Microsoft Excel can be used for rather simple tasks or more complex calculations. As you gain more experience with Microsoft Excel you might find that you want to explore some of the formulas that work with an Excel.
In this series of tutorials I will start taking a look at some of those formulas and how you can use them. Most of these tutorials are taken from other resources and I urge you to reach out to the creators of these tutorials. As always, if you have questions don’t hesitate to contact me.
Here is a list of commonly used Microsoft Excel formulas from the website www.Dummies.com:
Excel Functions You’re Likely to Use
Some Excel functions apply to specific subject areas, but others are general and apply to all needs. The following list shows an array of Excel functions used by one and all. Check here for a quickie reference to the purpose of each Excel function.
Excel Function Description
SUM Calculates the sum of a group of values
AVERAGE Calculates the mean of a group of values
COUNT Counts the number of cells in a range that contains numbers
INT Removes the decimal portion of a number, leaving just the integer portion
ROUND Rounds a number to a specified number of decimal places or digit positions
IF Tests for a true or false condition and then returns one value or another
NOW Returns the system date and time
TODAY Returns the system date, without the time
SUMIF Calculates a sum from a group of values, but just of values that are included because a condition is met
COUNTIF Counts the number of cells in a range that match a criteria
Excel Text Functions You’ll Find Helpful
Excel’s text functions are very helpful when you’re working with names, addresses, customer lists, or any other text-based data. Here is list of Excel functions associated with text, along with a description of what each function does:
LEFT Extracts one or more characters from the left side of a text string
RIGHT Extracts one or more characters from the right side of a text string
MID Extracts characters from the middle of a text string; you specify which character position to start from and how many characters to include
CONCATENATE Assembles two or more text strings into one
REPLACE Replaces part of a text string with other text
LOWER Converts a text string to all lowercase
UPPER Converts a text string to all uppercase
PROPER Converts a text string to proper case
LEN Returns a text string’s length (number of characters)
Excel Order of Operations to Keep in Mind
Mathematics dictates a protocol of how formulas are interpreted, and Excel follows that protocol. The following is the order in which mathematical operators and syntax are applied both in Excel and in general mathematics. You can remember this order by memorizing the mnemonic phrase, “Please excuse my dear aunt Sally.”
Multiplication and division
Addition and subtraction
Excel Cell References Worth Remembering
In Excel formulas, you can refer to other cells either relatively or absolutely. When you copy and paste a formula in Excel, how you create the references within the formula tells Excel what to change in the formula it pastes. The formula can either change the references relative to the cell where you’re pasting it (relative reference), or it can always refer to a specific cell. You can also mix relative and absolute references so that, when you move or copy a formula, the row changes but the column does not, or vice versa.
Preceding the row and/or column designators with a dollar sign ($) specifies an absolute reference in Excel.
=A1 Complete relative reference
=$A1 The column is absolute; the row is relative
=A$1 The column is relative; the row is absolute
=$A$1 Complete absolute reference
Excel Error Messages to Get to Know
If you create a formula in Excel that contains an error or circular reference, Excel lets you know about it with an error message. A handful of errors can appear in a cell when a formula or function in Excel cannot be resolved. Knowing their meaning helps correct the problem.
#DIV/0! Trying to divide by 0
#N/A! A formula or a function inside a formula cannot find the referenced data
#NAME? Text in the formula is not recognized
#NULL! A space was used in formulas that reference multiple ranges; a comma separates range references
#NUM! A formula has invalid numeric data for the type of operation
#REF! A reference is invalid
#VALUE! The wrong type of operand or function argument is used