Computer Data Analysis
CGS 2518
Instructor: Greg Shaw
Microsoft Excel 2007 – Chapter 2
Formulas and Functions: Math Basics for Spreadsheet Use
Skills Checklist and Notes
 Entering Cell References by Clicking
When entering a formula, cell references may be specified either by
typing or just by clicking in the cell
Entering cell references by clicking helps eliminate mistakes!
 Copying Formulas and Functions Using AutoFill (i.e.,
by Dragging the “Fill Handle”)
Select the cell containing the formula/function and drag its
fill handle over a range of destination cells!
The “fill handle” is the little black square in the lower righthand corner of the active cell
This method is faster, but can only be done when the destination
cells are adjacent to the “source” cell
When the mouse pointer is correctly positioned on the fill
handle, it will look like this:
 If
instead it looks like two crossed arrows, then dragging will
move the formula/function instead of copying it
 Relative and Absolute Cell References
See online document, “Relative vs. Absolute Cell Referencing”
 Excel Function Basics
All Excel functions have this general form (or, “syntax”)
=name( argument(s) )
where name is the function name and argument(s) is/are the value
(or values) upon which the function operates
Excel function arguments consist of one or more cell ranges, cell
references, or constants, separated by commas
Recall that a cell range is a rectangular block of cells.
specify a cell range by using the references (names) of the
upper-left-hand cell and the lower-right-hand cell, separated by
a colon (:)
Examples, using some common Excel functions:
(computes average of values in cells C10 through C22)
(finds largest value in cells D8 through D20)
(finds smallest value in cells B7 through G13)
(computes sum of values in cells B7 through G13)
(computes median of values in cells E6 through E37)
(counts the number of cells in the ranges C10:D16 and G10:H16
that contain numeric values)
This one shows that functions may have multiple
arguments - here there are two - separated by commas
(counts the number of cells in the ranges A10:A20, C10:C20, and
E10:E20 that are nonempty)
 Date Functions:
=TODAY() and =NOW()
The TODAY() function displays the current date in a cell and the
NOW() function displays the current date and time
The values returned by these functions are updated automatically
whenever a sheet is opened or a new calculation is done
These function take no arguments, but empty parentheses are still
required (as is the equal sign (=) before the function name)!
 Calculating a Sum Using AutoSum
The AutoSum button is on the Formulas tab, in the Function Library
To sum a column of numbers, select the cell just below it and
click the AutoSum button []
To sum a row, select the cell just to the right and click AutoSum
To compute the sums of any number of columns and/or rows all at
once, select the columns/rows plus one extra row below (for the
column totals) and one extra column to the right (for the row
totals). Then click AutoSum.
 Click
the drop-down list arrow to the right of the AutoSum
button to insert the Average, Min, Max, and Count functions
instead of the Sum, using the above methods
 Inserting a Function ( Formulas | Function Library )
The Insert Function command is the easiest way to enter functions
into a worksheet.
It also minimizes typing mistakes and provides
complete information about each function.
Select the cell where you want the function to go
On the Formulas tab, in the Function Library group, click on a
category to insert a function from that category, or click the
Insert Function button to search for a function by description
or name
In the Function Arguments dialog, there is a text box for each
argument, along with a description of the argument
For each argument, click in its text box and then drag to select
the cell or range
You can also type in the text box if, for example, you need to
enter arithmetic operators
Click OK
 The IF Function
(See online document, “The IF Function”)
 The
(See online document, “Financial Functions: PMT and FV”)
 The VLOOKUP Function
(See online document, “The VLOOKUP Function”)
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