A function is a predefined formula the performs calculations using specific values in a particular order. Every spreadsheet program include common functions that deserve to be supplied for easily finding the sum, average, count, maximum value, and also minimum value because that a selection of cells. In order to use functions correctly, you'll require to understand the various parts the a function and also how to create arguments to calculate values and cell references.

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Watch the video clip below come learn more about using features in Excel.

The parts of a function

In stimulate to work-related correctly, a role must be composed a details way, i beg your pardon is referred to as the syntax. The straightforward syntax for a role is one equals authorize (=), the function name (SUM, for example), and one or more arguments. Disagreements contain the information you desire to calculate. The function in the example below would include the worths of the cell variety A1:A20.


Working through arguments

Arguments have the right to refer come both individual cells and also cell varieties and need to be enclosed in ~ parentheses. Friend can encompass one argument or lot of arguments, depending on the syntax compelled for the function.

For example, the duty =AVERAGE(B1:B9) would calculate the average that the worths in the cell variety B1:B9. This role contains just one argument.


Multiple debates must it is in separated by a comma. Because that example, the duty =SUM(A1:A3, C1:C2, E2) will add the values of every cells in the 3 arguments.


Using functions

There space a range of functions. Below are few of the most usual functions you'll use:

SUM: This role adds all the values of the cells in the argument.AVERAGE: This duty determines the average of the values consisted of in the argument. The calculates the amount of the cells and then divides that value by the number of cells in the argument.COUNT: This role counts the variety of cells v numerical data in the argument. This duty is useful for conveniently counting item in a cabinet range.MAX: This role determines the highest cell value consisted of in the argument.MIN: This function determines the lowest cabinet value consisted of in the argument.To usage a function:

In our instance below, we'll usage a basic duty to calculate the average price per unit for a list of freshly ordered items using the median function.

Select the cell that will certainly contain the function. In our example, we'll select cell C11.

Type the equals authorize (=) and also enter the preferred function name. In ours example, we'll type =AVERAGE.


Enter the cell range because that the argument inside parentheses. In our example, we'll kind (C3:C10). This formula will include the worths of cells C3:C10 and then division that value by the total number of cells in the range to determine the average.

Press Enter on your keyboard. The function will it is in calculated, and also the result will appear in the cell. In our example, the average price every unit of item ordered was $15.93.

Your spreadsheet will not constantly tell you if your function contains one error, so it's approximately you come check all of your functions. To learn just how to perform this, inspect out the Double-Check her Formulas lesson.

Working v unfamiliar functions

If you want to learn exactly how a role works, you deserve to start keying that function in a empty cell to check out what that does.

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Understanding nested functions

Whenever a formula consists of a function, the role is normally calculated before any kind of other operators, favor multiplication and division. That's due to the fact that the formula treats the entire duty as a solitary value—before it can use that value in the formula, it requirements to operation the function. Because that example, in the formula below, the SUM duty will be calculated before division:

Let's take a look at a more complex example that supplies multiple functions:


Here, we have actually two different functions working together: the WORKDAY role and the today function. This are well-known as nested functions, because one function is placed, or nested, within the arguments of another. As a rule, the nested role is always calculation first, as with parentheses room performed first in the order of operations. In this example, the TODAY role will be calculated first, since it's nested in ~ the WORKDAY function.

Other common functions

There are many various other functions you have the right to use to conveniently calculate different things through your data. Learning how to usage other features will permit you come solve complex problems through your spreadsheets, and also we'll be talking much more about them transparent this tutorial. You can also check the end our write-ups below to find out about details functions: