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

You are watching: A predefined formula that performs calculations by using specific values

Watch the video below to learn more about using attributes in Excel.

The parts of a function

In stimulate to occupational correctly, a duty must be composed a particular way, i beg your pardon is called the syntax. The an easy syntax for a function is one equals authorize (=), the function surname (SUM, because that example), and also one or much more arguments. Arguments contain the information you desire to calculate. The function in the example listed below would include the values of the cell selection A1:A20.


Working through arguments

Arguments have the right to refer come both individual cells and cell varieties and should be enclosed within parentheses. You can include one discussion or lot of arguments, depending on the syntax compelled for the function.

For example, the duty =AVERAGE(B1:B9) would calculation the average of the values in the cell range B1:B9. This role contains only one argument.


Multiple arguments must be separated through a comma. Because that example, the function =SUM(A1:A3, C1:C2, E2) will add the worths of every cells in the three arguments.


Using functions

There space a variety of functions. Here are few of the most typical functions you'll use:

SUM: This duty adds all the values of the cell in the argument.AVERAGE: This duty determines the average that the values included in the argument. It calculates the amount of the cells and also then divides that worth by the variety of cells in the argument.COUNT: This function counts the number of cells with numerical data in the argument. This function is advantageous for quickly counting items in a cell range.MAX: This function determines the highest cell value had in the argument.MIN: This duty determines the lowest cell value had in the argument.To usage a function:

In our instance below, we'll use a basic role to calculate the average price per unit for a perform of newly ordered items using the mean function.

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

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


Enter the cell range for the argument inside parentheses. In our example, we'll kind (C3:C10). This formula will include the worths of cells C3:C10 and then divide that worth by the total variety of cells in the selection to recognize the average.

Press Enter on your keyboard. The duty will be calculated, and also the result will show up in the cell. In our example, the mean price per unit of items ordered to be $15.93.

Your spreadsheet will not constantly tell you if your duty contains one error, for this reason it's as much as you come check all of your functions. To learn exactly how to carry out this, check out the Double-Check your Formulas lesson.

Working with unfamiliar functions

If you desire to learn just how a role works, you can start inputting that function in a blank cell to check out what it does.

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Understanding nested functions

Whenever a formula includes a function, the function is normally calculated before any type of other operators, favor multiplication and division. That's because the formula treats the entire role as a solitary value—before it can use that worth in the formula, it demands to run the function. For example, in the formula below, the SUM role will be calculated before division:

Let's take a look at a more facility example that provides multiple functions:


Here, we have actually two various functions functioning together: the WORKDAY role and the today function. These are recognized as nested functions, due to the fact that one role is placed, or nested, within the arguments of another. As a rule, the nested function is always calculated first, similar to parentheses room performed very first in the bespeak of operations. In this example, the TODAY function will it is in calculated first, due to the fact that it's nested in ~ the WORKDAY function.

Other typical functions

There are many various other functions you deserve to use to conveniently calculate various things through your data. Learning exactly how to use other features will enable you to solve complex problems through your spreadsheets, and we'll be talking an ext about them transparent this tutorial. You can additionally check the end our articles below to discover about details functions: