D, E, and F.- In cell address B12, enter the
**average**of the range B5:B9 using the**Edit Formula**button. **Copy the function**to the other columns (C12:F12), averaging columns C, D, E, and F.- Use the
**Paste Function**button to enter the**COUNT**in cell B13.**Copy the function**to the other columns (C13:F13).