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Excel: Functions

Excel Excel: FunctionsExcel: Functions


What Are Functions In Excel?

So where to start? Okay, we have discussed what formulas are in Excel (see previous video), these are calculations that you perform on an individual cell basis.

For example “=A1+A2+A3”.

You are soon going to get pooped if you have to type the formula up for 100 cell references…. So there has to be a better way!

Well yes there is and these are called functions. Where they differ from formulas are that functions generally work on a series of cells known as a “Range” which tells Excel to highlight from a start point to a end point. If it helps, think of it as a glorified game of battleships! You have a salvo at your disposal and want to hit from A1 through to A10, that’s your Range!

So a comparing the example above typical Excel function could be “=Sum(A1:A3)”. This tells Excel there are a “Range” of cells it needs to add together. You may be thinking at this point “Why don’t I just use functions all the while?”. It’s a fair question, let try to understand why you wouldn’t.

How often do you want to subtract a range of cells in Excel? Not that often because you would add up the costs (see video) and THEN subtract them from a total.

For example “=A12 – Sum(A1:A10)”
A12 is your salary and A1:A10 are your costs. (this is a formula that references a SUM function)

Hope that clears it up? So the next question you could be thinking is “How many Excel Functions are there?”. The answer is A LOT! have a look at this page by Microsoft here I lost count after 300!

Why so many? Because some of these functions save you the complex formula you would have to type.  Think of the stereotypical mad scientist and his chalkboard, they could have a ridiculous complex formula on the board which would take an age to type in. So why not have a function called “=ComplexForumula(A1:A10)”. Okay the function doesn’t exist but you should get the idea of why they are used.

Phew!, So this video will explain the basics of functions in Excel and how to implement them. It will also explain how to find all the functions so you can start playing.

This video is one of many Excel tutorials on this site click here for more.

Example Excel File

To follow along at home please click here for the example Excel file used in the video:

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64 Comments

  1. MAVA A says
    16 Jun 13 at 7:33am

    This is awesome. Thank you so very very much!! You are so clear, concise and easy to understand!! Thank you again!!

  2. solu mathew says
    22 Sep 12 at 7:19am

    thanks sir
    .

  3. luckury1 says
    02 Nov 10 at 10:18am

    dear frnd i have a problem with my monthly salary sheet. in Pakistan, salary is paid in the end of month. now the question is that, suppose i am the employee of coca cola company, and i worked only 28/30 days, how can i deduct the salary of 2 days . please upload ur tutorial of excel.

  4. luckury1 says
    02 Nov 10 at 10:18am

    [..YouTube..] dear frnd i have a problem with my monthly salary sheet. in Pakistan, salary is paid in the end of month. now the question is that, suppose i am the employee of coca cola company, and i worked only 28/30 days, how can i deduct the salary of 2 days . please upload ur tutorial of excel.

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