Working with Functions

In Google Sheets functions can be used for finding various values. Learn how to use functions in Google Sheets here.

Creating a function

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

To create a function using the Functions button:

The Functions button allows you to automatically return the results for a range of cells. The answer will display in the cell below the range.

  1. Select the range of cells you want to include in the argument. In our example, we'll select D3:D12.Selecting a range of cells
  2. Click the Functions button, then select the desired function from the drop-down menu. In our example, we'll select SUM.
    Selecting SUM
  3. In the cell directly below the selected cells, the function appears.
    The function in the adjacent cell
  4. Press the Enter key 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 result

To create a function manually:

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

  1. Select the cell where the answer will appear. In our example, we'll select C10.
    Selecting a range of cells
  2. Type the equals sign (=), then type 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.
    Typing the function =AVERAGE
  3. When typing a function manually, Google Sheets also displays a window that lists the specific arguments the function needs. This window appears when the first parenthesis is typed and stays visible as the arguments are typed.
    Google Sheets argument window
  4. Enter the cell range for the argument inside 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.Entering the cell range
  5. Press the Enter key on your keyboard, and the answer appears.
    Displaying the result

Google Sheets will not always tell you if your function contains an error, so it's up to you to check all of your functions. To learn how to do this, read our article on why you should Double-Check Your Formulas.