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**.

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.