# 20 Most common excel functions for a beginner

October 9, 2022

If you want to be a professional you need to be a master in Microsoft Excel but if you know at least the most common excel functions you can continue working.

**Top twenty most common Excel functions a beginner should know:**

- SUM
- COUNT, COUNTA, COUNTBLANK
- AVERAGE
- CONCAT
- MAX, MIN
- ROUND
- LEFT, RIGHT, MID
- UPPER, LOWER, PROPER
- NOW, TODAY, TIME
- LEN
- VLOOKUP

## What is an Excel function?

## What is an Excel formula?

The Excel formula is an expression that operates values in a range of cells. the formula returns a result even when it is an error. Excel formulas allow you to perform calculations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. For Instance, the summation of cells A1, A2, A3 and, A4 can be calculated by the formula =A1+A2+A3+A4.

## Difference between functions and formulas

We often get confused between functions and formulas. But there is a clear distinction between both.

The functions are predefined formulas with a name that performs a specific calculation for us. For instance, if want to calculate the average for any given numbers like 5,6 and 7 we can calculate by the formula =(5+6+7)/3=6, i.e. we add all three numbers and divided them by the count of numbers. Same thing we can do with a function called AVERAGE. The AVERAGE function performs all calculations behind and returns us the results.

So, we can say that all functions are actually a combination of some formulas. The combination of formulas is predefined and can be called by a name given by Excel. Each function has an argument or values which should be stated in a particular structure. If we can provide a correct argument in the proper structure Excel calculate the values and return the results instantly in the cell where the formula was entered. Functions and formulas both should be started with an equal sign (=) in a cell where results are expected.

## Excel function syntax

Excel function syntax starts with an equal sign (=) followed by the function name, an opening parenthesis, the arguments for the function separated by commas, and a closing parenthesis.

The function name is predefined by Microsoft Excel, for summation we use the function SUM.

The arguments can be a number, text, logical values such as **TRUE** or **FALSE**, arrays, error values such as #N/A, or cell references. It can also be a constant, formula, or other function.

## How to enter a function in a cell

When we want to use a function in a cell where results are expected we should select that cell and press **Shift+F3**. we can search for our desired function here.

After getting the desired function, click OK and another window will appear where the description of the function and input method is defined.

But if you know the function syntax, you do not need to follow this instruction. You can just type the function and its argument to complete the action.

## Most common excel functions a beginner should know

### 1. SUM function

From the name you already understand that the SUM function is the function that calculates addition for us. It returns a result of the addition of a cell or range of cells.

**Example of the SUM function**

**Read More: How to sum up using Excel; SUM Function explained**

**Syntax =SUM(number1, [number2], …)**

### 2. COUNT, COUNTA, and COUNTBLANK function

### 2.1 COUNT function

The COUNT function returns the count of numbers in a cell or a range of cells. The COUNT function excludes blank cell and text values. It only includes the numeric values of a cell.

**Read More: How to count days in Excel?**

**Example of the COUNT function**

**Syntax =COUNT(value1, [value2], …)**

**2.2** COUNTA** function**

The COUNTA function returns the count of numbers and text values in a cell or a range of cells. The COUNTA function excludes blank cells.

**Example of the COUNTA function**

**Syntax =COUNT(value1, [value2], …)**

### 2.3 COUNTBLANK function

The COUNTBLANK function returns the count of blank cells or a range of cells.

**Example of the COUNTBLANK function**

**Syntax =COUNT(range)**

### 3. AVERAGE function

The AVERAGE function returns the arithmetical mean of a cell or more cells or a range of cells. The AVERAGE function exclude blank and text cell but include a zero value.

**Read More: Average formula in excel – AVERAGE function**

**Example of the AVERAGE function**

**Syntax =AVERAGE(number1, [number2], …)**

**Read More: Average formula in excel – AVERAGE function**

### 4. CONCAT function

CONCAT function combines two or more cells together in a cell. To keep space between two texts we can use ” “.

**Example of the CONCAT function**

**Syntax=CONCAT(B2,” “,C2)**

### 5. MAX, MIN function

MAX and MIN functions help us to find out the maximum and minimum numbers in a given range of cells.

**Example of the MAX and MIN function**

**Syntax: =MAX(number1,[number2], …) and =MIN(number1,[number2], …)**

### 6. ROUND function

The ROUND function rounds a number to a specified number of digits after decimal places.

**Example of the ROUND function**

**Syntax: = ROUND(number,num_digits)**

**Read More: How to round up number to 2 decimal places in Excel**

### 7. LEFT, RIGHT, and MID

The LEFT function returns the number of characters from the start of a string, The RIGHT function returns the number of characters from the end of a string, and the MID function returns the number of characters from the middle of a string.

**Examples of LEFT, RIGHT, and MID function**

**Syntax: =LEFT(text,[num_chars]), =RIGHT(text,[num_chars]), MID(text, start_num,num_char)**

### 8. UPPER, LOWER, and PROPER function

It is also not a mathematical function. The UPPER function covert any text strings to uppercase. The LOWER function covert any text strings to lowercase and the PROPER function covert any text strings to proper case.

**Examples of UPPER, LOWER, and PROPER function**

**Syntax: =UPPER(text), =LOWER(text), =PROPER(text)**

### 9. NOW, TODAY, and TIME function

The NOW function in Microsoft Excel gives the current operating system date and time. The TODAY function in Microsoft Excel gives the current date and The TIME function in Microsoft Excel gives the current time of the operating system.

**Examples of NOW function**

**Syntax: =NOW(), =TODAY(), =TIME(hour, minute, second)**

### 10. LEN function

The LEN function returns the total number of characters in a given text string.

**Examples of LEN function**

**Syntax: =LEN()**

### 11. VLOOKUP function

VLOOKUP means vertical lookup. This function is not easy as the previous functions. when you need to find things in a table or a range by row with a specific match you can use VLOOKUP.

**Examples of the VLOOKUP function**

From TABLE 01, we need to look up data for TABLE02, i.e. if we need to find out the Team of these five players we can use VLOOKUP and fill in this data easily.

**Syntax: = VLOOKUP(lookup_value, table_array, col_index_num, [range_lookup])**

Arguments:

**-lookup_value**(required)- The value that you are looking for.**-table_array**(required)- Indicates the table from which data need to be retrieved.**-col_index_num**(required)- Column number (here is 4) in the table from which data need to be retrieved.**-range_lookup**(optional)-approximate match (default). FALSE = exact match, you can give 1 or 0 also.

**Read More: How to vlookup in excel – step by step VLOOKUP function**

Dear learner, hope you have already learned the most common excel functions and this content is helpful to you. Still, if you have any questions you are requested to left a comment below. I will try my best to reply to your question as soon as possible. Thank you.

Credit: Microsoft Excel support

## 0 Comments