## Introduction

The link below explains the worksheet functions included in Microsoft® Excel. Except for a few differences, worksheet functions are identical for all operating systems supported by Microsoft Excel. Whenever information pertains to a specific operating system, such as the Apple® Macintosh®, the operating system is mentioned.

**What Are Worksheet Functions?**

Worksheet functions are the calculations built into Microsoft Excel for you. Each function calculates a different type of value. For example, you can use functions to calculate sums, averages, loan payments, and slopes of lines. Microsoft Excel includes hundreds of functions for financial, statistical, mathematical, trigonometric, and other types of calculations.

Using these functions saves you the time and effort of knowing, calculating, and recalculating many different mathematical equations. Functions can tell you whether a condition is true or false, whether one number is greater than another, or whether two words are exactly the same. Functions also help you to sort through data by identifying and calculating minimum, maximum, average, percentile, and rankings of values.

Using these functions saves you the time and effort of knowing, calculating, and recalculating many different mathematical equations. Functions can tell you whether a condition is true or false, whether one number is greater than another, or whether two words are exactly the same. Functions also help you to sort through data by identifying and calculating minimum, maximum, average, percentile, and rankings of values.

## The Anatomy of a Function

Each function has two parts: the name of the function and its

Arguments are the numbers, cell references, worksheet names, or other information that a function needs to calculate a value for you. An argument can be any one of the following:

=AVERAGE(5, 11, 63, C4:C6)When you enter a function, you must precede it with an equal sign (=).

The functions, equal sign, and numbers, text, or references entered in a cell are referred to as a

*arguments.*The name of a function always appears in uppercase letters and describes what the function does. For example, the AVERAGE function calculates the average of all the arguments included with the function.Arguments are the numbers, cell references, worksheet names, or other information that a function needs to calculate a value for you. An argument can be any one of the following:

- Numbers, such as -5, 11, and 63.2.
- Text, such as "a", "Word", and "w/punc." If the text you want to use contains quotation marks, use two double quotation marks (""text"") for each double quotation mark.
- Logical values, such as TRUE or FALSE, or a statement that creates a logical value when calculated, such as B10>20.
- Error values, such as #REF!.
- References, such as D12 or C4:C6.

=AVERAGE(5, 11, 63, C4:C6)When you enter a function, you must precede it with an equal sign (=).

The functions, equal sign, and numbers, text, or references entered in a cell are referred to as a

*formula.*After you enter a formula, Microsoft Excel calculates the formula and displays the resulting value in the cell. However, your formula isn't erased when a cell displays the value calculated from the formula. You can see your formula by selecting the cell and looking at the formula bar. Microsoft Excel recalculates the formula every time an argument changes.## Find Answers by Combining Functions

Functions can be used as arguments to other functions. Combining functions in this way helps you to make the most of the data entered on your worksheet. It also takes advantage of the ability of Microsoft Excel to quickly calculate and recalculate formulas. Remember to type an equal sign at the beginning of every formula, but not before functions used as arguments to other functions.

For example, suppose you want to estimate your income tax bill for the next year based on your last three years' worth of tax records. The cells A1:A3 on your worksheet contain your taxable income for the last three years and the cells B1:B3 contain your tax rates for those years. Without re-entering any data that is already on your worksheet, you can estimate the tax you will owe next year by using the formula:

=PRODUCT(AVERAGE(A1:A3), AVERAGE(B1:B3))

For example, suppose you want to estimate your income tax bill for the next year based on your last three years' worth of tax records. The cells A1:A3 on your worksheet contain your taxable income for the last three years and the cells B1:B3 contain your tax rates for those years. Without re-entering any data that is already on your worksheet, you can estimate the tax you will owe next year by using the formula:

=PRODUCT(AVERAGE(A1:A3), AVERAGE(B1:B3))

## Conventions Used in The Link

Each function description in the link contains a section called Syntax, which shows the name of the function, the order of its arguments, and which arguments are required. Function names appear in uppercase letters without an equal sign (=). Required arguments are shown in

Argument names use underline characters to separate the parts of the argument name. For example, num_chars is the name of an argument specifying the number of characters (letters) in a word or phrase.

In addition to the Syntax section, each function description might also include other information, such as:

**bold**and optional arguments are in plain text (not bold). Where functions and arguments are discussed in the text, all arguments are shown in plain text (not bold), whether they are required or optional.Argument names use underline characters to separate the parts of the argument name. For example, num_chars is the name of an argument specifying the number of characters (letters) in a word or phrase.

In addition to the Syntax section, each function description might also include other information, such as:

- Explanation about a function and its use
- Examples showing how to use a function in a formula
- Related functions that are similar or complimentary to the one described
- Return values, the possible values calculated by the function

## Learning More About Functions

The documentation included with Microsoft Excel contains additional information about using functions. For more information, including how to enter worksheet functions, how to use the Formula Palette, how Microsoft Excel calculates worksheet functions, and how to create your own worksheet functions, see Microsoft Excel Help.