# 8.13: What is a Function?

- Page ID
- 46550

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## Learning Outcomes

- Define functions in Microsoft Excel

A function is a preexisting formula in Excel that does calculations based on specific values. In previous modules, you learned a few Excel functions: COUNTIF, IF, and SUM. Excel offers hundreds of functions from broadly used to highly specialized. For now, we will focus on financial, logical and look-up functions and formulas.

## Practice Question

A few general tips to remember about functions and formulas:

- Functions begin with an equal sign. Excel will begin suggesting functions as soon as you begin typing the equal sign.
- Functions take one or more arguments, with cell references or numbers, enclosed in parentheses.
- When a function needs more than one argument, enter a comma between the arguments without a space and close the formula inside of parentheses.
- There are multiple ways to enter functions in Excel; type in the formula bar under the ribbon (1), clicking on the fx button by the formula bar (2), select a cell and type = (3), select the Formulas tab Insert Function button (4) or select a specific function based on a category in the Formulas tab (5).

## Practice Question

These next functions and formulas build out your skills in Excel and assist you with business, science, statistics and many other types of data analysis. Let’s get started.

## Contributors and Attributions

CC licensed content, Original

- What is a Function?.
**Authored by**: Sherri Pendleton.**Provided by**: Lumen Learning.**License**:*CC BY: Attribution*