Excel - Function Insert
Functions in Excel make calculating numbers a breeze. Did you know there are over 330 pre-defined Excel functions? That’s a lot to choose from.
Some of them are commonly used like AVG (average a group of numbers), SUM (sum up a group of numbers), HOUR (gives the hour) or DATE (produces the date). And then there are some that I call “funky ones” such as FACTDOUBLE (returns the double factorial of a number) or DISC (which returns the discount rate for a security).
The functions are arranged by categories: Financial, Date/Time, Math/Trig, Statistical, Lookup/Reference, Database, Text, Logical, Information, and User Defined making it easy to find what you are seeking.
The neat thing about functions is that when you use Function Insert you will be shown the function, how it’s written, the data that makes the function work, and an explanation of the returned value. Now if you are an expert at Excel you can hand code these formulas without using the Function Insert, but you really need to know what you are doing if you are going to attempt to hand code them to avoid major errors.
Let’s look at an example of how to get the value of number of days between two dates – DAYS360. First click on the Insert Function box. Then choose the function (this is under the category of Date/Time) and click OK. This will now insert the function into the cell and a window appears that virtually walks you through finalizing the function. Choose the cells that contain your start and end date, hit ok and you have the value you are seeking.
Another example is SUM – this is a very common function that you probably use often without realizing that it is a pre-built Function.
Scroll through the list of functions and try to guess what they do – you will be fascinated by the variety of available pre-built functions!
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