Functions

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

Working with unfamiliar functions

If you want to learn how a function works, you can start typing that function in a blank cell to see what it does.

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You can then type an open parenthesis to see what kind of arguments it needs.

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Understanding nested functions

Whenever a formula contains a function, the function is generally calculated before any other operators, like multiplication and division. That's because the formula treats the entire function as a single value—before it can use that value in the formula, it needs to run the function. For example, in the formula below, the SUM function will be calculated before division:

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Let's take a look at a more complicated example that uses multiple functions:

=WORKDAY(TODAY(),3)

Here, we have two different functions working together: the WORKDAY function and the TODAY function. These are known as nested functions, since one function is placed, or nested, within the arguments of another. As a rule, the nested function is always calculated first, just like parentheses are performed first in the order of operations. In this example, the TODAY function will be calculated first, since it's nested within the WORKDAY function.