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Excel Functions

Hopefully that title doesn't sound too intimidating because functions in Excel are really quite easy to use once you've learned the basics.

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Excel Functions: Your First Function

Using our soccer goal Excel spreadsheet from the previous lessons, let's use Excel functions to figure out what the total number of goals scored by our team. Open up the soccer goal spreadsheet and follow these steps:

  1. In cell A9 enter the text Total and make it bold

  2. Select cell B9 and locate the formula bar (it's right under the Excel menu bar) and notice that it contains the content of cell B9, which just so happens to be nothing! Let's fix that

  3. Notice the little fx to the left of the formula bar. This is the insert function button.
  4. Left-click the fx button to bring up the insert function popup

  5. Using the Excel "Search for a function" feature type in the text "Sum" and click Go

  6. Make sure SUM is selected and click OK to bring up the Function Arguments Window

    Before we go any further let's make sure you understand what we have done so far. First we selected a cell that we wanted to have our total goal count appear in. Next we inserted a function and chose the SUM function.

    We've done quite a lot and the only thing that remains is to select which numbers we want to sum up. So let's finish this up!
  7. Move the Function Arguments Window so you can see the goals scored.
  8. We want to sum up all the goals scored, so we need to select all the cells that contain goals scored.
  9. Starting at the top of the list, Tim's goals, left-click and hold in Cell B2 then drag down to cell B7, Jason's goals and finally release left-click. Your screen should now look like this:

  10. Click OK and admire your work!

Excel Functions: General

Let's review the general ideas you learned in this lesson. First, you found out that you could insert a function using the fx insert function button and also probably saw a huge list of functions that you have no idea how to use.

You also learned how to select arguments to be used in your functions. You can now add up anything you want.

In the next lesson we will be teaching you how to make your own custom formulas for quick computations.

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