Use formula functions to calculate common expressions such as Average, Minimum, Maximum, etc. The Function Wizard makes it easy to quickly enter formulas; however we recommend you read the first part of this article as well to better understand cell ranges and the format used for most formula commands. The more you know about commands, the easier they are to troubleshoot.

For most of your formula functions you will need to refer to a sequential range of cells, e.g. to add all data from cell C3 to C200. Cell ranges are indicated using the following format:

(FirstCell:LastCell), e.g.

(C3:C200)

Note that the separator between the two cells is a colon (**:**)
not a semi-column (**;**). picky, picky, picky

You can enter a formula function in one of three ways:

- Use a button such as AutoSum. The AutoSum button will automatically insert several common commands such as Sum, Average, Count, Min and Max.
- Type the function into the cell where you wish to view the result - see
**Typing Functions**below. - Use the Insert Function button to select the function and insert the required
variables (it's actually easier than it sounds) - see
**Inserting Functions**below.

Even if you prefer to use the Insert Function Wizard to enter your formulas it is a good idea to understand the components of a function and how to type them in yourself - this will make editing your functions easier.

To type a function:

- Decide which cells you wish to effect and the type of formula desired, i.e. Sum, Average, Count, etc.
- Select the cell where you wish the result to go.
- Type the
**=**symbol followed by the name of the function then a left-parenthesis, e.g.**=AVERAGE(** - Enter the range of cells you wish to effect (see cell ranges above). You
can also drag your mouse over the cells or select the cells in this step and
Excel will insert the range for you. Your formula should look something like
this now
**=AVERAGE(C3:C10)** - Press
**Enter**and voila! the result is displayed.

The = symbol tells Excel you want to enter a formula.

The following is a list of common formula functions you will probably want to include in your worksheets.

=AVERAGE(range)e.g.=AVERAGE(C3:C200)displays the average value in a range of cells

=COUNT(range)e.g. =COUNT(C3:C200)counts the number of entries in a range of cells

=MAX(range)e.g. =MAX(C3:C200)displays largest value in a range of cells

=MIN(range)e.g. =MIN(C3:C200)displays smallest value in a range of cells

=SUM(range)e.g. =SUM(C3:C200)displays the total of the values in a range of cells (also inserted by the AutoSum button)

An easy way to insert formula functions is to use the Insert Function Wizard. The Wizard allows you to select the formula you want to use then continues by prompting you for the required variables.

- Decide which cells you wish to effect and the type of formula desired, i.e. Sum, Average, Count, etc.
- Select the cell where you wish the result (answer) to go.
- Display the Formulas Ribbon. Notice the buttons at the left of the ribbon:
- If you know the category of the function you wish to select, such as Date
& Time, click on that button icon within the Function Library area of
the Formula ribbon to select a function - or - click on the
**Insert Function**button located at the left of the ribbon. A window similar to the following is displayed: - Select the function you wish to use under
**Select a function**then choose**OK**. Also note the following:

- If the function you wish to use is not in the list under
**Select a function**, click on the drop list button to select a different function**category**or type a brief description of what you want to do in the top field then choose**Go**. - When you select (with a single click) any function name in the list,
a description of that function is displayed at the bottom of the window.
You can also click on
**Help on this function**to learn more about the selected function.

- If the function you wish to use is not in the list under
- The resulting window depends on the function selected in step 4. The following
window displays the next-step window when the
**Average**function is selected. - Complete the window, as appropriate for the function selected then choose
**OK**.

Most functions require that you enter the range
of the numbers you wish to include beside a field entitled **Number1**.
If you wish to include more than one range of cells in the formula, e.g. Sum
A1 to A10 and A20 to A21, enter the first range beside the **Number1**
field then tab to the **Number2** field to add the next range. Most formula
functions will allow up to 30 separate ranges.

The easiest way to enter a range into a field is to click in the field then select the cells on your worksheet.

- Formulas: About (A MUST-READ!)
- Formula Auditing
- Absolute Cell References - to lock a reference to a cell
- AutoCalculate- to quickly calculate common commands without a formula
- AutoSum - to add up (sum) a series of numbers
- Date Functions - to properly reference calendar dates
- Formula Functions - Average, Minimum, Maximum, Count, and more!
- If Function looks at a cell reference, compares it to specified criteria and performs a specified action
- INT Function - rounds a number down to the nearest integer
- Lookup Function: Vector - to lookup variables from a list and return a variable
- Calculation Options - switch to manual calculation mode to improve data entry response
- Nested If Function - same as IF Function but able to take multiple actions based on multiple conditions
- PMT Function - calculates the payment for a loan based on constant payments and a constant interest rate
- Round Function -rounds the value of a number to a specified number of digits