When using Excel functions play an important role in finding values for a range of cells. Learn all about using functions in Excel.
While there are hundreds of functions in Excel, the ones you'll use the most will depend on the type of data your workbooks contain. There's no need to learn every single function, but exploring some of the different types of functions will help you as you create new projects. You can even use the Function Library on the Formulas tab to browse functions by category, such as Financial, Logical, Text, and Date & Time.
To access the Function Library, select the Formulas tab on the Ribbon. Look for the Function Library group.
Click the buttons in the interactive below to learn more about the different types of functions in Excel.
The AutoSum command allows you to automatically return results for common functions, like SUM, AVERAGE, and COUNT.
The Recently Used command gives you access to functions you've recently worked with.
The Financial category contains functions for financial calculations like determining a payment (PMT) or interest rate for a loan (RATE).
Functions in the Logical category check arguments for a value or condition. For example, if an order is more than $50, add $4.99 for shipping; if it is more than $100, do not charge for shipping (IF).
The Text category contains functions that work with the text in arguments to perform tasks, such as converting text to lowercase (LOWER) or replacing text (REPLACE).
The Date & Time category contains functions for working with dates and time and will return results like the current date and time (NOW) or the seconds (SECOND).
The Lookup & Reference category contains functions that will return results for finding and referencing information. For example, you can add a hyperlink to a cell (HYPERLINK) or return the value of a particular row and column intersection (INDEX).
The Math & Trig category includes functions for numerical arguments. For example, you can round values (ROUND), find the value of Pi (PI), multiply (PRODUCT), and subtotal (SUBTOTAL).
More Functions contains additional functions under categories for Statistical, Engineering, Cube, Information, and Compatibility.
If you're having trouble finding the right function, the Insert Function command allows you to search for functions using keywords.
In the example below, we'll use the COUNTA function to count the total number of items in the Items column. Unlike COUNT, COUNTA can be used to tally cells that contain data of any kind, not just numerical data.