Easy Excel Functions in 4 Steps!

Functions expand the scope of Excel and allow us to perform tasks which formulas alone cannot do.

There are two separate methods for entering functions. In one method we use an interface (the Insert Function tool) and in the other we simply type the function directly into a cell.

In the following example we’re using a spreadsheet called ‘Using Functions’ which you can download here.

Let’s take a look at the Insert Function tool first:

Step 1: click in the cell where you want the function to be placed, the click the Insert Function tool button (fx)

Step 2: Choose a function from the recent list (entitled Select a Function), or use the search box at the top of the window.

Step 3: Now click the OK button – the Insert Function window will close and the Function Arguments window will open

Step 4: Select the range of cells you want to apply the function too and then press OK – and that’s it!

These are the correct results if you want to check your work:

SUM: adds cell ranges

MIN: returns the smallest value in a range

MAX: returns the largest value

AVERAGE: average value across the range

COUNT: returns the number of values in the range (numbers)

COUNTA: counts both values and text (if present)

If you have multiple ranges of cells, you can make use of the additional argument fields (Number 2, Number 3 etc). Simply click in the Number 2 field and select an additional cell range. You will now be presented with the Number 3 field in case you have further data to add. This will happen automatically and actually allows us to add up to 255 separate cell ranges!

Now let’s take a look at the second method:

Step 1: Click in the cell where you want to place the function, then press the = key.

Step 2: Now start typing the name of the function – you will be presented with a menu which provides a simple shortcut to save typing the whole name (note you can ignore this and just manually type the whole function)

Step 3: Next select the range of cells you wish to apply the function to – press Enter and you will see the result! Note that you don’t need to type the closing bracket, Excel will do this automatically with a single function.

To add additional arguments using the method, just type a comma to separate each. Again, we can add up to 255 additional cell ranges.

And that’s all there is to it! I hope this short tutorial has shown you how easy functions can be in Excel. There are around 400 different functions available and they all follow these same basic principles.

If you’ve found this useful, please share with your colleagues and visit us again soon for more easy Excel tutorials!

Master Excel Formulas in Under 5 Minutes!

If you’ve never set up a formula in Excel before, you might think that it would be difficult. Well think again! In this quick tutorial I’ll show you how to master Excel formulas in 4 simple steps in under 5 minutes.

Microsoft Excel works in a similar way to a calculator. If I asked you if you could add 2+2 on a calculator, you would say “of course, that’s easy!”

The difference with Excel however is that we don’t add numbers, we add cell references instead.

In the following example we’re using a spreadsheet called ‘Simple Formulas’ which you can download here.

Step 1: click in the cell where you want to place the formula (in this case C1) and press =

Step 2: next click in the first cell that you want to add (A1)

Step 3: now type + and click in the next cell (B1)

Step 4: press the Enter key and the values in both cells will be added together. The result of course will be 4 – simple!

Subtracting, multiplying and dividing all work the same way. In the next example, we’ll subtract cell B1 from A1:

Our result this time should be 0!

Multiplication works in the same way, however the symbol that we use is *. You can use the number pad on your keyboard, or simply press shift+8:

Now our result will be 4.

Finally, division uses the / symbol and so our formula looks like this:

2 divided by 2 will give you 1.

And that’s it, I did say formulas in Excel are easy! Of course some formulas will be longer and more complex, but the same basic principles always apply. As a reminder, the arithmetic symbols that we use are:

Addition: +

Subtraction: –

Multiplication: *

Division: /

I hope this short tutorial has been useful and if so, please share with your colleagues who might also find it beneficial.

This is the first in a series of a new Microsoft Office tutorials, so check back weekly for more tips and tricks!