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Using Formulas and Functions

Exploring the Excel Function Library

You can create dozens of different functions in Excel. You can use Excel functions to determine mortgage payments, perform scientific calculations, or find the square root of a number. The best way to become familiar with the formulas available in Excel is to display the Insert Function dialog box and move through the listed functions, clicking the ones that look interesting. When you click a function, its description appears at the bottom of the dialog box.

Another way to get information about a function is to view the ScreenTip that appears next to the function. If you double-click a cell with a function, a ScreenTip with the function’s structure and expected values appears below it. Clicking an element of the structure points to the cell or cells providing that value.

List Functions Available from the Excel Library

  1. Click the Insert Function button.

  2. Display the drop-down list, and click the function category you want to view.

  3. Click the function you want to examine.

  4. Click OK.

  5. Click Cancel to close the Function Arguments dialog box.

Use Function ScreenTips

  1. Double-click a cell that contains a formula.

  2. In the ScreenTip, click the function name to open the Help file entry for the function.

  3. Click the Close button to close the Help window.

  4. Click an argument to select the cells to which it refers.

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