Functions Fundamentals

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Functions Fundamentals

Introduction

In the expressions we have created so far, we were using operators, constants, and values we knew already. In some complex expressions, just the known operators and the values in cells will not be enough. An alternative is to use a function.

A function is a small assignment that is performed to produce a result that can be reliably used. There are two types of functions you can use: those you create and those that are already available. In our lessons, we will not create our own functions. We will only use those that are already installed in Microsoft Excel. The already available functions are referred to as built-in functions.

The built-in functions were created by Microsoft and they are available from the time you finish installing Microsoft Excel. You can reliably use them without being concerned with how they were created or how they work.

It is like when you pick up a TV remote control and press a button to change the channel. You don’t care how the remote control works and you don’t spend any time finding out why the channel changed.

As in real world where we use various functions on cars, TV, food eating, etc, in the computer world, various functions are made available so you can simply use them to do your job. As a spreadsheet application, Microsoft Excel is equipped with various functions that can solve different types of calculations.

The Structure of a Function

In order to use a function more effectively, you should first know whether it is available and what you need to do to make it work. If you were creating a function, you would start its structure as follows:

Function

End Function

The area between Function and End Function is referred to as the body of the function. That's where you would perform the necessary assignment of the function.