Locate A Function In Excel

BY STANLEY ZAROWIN

Q. I know Excel contains numerous functions. Short of getting a PhD in Excel, is there some practical way to discover them?

A. One of the best things Microsoft did in designing Excel was create Insert Function , which does just what you’re seeking. It not only helps you locate an Excel function you’re aware of; it also helps you discover a function you don’t even know exists. Go to Insert in the toolbar and click on Function to generate this screen.

If you aren’t aware of an Excel function that performs a calculation you need, type a brief description of what you want to do under Search for a function . That will trigger a list of functions that may fit the bill. Once you select one and you need to learn how to use it, click on Help on this function .

If you’d rather skip Help and get on with the calculation, click on OK and Insert Function will set up the arguments in the Function Arguments dialog. Just fill in the required data or ranges and Excel will automatically set up the function for you. It’s almost like having a genie do your bidding.

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