**Functions** are essentially built-in formulas that are designed to perform mathematical functions more quickly and easily. Excel has around 400 of these special functions. Like formulas, functions begin with the equal sign. The function name describes the operation and is followed by parentheses, which contain the function

**. Arguments, sometime called parameters, specify the values or cells to be used by the function. The name of the function tells Excel how to apply the arguments provided inside the paired parentheses.**

*arguments*Functions greatly enhance the power and readability of formulas and simplify formulas and editing quite significantly. For example, instead of typing "=E3+E4+E5+E6+E7+E8+E9'' we could tell Excel to use the SUM function on the range E3:E9: =SUM(E3:E9). Three other commonly used functions are: AVERAGE, MIN and MAX. Let's look at each of these functions more closely.

The **AVERAGE** function is designed to calculate the mathematical average of the values in a range of cells. This particular example calculates the average in the range C3:C9:

**1.** To see the AVERAGE function in the worksheet,

Click cell C10

**Step****2.** To see an example of the SUM function,

Click cell G10

**Step****3.** To see an example of the MIN function,

Click cell C11

**Step****4.** To see an example of the MAX function,

Click cell C12

### Entering a Function

If the special word used to designate a function is already known, we can simply type the function in by hand. We will see how this works, using the MAX function to find the largest value of items sold.

**Step****1.** To make E12 the active cell,

Click cell E12

**Step****2.** To begin entering the Max function, type:

=m

**Step****3.** To select the MAX function, press:

Down Arrow key, Tab key

**Step****4.** To enter the range for the function, type:

e3:e9)

**5.** To finish entering the function, press:

Enter

### Using the Insert Function Command on Windows

The **Insert Function** feature assists in finding and creating complex functions. This helps ensure that the function is spelled correctly and has the correct number of arguments in the correct order.

We would like to identify the least number of items sold in this sales report. We will enter a function in cell E11 to find the minimum value in the range E3:E9.

**Step****1.** To make cell E11 the active cell,

Click cell E11

**Step****2.** To begin inserting a function using the Insert Function feature, on the formula bar,

Click

**Step****3.** To move the dialog box, if necessary,

Press & Drag the dialog box away from the data

**Step****4.** To search for a function that finds the minimum value, in the Search for a function: field, type:

minimum, Click

**Step****5.** To see all the functions returned by this search,

scroll down the list

**Step****6.** To select the MIN function,

Click MIN

**Step****7.** To confirm this choice,

Click

**Step****8.** To make the correct cells visible, if necessary,

Press & Drag the dialog box away from the cells

**Step****9.** To select the correct range, in the worksheet,

Press & Drag cells E3:E9

NOTE: If the selected range is not correct, you can enter the range by typing it correctly in the Function Arguments dialog box.

**Step****10.** To complete the process,

Click

### Using the Formula Builder on MacOS

The **Insert Function** feature assists in finding and creating complex functions. This helps ensure that the function is spelled correctly and has the correct number of arguments in the correct order.

We would like to identify the least number of items sold in this sales report. We will enter a function in cell E11 to find the minimum value in the range E3:E9.

**Step****1.** To make cell E11 the active cell,

Click cell E11

**Step****2.** To begin inserting a function using the Insert Function feature, on the formula bar,

Click

**Step****3.** To locate the MIN function using the Formula Builder pane, in the search field, type:

MIN

**Step****4.** To select the MIN function

Double-Click MIN from the resulting list

E3:E9, press: Enter

**Step****5.** Close the pane if desired.

### Using the AutoSum Function

We want to calculate the column E total in cell E10. Typing the formula =E3+E4+E5+E6+E7+E8+E9 would yield the correct result, but the **AutoSum** feature offers a more efficient and flexible method of calculating totals.

A SUM expression may be entered into the active cell by typing or by using the Insert Function feature. Since SUM is used so frequently, an expression may be entered quickly via the AutoSum button.

We will use the AutoSum function to sum the number of items sold in column E.

**Step****1.** To position the cursor,

Click cell E10

**Step****2.** Verify that the Home tab is active.

**Step****3.** To view the functions, in the Editing group,

Click

**Step****4.** To have Excel write the SUM function, in the Editing group,

Click Sum

**Step****5.** To confirm the SUM function, press:

Enter