 Tweet # Excel For Noobs Tutorial: How to Insert Functions in Excel (Manual, AutoComplete, Function Library, Insert Function Dialog Box)

In Excel there are many different ways to enter formulas and functions into a cell. You can enter formulas and functions using one of the methods listed below.

• Manually
• AutoComplete
• The Function Library
• Insert Function Dialog Box

## Inserting Functions Manually

If you have made it this far into our lessons, you should already know how to enter a function into a cell manually. We will remind you just in case. To insert a function manually you need to first enter the equal sign (=) into the cell follow by the function. You will then enter your arguments inside the parenthesis.

## Inserting Functions Using AutoComplete

In Excel 2007 Microsoft introduced the Formula AutoComplete Feature making entering formulas much easier and less error prone. Suppose you want to enter a formula but you dont know the formula in Excel. When you begin to enter a formula into a cell the Formula AutoComplete Feature provides a quick easy list of formulas along with a descriptions of which each formula does.

Below we have a list of players and their batting averages. The goal is to find the batting average of the team combined. • In cell C13 enter the = and type the letter A after the equal sign. You will notice that a list appears providing you with a list of all functions that begin with the letter A.
• Click on the different functions in the list and you will see that descriptions is provided for each function.
• Continue scrolling through the list until you find the Average Function .

• • Select and double click on the Average Function and it will be entered into your cell with open parenthesis. It is your job to fill in the arguments and close the parenthesis. You can see that there is a box that lets you know how you are supposed to enter the arguments into the parenthesis.

• • Select the range of cells C3 through C12 and then close the parenthesis and press enter.  ## Inserting Function using the Function Library

Another way to insert functions in Excel is to use the Function Library which is located in the ribbon under the Formula tab. The Function Library contains nine different buttons to help you find the formula you need. These buttons are AutoSum, Recently Used, Financial, Logical, Text, Date & Time, Lookup & Reference, Math & Trig, and More Functions. ### AutoSum

If you select a cell and click the AutoSum button it will find the sum of the values in the cells directly above or to the left of the cell.

If you click on the AutoSum drop-down menu you will find a list of other commonly used functions. When you select one of these functions from the menu it will work just as the AutoSum button did except the function will be different. For example, if you selected a cell and then selected the Average function from the AutoSum menu, Excel would find the Average of all consecutive numerical values entered into the cells directly above or to the left of the cell.

### Recently Use

The Recently Used button is useful because it provides you with a list of the most recently used functions. More than likely you are to use these function again so Excel has made this button available to you to make your use of Excel more efficient.

### Financial

Here you can find financial functions such as the Net Present Value, Internal Rate of Return and many other formulas used in the world of Finance.

### Logical

You can browse this list to find logical function such as the IF function.

### Text

Here you will find functions related to text. These are function such as the PROPER function which converts names and titles to their correct grammatical format. These functions do not calculate numbers.

### Date & Time

The Date & Time button list functions used to make calculation related to dates and time. For example, you would find the NOW function in this list. The NOW function will always provide the exact date and time in the cell that it is inserted in.

### Lookup & Reference

Here you can find functions that help you work with arrays of data. You will find functions such as the VLOOKUP function which looks up a supplied value in the first column of a table, and returns the corresponding value from another column.

### Math & Trig

Here you can find all the functions and formulas you learned in your high school and college math classes. You will find functions such as the Square Root (SQRT) function which finds the square root of a number.

### More Functions

Under this button you will find even more categories of functions. Here Excel provides a list of Statistical functions, Engineering functions, Cube functions, Information functions and Compatibility functions. ## Insert Function Dialog Box The Insert Function Dialog Box is a very useful tool for finding and inserting functions in Excel. With this dialog box you can type a description of the formula you need or you can select functions from a category.

You can access the Insert Function Dialog Box in many different ways.

• Click on the Formula tab from the Function Library select Insert Function.

• Select the Insert Function command which is at the bottom of all the formulas list in the Function Library group.
• Click the Insert Function icon located directly to the left of the Formula Bar..

Find the next tutorial in the links below. 