Learning To Use Excel Functions From Within Excel

Excel function tutorials

Greetings everyone! Today, I received a question from a recent buyer of our Excel ebook: “Taking your Excel skills to the next level“. Basically, the reader was asking for more information about a specific function. Here is the question:

I would like additional explanations of the actual inputs in the formulas. If you have the formula rank(A3:C:C), what do the inputs mean or what do you put in there as I have no idea?

Very fair question. I will without a doubt be working on improving the ebook to make that more clear. I did however want to get into that question as a general because this can be very useful no matter what function you are using. Let’s use that “rank” function and use a very simple example:

If you know which function you’d like to try or have some kind of clue, you can simply start typing that function in the appropriate cell and as you type, the name of the available functions will narrow down:

You can either start typing the info or in the much more likely situation where you’re not sure how to use the fields, you can click on the top “F(x)” at the top of this screenshot:

You will then see a screen where you can get information about each field:

In this case, the number, I’m trying to “rank” is in C1, so I’ll write down and select the next field:

Ref is the range where the numbers I’d like to be ranked are so in this case it would be: C1:C5

The third field is not in bold and as you can see in the description, is not required!

Another alternative is also to click on the bottom left in the “help on this function” which gives a description and example of the function in action, see here:

I’m always more than happy to help and will certainly try to be careful but I thought this post might help of a few people:)


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