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

There are a variety of functions available in Excel. 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.

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

- Select the
**cell**that will contain the function. In our example, we'll select cell**D13**. - In the
**Editing**group on the**Home**tab, click the**arrow**next to the**AutoSum**command. Next, choose the**desired function**from the drop-down menu. In our example, we'll select**Sum**. - Excel will place the
**function**in the cell and automatically select a**cell range**for the argument. In our example, cells**D3:D12**were selected automatically; their values will be**added**to calculate the total cost. If Excel selects the wrong cell range, you can manually enter the desired cells into the argument. - 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:D12 is**$765.29**.

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

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.

If you already know the function name, you can easily type it yourself. In the example below (a tally of cookie sales), we'll use the **AVERAGE** function to calculate the **average number of units sold** by each troop.

- Select the
**cell**that will contain the function. In our example, we'll select cell**C10**. - Type the
**equals sign (=),**and enter the desired**function name**. You can also select the desired function from the list of**suggested****functions**that appears below the cell as you type. In our example, we'll type**=AVERAGE**. - Enter the
**cell range**for the argument**parentheses**. In our example, we'll type**(C3:C9)**. This formula will add the values of cells C3:C9, then divide that value by the total number of values in the range. - Press
**Enter**on your keyboard. The function will be calculated, and the**result**will appear in the cell. In our example, the average number of units sold by each troop is**849**.

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.