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Chapter 8. Creating and Saving a Spreads... > Working with Functions and Formulas

Working with Functions and Formulas

Functions in Excel do most of the heavy work when it comes to complicated operations. Luckily, you can put away your trigonometric calculator and relax, because Excel has the know-how you need and the support to help you use it.

Deconstructing Formulas

A formula is an equation that carries out a particular operation on specified values. You’ll use formulas to calculate sales projections, estimate taxes, average your expenses, total your income, and tally your inventory, among other things. A function is a preset formula that carries out a specific kind of operation. For example, you use the =SUM function to add a column of numbers; you use =AVERAGE to display the average of a group of cell values. Excel functions always appear in this form:


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