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- EXCEL FORMULAS AND FUNCTIONS WORKSHOP OUTLINE INTRODUCTION This workshop introduces how to use basic Excel formulas and functions to perform simple worksheet calculations. PRE-REQUISITES Excel Fundamentals DURATION 1 Hour HANDOUTS AAG – Excel: Fundamentals AAG – Excel: Formulas and Functions OBJECTIVES The course features topics that explore how to perform mathematical calculations using formulas, functions, AutoSum, AutoComplete, and the AutoCalculate features. Customers will modify formulas and check formula errors. SETUP Launch Excel. Open document #3222957. WHAT IS A FORMULA AND HOW IS IT USED Formulas perform calculations using mathematical equations or logical expressions. They always begin with an equal sign to prevent Excel from interpreting the formula as text. Customers normally enter formulas in the cell where the result will appear. FORMULA LOGIC With the exception of the equal sign, formulas are much like regular math equations. They use operators and the specific order of precedence. The mathematical operators used in a formula are: Operator Performs + (plus sign) Addition - (minus sign) Subtraction * (asterisk) Multiplication Explain how Excel automatically performs calculations and quickly processes values using formulas. Explain the mathematical operators used in formulas. Welcome students and explain course objectives. Ask students if they have experience working with formulas and ask how they intend to use Excel. Have students open In- class exercise document #3222957.
- 2 / (slash) Division ( ) (parentheses) Controls the order of mathematical operations; calculations within parentheses are performed first % (percent) Converts a number into a percentage; for example, when you type 10%, Excel reads the value as .10 ^ (caret) Exponentiation; for example, when you type 2^3, Excel reads the value as 2*2*2 The standard mathematical order of precedence determines which operation Excel will carry out first. Formulas will follow this order of precedence commonly defined as PEMDAS or Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally when performing calculations. Parentheses Exponentiation Multiplication and Division Addition and Subtraction The order of precedence prevents confusion and the flexibility of more than one answer for the same number by indicating which part of the formula to work on. For example, the result of 2+3*4 is 14, but the result of (2+3)*4 is 20. When a formula contains just addition and subtraction, Excel evaluates from left to right because these two operators have the same level of precedence. Similarly, a formula containing only multiplication and division processes from left to right because the operators have the same level of precedence. However, when the formula contains a mixture of addition or subtraction with multiplication or division, the multiplication and division operators take precedence over the addition and subtraction. This may produce a different result than expected. Place parentheses around the addition or subtraction if Excel should process before the multiplication or division calculation. Forgetting this simple rule is one of the most common mistakes made when creating formulas. ENTERING FORMULAS Excel uses two types of formulas – static or dynamic formulas. Both formulas start with an equal (=) sign. STATIC FORMULAS Static formulas use defined values such as 2 + 3. Static formulas require editing of the formula to change the result. Use static formulas for constant unchanging calculations. Explain the order of precedence in performing mathematical calculations. Enter =65004-7426 in cell B19. Press Enter. Select B19 and point out formula appears in Formula Bar. Explain the use of parentheses for calculating mixed formulas containing more than one function; put the operative function/ equation that should process first in parenthesis.
- 3 DYNAMIC FORMULAS The most common formula type, dynamic formulas, uses worksheet cell addresses and recalculates when the associated cell value changes. Use the dynamic formula when values may change. To enter a dynamic formula type the equal (=) sign to start the formula and then either type the cell references or use the mouse to select the cells and allow Excel to enter the cell addresses into the formula automatically, including the mathematical operators where appropriate. As cell addresses are typed or selected, Excel places a colored border with squares at each corner around each referenced cell. Excel uses a different color border for each cell referenced in the formula. EXERCISE Entering And Editing A Simple Formula Select cell B18 and type an equal sign (=). Type B16, the first cell referenced in the formula. Type the minus sign (-) as the first mathematical operator. Type B17 as the next cell referenced in the formula. Press Enter to complete the formula. The result is 57578. Change the value in cell B16 to 74500. The formula recalculates the result in B18 to 67074. EXERCISE Multiplying Values In A Formula Select cell C17 and type an equal sign (=) Type C16*.08 to multiply the Total Sales for District 2 by 8% Press Enter to complete the formula. The result should be 1472. ALTERNATIVE FORMULA ENTRY: =C16*8%. EXERCISE Create A Formula That Calculates The Net Profit For District 2. Type an equal sign (=) into cell C18. Click cell C16, type a minus sign (-) Complete the Exercises. Explain as you move through the exercises.
- 4 Click cell C17. Press Enter to complete the formula. The result should be 16928. FUNCTIONS Excel has built-in, special pre-written shortcut formulas called Functions. Functions simplify and shorten formulas in worksheets, especially those that perform lengthy or complex calculations. A function always starts with an equal sign (=) followed by the function’s name and, enclosed in parentheses, its arguments. Arguments may be cell addresses, values, labels, or a combination of these, and may include other functions or formulas as arguments. Excel provides Functions ScreenTips that display the function structure (i.e, the function name and the order of its required arguments). For example, the most used Function in Excel is the SUM function, which adds numbers in a range of cells instead of having to type a formula containing each cell reference. COMMONLY USED FUNCTIONS The AutoSum button, appearing on the Home and Formulas tabs, quickly inserts the most used functions. AutoSum Function The AutoSum function calculates and enters the Sum function for the adjacent range of cells in the Active cell. When clicked, a blinking, colored border called a range finder defines the suggested range. Clicking the AutoSum button at the end of a row suggests the contiguous row of values to the left of the active cell whereas, clicking the bottom of a column suggests contiguous column values above the active cell. If there are values both above and to the left of the active cell, then Excel suggests the contiguous column of values above the active cell. To change the suggested range, click and drag to select the cells or clear the values and press CTRL while clicking the cells containing the desired values. EXERCISE Using the AutoSum Feature Click cells C9 and D9. The selected cells become the Active. Click the AutoSum button. The values calculate automatically to 7495 and 7628, respectively. Define and explain how to use functions to create formulas. Explain the function syntax using =Sum(B5:B8) in cell B9. Discuss the AutoSum shortcut and the range finder that automatically selects cell values.
- 5 Click in each individual cell to view the formula entry. Click cell F9. The selected cell becomes active. Click the AutoSum button. The selected range includes the column values above the cell, although the cells to the left contain values. Press Enter. The result is 5401. The AutoSum button also provides a drop-list arrow that, when clicked displays the most commonly-used functions: Sum, Average, Count Numbers, Max, Min, and More functions. Average returns the mean of the values in a range of cells, Count Numbers returns the number of cells containing numeric values, Max returns the highest value, and Min returns the lowest value in the range. The More Functions command opens the Insert Function dialog box, which accesses all Excel functions. Each of these functions automatically uses the cell range immediately adjacent to the active cell for the suggested range. FORMULA AUTOCOMPLETE After typing an equal sign (=) and the beginning letters of a formula, the Formula AutoComplete feature displays valid functions, table names and text strings that match the letters in a dynamic drop-down list. Refine the range of options by continuing to type trigger letters or scroll through the list using keys on the keyboard. Detailed ScreenTips help to make the best choice. Formula names are not case sensitive. If a manually entered argument contains a period instead of a COLON at the end of the first reference cell in the argument, Excel automatically replaces the period with a colon (i.e. Excel changes =sum(a1[.]a3) to =sum(a1[:]a3). Excel also adds the closing parenthesis to a functional argument when omitted during manual entry INSERT FUNCTIONS The Insert Function dialog box simplifies using functions in a worksheet. When unsure of the proper function syntax, or needing help to enter a function into a formula or simply cannot remember the name of the required function, click the Insert Function button in the formula bar to open the Insert Function dialog box. Click cell F9 and use the AutoSum drop list to select each of the functions, and note the results. Discuss the formula AutoComplete feature and its use. Demonstrate AutoComplete feature. Click cell B12 and begin typing the formula (=M + I+ N). Show students how Excel provides a list of show functions matching the typed letters. Discuss the Insert Function feature and its use to enter formulas.
- 6 The Insert Function dialog box provides several options to assist with formula entry: Search by description for a mathematical equation. For example, typing the description, get the percentage of a range of numbers, displays an alphabetical list of recommended functions in the Select a function list. Select a Category to displays only the functions within that category. Select the All option to display all the available functions in alphabetical order. Clicking on a function displays its structure and description. Selecting a function opens the Function Arguments dialog box. Enter the corresponding cell address, range, or numerical value for each argument in the edit boxes. An explanation of the selected function, argument, and the current result appear below the list of edit boxes when entering the arguments. The edit boxes contain a Collapse Dialog button, which collapses the Function Arguments dialog box to enable cell or cell range selection from the worksheet. Use the Expand Dialog button to redisplay the full dialog box after selecting the cell(s). Click the Help on this function hyperlink at the bottom-left of the Insert Function or Function Arguments dialog box for assistance when using a function. AUTOCALCULATE FEATURE The AutoCalculate feature simultaneously uses all of the AutoSum feature to calculate a selected range of cells without supplying a formula, and displays the results temporarily on the Status Bar. Use AutoCalculate to spot-check a worksheet for accuracy or for quick answers to basic calculations. Except for the Count function, AutoCalculate ignores all cells that do not contain a numeric entry. AutoCalculate also calculates multiple, selected ranges. MODIFY FORMULAS Manually edit cell references or adjust the range of cells to modify a formula. Easily adjust a cell range by modifying its border. Demonstrate using the Function Arguments Dialog box. Click cell H5 Click Insert Function Button. Type average in the Search box and press Return Select AVERAGE. Click the Collapse Dialog button and select B5:D5 Click the Expand Dialog button. Show the result in the dialog box. Click OK. Explain and demonstrate the AutoCalculate feature. Select B5:D8. The results of the enabled AutoCalculate functions display in the Status Bar. Explain how to modify a formula by adjusting cell range borders.
- 7 MODIFYING FORMULA RANGE BORDERS Excel displays colored borders to identify cell ranges used in formulas. The borders also contain square handles at each corner to use for adjusting the active range. Drag a range border to include a different group of cells altogether, or resize the border to reference fewer or more cells. Adjusting a range border automatically changes the corresponding range reference in the formula. EXERCISE Modify a Formula with Range Borders Double-click cell F9 to activate the border. Point to the range handle at the top-right corner of cell F5. A diagonal, double-headed arrow appears. Drag the range handle down to include fewer cells. Point to the range handle in Cell F7. Drag the range handle up to include only F5 and F6. Point to the range border for cells F5:F6 until the pointer changes to a black, four-headed arrow. Drag the range border down to include only F7:F8 Press Enter. The modified formula with a green triangle in the upper left corner appears in cell F9. Excel senses an error. POINT TO A BORDER ON ANY SIDE OF THE RANGE TO MOVE A REFERENCED RANGE WITHOUT CHANGING ITS SIZE. FORMULA ERRORS Excel’s error-checking feature automatically checks formulas against a pre- existing set of rules. A colored triangle, referred to as an error-checking smart tag, appears in the upper-left corner of a cell suspected of containing an error. Placing the cursor on the smart tag displays the reason for flagging the formula. Excel’s error check rules include checking for numbers stored as text, omitting a cell in a continuous range, and cell range inconsistencies between range used and adjacent cells. Clicking the error checking smart tag displays a list of commands to automatically correct the error, ask for help in correcting the error, ignore the error, or edit the error in the formula bar. Explain and demonstrate the Formula checking and correction options. Click the error checking smart tag drop-list arrow in cell F9. Click Update Formula to Include Cells. The formula updates to include cells F5:F8. Explain how to modify a formula by adjusting cell range borders. Have students practice modifying borders in a cell range to edit a formula.
- 8 EXERCISE If time permits have students complete the Exercise document DM# 3230188 Have students complete the exercise if time permits.

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