**Heads up!** To view this whole video, sign in with your Courses account or enroll in your free 7-day trial.
Sign In
Enroll

Preview

Start a free Courses trial

to watch this video

Functions are built-in calculations supported by most spreadsheet software. They let you calculate averages, sums, round up (or down) numbers, and even calculate values based on IF a certain condition is true. They're powerful spreadsheet features.

#### Example Files

- you can continue to use the spreadsheet from the last video, or
- open a copy of this spreadsheet to catch up to this video

[MUSIC]
0:00

In this stage, we'll be covering some
common functions and keyboard shortcuts.
0:05

Many of the videos in the stage are short
and covers specific functions quickly.
0:09

We did that so you can easily come
back and reference them if you like.
0:14

I also want to emphasize that we do
not cover all the different uses for
0:17

these functions.
0:22

As you get more comfortable
with spreadsheets,
0:23

I'm sure you'll find additional
creative uses for these functions.
0:25

The functions you use most regularly will
depend a lot on the job role you're in
0:30

as well as your particular industry.
0:34

For example, if you're in finance or
investing, you probably use financial
0:36

functions like IRR to calculate
the internal rate of return, or
0:40

NPV, to calculate the net
present value of an investment.
0:45

We won't cover specialized
functions like those, but
0:49

just keep in mind,
there are many, many functions.
0:52

Some of which may be just right for
your job.
0:56

Let's get started.
0:58

Earlier on in this course, we used
the sum, average and median functions.
1:00

Let's review the sum function to
highlight the key parts of using
1:04

any spreadsheet function.
1:07

I start by typing in
the equal sign in a cell.
1:09

Think of the equal sign as saying
the value inside the cell is
1:13

equal to something.
1:17

That something in this case
is the result of a function.
1:18

To select a function,
1:21

you just start typing the first
letters of the function's name.
1:22

I want to use the sum function, so
1:25

I enter SUM and parentheticals.
1:30

You can see right below the cell a box
pops up that shows a bunch of other
1:34

functions that are similar to sum.
1:38

It also explains what
the sum function does.
1:41

So if I write IF, the list
1:44

shrinks a lot because a bunch of different
functions that have sum disappeared.
1:48

Going back to SUM though, when I add
parenthesis, you can see the function
1:54

syntax shows up and then descriptions
of what value is supposed to be.
1:59

Sometimes you won't see this appear and
2:05

that's because you've
deselected this functionality.
2:08

Instead you'll just see
a blue question mark there.
2:13

So to turn formula help back on, just
click this question mark, and there it is.
2:17

You can turn it on by clicking
that question mark, and
2:23

you can hide this formula
help by clicking this x or
2:26

using Shift+F1 keyboard shortcuts.
2:31

So I want to calculate the sum
of values in other cells.
2:34

We can do this in many different ways,
but let's start with two common methods,
2:38

selecting individual cells and
selecting a range of cells.
2:42

First, I can individually select each
cell like so, choosing the cell,
2:46

then putting a comma,
then the next cell, and so forth.
2:52

This is a bit tedious since I need to
manually enter every cell I want to sum.
3:00

Or, I can select
the entire range of cells.
3:04

Notice what happens here.
3:11

You see the first cell,
then a colon, then the last cell.
3:13

That can go across multiple columns and
rows.
3:19

So I can type the next row number here,
and
3:22

you can see the function
is now summing both rows.
3:26

Most good spreadsheet
software will use colors and
3:29

highlighting to show you what you have
entered into a function or formula.
3:32

In this case, we see E3:H4 and
3:35

those are orange, and
then what happens if I select these?
3:40

So you can see these are purple and
it's purple in your formula bar as well.
3:45

So if you want to select individual cells,
use a comma between each cell reference,
3:49

but a colon lets you
select within a range.
3:54

All the cells from the first cell
reference to the second cell reference.
3:57

In this case,
I am manually entering that range.
4:01

So E3: and I want it to select
everything all the way out to H3.
4:04

Did you see that where I had no row number
it was selecting everything in the column,
4:13

but if I had the three
there it confines it.
4:19

You need to sign up for Treehouse in order to download course files.

Sign up