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The argument component of a function can consist of any of the following:

  • Numbers (Figure 3). Like any other formula, however, the result of a function that uses values for arguments will not change unless the formula is changed.

    Figure 3. This example uses numbers as arguments for the DATE function.

  • Text (Figure 4). Excel includes a number of functions just for text. I tell you about them later in this chapter.

    Figure 4. This example uses cell references, numbers, and text as arguments for the IF function.

  • Cell references (Figures 4 through 8). This is a practical way to write functions, since when you change cell contents, the results of functions that reference them change automatically.

    Figure 5. This example shows two different ways to use cell references as arguments for the SUM function.

    Figure 6. This example uses a formula as an argument for the ROUND function.

    Figure 7. This example uses the ROUND and IF functions to calculate commissions based on a rate that changes according to sales.

    Figure 8. This example uses three functions (IF, COUNTBLANK, and SUM), cell references, and error values to either indicate missing information or add a column of numbers.

  • Formulas (Figures 6 and 7). This lets you create complex formulas that perform a series of calculations at once.

  • Functions (Figures 7 and 8). When a function includes another function as one of its arguments, it's called nesting functions.

  • Error values (Figure 8). You may find this useful to “flag” errors or missing information in a worksheet.

  • Logical values. Some function arguments require TRUE or FALSE values.



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