Using Functions

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

Using functions

A function is a predefined formula that helps perform common mathematical functions. Functions save you the time of writing lengthy formulas. You could use an Excel function called Average, for example, to quickly find the average of range of numbers. Or you could use the Sum function to find the sum of a cell range. Excel 2003 contains many different functions.

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

Syntax order:

  1. All functions begin with the = sign.
  2. After the = sign, define the function name (e.g., Sum).
  3. Add one or more arguments—numbers, text, or cell references—enclosed by parentheses. If there is more than one argument, separate each by a comma.

An example of a function with one argument that adds a range of cells, B3 through B10:

Function With One Argument

An example of a function with more than one argument that calculates the average of numbers in a range of cells, B3 through B10 and C3 through C10:

Function With Two Arguments

Excel literally has hundreds of different functions to assist with your calculations. Building formulas can be difficult and time consuming. Excel's functions can save you a lot of time and headaches.