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

Excel has a variety of functions available. Here are some of the most common functions you'll use:

**SUM**: This function**adds**all of the values of the cells in the argument.**AVERAGE**: This function determines the**average**of the values included in the argument. It calculates the sum of the cells and then divides that value by the number of cells in the argument.**COUNT**: This function**counts**the number of cells with numerical data in the argument. This function is useful for quickly counting items in a cell range.**MAX**: This function determines the**highest****cell value**included in the argument.**MIN**: This function determines the**lowest cell value**included in the argument.

In our example below, we'll create a basic function to calculate the **average price** **per unit **for a list of recently ordered items using the AVERAGE function.

- Select the
**cell**that will contain the function. In our example, we'll select cell**C11**.Selecting cell C11 - Type the
**equals sign (=)**and enter the desired**function name**. You can also select the desired function from the list of**suggested****functions**that will appear below the cell as you type. In our example, we'll type**=AVERAGE**.Entering the AVERAGE function - Enter the
**cell range**for the**argument**inside**parentheses**. In our example, we'll type**(C3:C10)**. This formula will add the values of cells C3:C10 and then divide that value by the total number of cells in the range to determine the average.Creating an argument - Press
**Enter**on your keyboard. The function will be**calculated**, and the**result**will appear in the cell. In our example, the average price per unit of items ordered was**$15.93**.The completed function and calculated value

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

The **AutoSum **command allows you to automatically insert the most common functions into your formula, including SUM, AVERAGE, COUNT, MIN, and MAX. In our example below, we'll create a function to calculate the **total cost** for a list of recently ordered items using the SUM function.

- Select the
**cell**that will contain the function. In our example, we'll select cell**D12**.Selecting cell D12 - In the
**Editing**group on the**Home**tab, locate and select the**arrow**next to the**AutoSum**command and then choose the**desired function**from the drop-down menu. In our example, we'll select**Sum**.Selecting Sum from the AutoSum command drop-down menu - The selected
**function**will appear in the cell. If logically placed, the AutoSum command will**automatically**select a cell range for the argument. In our example, cells**D3:D11**were selected automatically and their values will be**added**together to calculate the total cost. You can also manually enter the desired cell range into the argument.The inserted function and automatically selected cell range - Press
**Enter**on your keyboard. The function will be**calculated**, and the**result**will appear in the cell. In our example, the sum of D3:D11 is**$606.05**.The completed function and calculated value

The **AutoSum **command can also be accessed from the **Formulas **tab on the **Ribbon**.

Accessing the AutoSum command from the Formulas tab

You can also use the **Alt+=** keyboard shortcut instead of the AutoSum command. To use this shortcut, hold down the **Alt** key and then press the **equals sign**.

Watch the video below to see this shortcut in action.