Unit 4.  Formulas and Functions (II)

Just below the formulas bar the dialoge box Function Arguments will appear. It will ask you for the function arguments. The box will vary according to the function chosen. In this case we have chosen the function SUM ().

argumentos de funcion

In Number 1 text box you must indicate the first argument , that will generally be a cell or a range of cells like A1:B4 . To do that, you should click on the button so the box gets smaller and you can see all the spreadsheet. After that, select the range of cells or the cell you wish as your first argument (to select a range of cells click with the left button of the mouse on the first cell of the range and without letting go drag to the last cell of the range) and press the key ENTER to return to the dialoge box.

In the box Number 2 you must indicate your second argument, of course, only when there is one.

If you introduce a second argument, another box will appear for the third argument, and so on.

Once you have introduced all the arguments, click on the button OK.

If for whatever reason we insert a row in the middle of a function range, Excel will expand automatically the range Including the cell value in the range. For example: If you have in cell A5 the function =SUM(A1:A4) and you insert a row in position 3, the formula will expand automatically changing to =SUM(A1:A5) .

In the Tool Bar there is the Autosum button boton autosuma . With it you can perform the function SUM faster.

With this button we also have access to other functions, using the arrow on the right of the button.

autosuma desplegadoWhen you click on the arrow the dropdwon list on the right will appear:


And you will be able to use a function other than Sum, for instance Average (it calculates the average), Count (it counts values), Max (it obtains the maximum value) or Min (it obtains the minimum value). Besides, you will be able to have access to the dialoge of functions with More Functions...


If you want further information about references and names visit our basic .

Using Expressions as functions arguments

With Excel we can have expressions as functions arguments, for example the sum of two cells (A1+A3). The order of performance of the function would be: first, resolve the expressions, then perform the function on the expressions result.

If we have, for instance, the function =SUM((A1+A3);(A2-A4)) where:

A1 equals 1

A2 equals 5

A3 equals 2

A4 equals 3

Excel will resolve first the expressions (A1+A3) and (A2-A4) therefore we will obtain the values 3 and 2 respectively, after that it will perform the sum obtaining 5 as result.


Using functions as functions arguments

With Excel a function can become an argument of another function. In that way we are able to perform really complex operations in a single cell. For example: =MAX(SUM(A1:A4);B3) , this formula consists of a two function combination, the sum and the maximum value. Excel will perform first the sum SUM(A1:A4) and then will calculate the maximum value between the result of the sum and the cell B3.



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