Chapter 2 Basic Functions and Cell Addressing

# Chapter 2 Basic Functions and Cell Addressing - Chapter...

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Chapter 2-Basic Functions & Cell Addressing Using Arithmetic Functions In addition to writing formulas that use constants, cell references, and operands, formulas may also include functions . Functions are predefined formulas that perform specific calculations. When a function is used in a formula, the user only needs to supply the function’s inputs ( arguments ) and the result of the function’s calculation will be used when the computer evaluates the formula. This section will present several different commonly used functions: SUM, AVERAGE, COUNT, MIN and MAX. Functions that can be used to perform more sophisticated analyses will be introduced. FUNCTIONS WITH ONLY RANGE ARGUMENTS THE SUM FUNCTION The most simple and commonly used function is the SUM function, which is designed to add a list of values. These values may be input directly into the formula as constants, references to cells, or ranges of cells containing arithmetic values. The syntax of the SUM function is as follows: =SUM(number1 , [number2]… ) All Excel functions share a common syntactical structure: a function name followed by an open parenthesis, then a list of arguments - inputs needed by the function in a specific order separated by commas, and finally a closing parenthesis. Some function arguments are required and some are optional. The required arguments will be written in bold text and the optional arguments will be enclosed in brackets [ ]. Each function has a unique function name and specific list of arguments. In addition to a function’s syntax, each function has a set of rules that must be followed so that the function returns the expected result. An example of a SUM function that adds the values in the cells A5 to A100 is =SUM(A5:A100) . Functions can be used by themselves or in combination with other operands as part of a larger formula for example =SUM(A2:A7)/B8- SUM(5,7,B35, A8:C8). Notice that in this example the formula contains two SUM functions as well as the division and subtraction operators. The first SUM function will add all of the values in cells A2, A3, A4, A5, A6 and A7. The second SUM function will add the constant values 7 and 5, the value in cell B35 and the values in cells A8, B8 and C8. If these cells to not contain a numeric values (are blank, contain text or Boolean values) the function will ignore them. The SUM function is useful for both saving time and making a spreadsheet robust to changes. The formula =A1+A2+A3 accomplishes the same task as the formula 1

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Chapter 2-Basic Functions & Cell Addressing =SUM(A1:A3) , so why bother to use the SUM function? First, the SUM function can save time. Consider how tedious it would be to sum the cells A1 through A100 using only the additional operator (+). It is much more efficient to write =SUM(A1:A100) than it is to type out the corresponding addition. Also consider if a row were to be inserted in between A1 and A2. If the inserted value needs to be included in the summation, the formula would need to be modified as follows: =A1+A2+A3+A4 . When inserting rows and/or columns into a worksheet, Excel will automatically update cell references within formulas.
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• Fall '12
• IssamSafa
• Databases, Chapter 2-Basic Functions

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