"Excel Function Argument Types"


Knowing all the available Excel function argument types from this article!!

You should know that almost all the functions use a set of parentheses. The information within the parentheses is the function's arguments. For example, the function =SUM(A3:A7). The argument for this function is A3:A7.

Functions vary in how they use arguments. A function may use:

  • No arguments such as =RAND( )
  • One argument
  • A fixed number of arguments
  • An indeterminate number of arguments
  • Optional arguments


If a function uses more than one argument, a comma separates the arguments. For example, the LARGE function, which returns the nth largest value in a range, uses two arguments. The first argument represents the range; the second argument represents the value for n. For example, the formula =LARGE(A1:A50,3) returns the third-largest value in the range A1:A50

There are several types of argument for a function:

Names as arguments
Functions can use cell or range references for their arguments. When Excel calculates the formula, it simply uses the current contents of the cell or range to perform its calculations. The SUM function returns the sum of its argument(s).

For example, =SUM(C1:C30) will calculate the sum of the values in C1:C30. If you defined a name for C1:C30 such as Salary, you can use the name in place of the reference: =SUM(Salary)

Entire Row or Column as arguments
Sometime, you may need to use entire row or column as an argument. For example, = AVERAGE(15:15) will averaging all values in the row 15. The formula =SUM(E:E) will sums all values in column E.

Literal values as arguments
A literal argument refers to a value or text string that you enter directly. For example, the =SQRT(20) will calculates the square root of 20.


There are some other more difficult types of arguments for a function such as expressions and array as arguments.


Related Topics:

4 Reasons Why Mastering Your Excel 2010 Functions Are So Critical!

How to Create Formulas and Discover the 5 Types of Formulas in Excel 2010?

Excel Absolute Cell Reference (Example Demonstration - Part 1)

Excel Absolute Cell Reference (Example Demonstration - Part 2)

Excel Relative Cell Reference with Real-live Example Demonstration



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