6 Basic Excel Functions Everybody Should Know - WindowsTips.net - Windows Tips and Tricks with Geek

## 1. Add Numbers in Cells: SUM

One of the most basic things you can do with numbers is add them. Using the SUM function in Excel you can add numbers in cells.

The syntax is `SUM(value1, value2,...)` where `value1` is required and `value2` is optional. So for each argument, you can use a number, cell reference, or cell range.

For example, to add the numbers in cells A2 through A10, you would enter the following and press Enter:

`=SUM(A2:A10)`

You then get your result in the cell containing the formula.

## 2. Average Numbers in Cells: AVERAGE

Averaging a group of numbers is another common mathematical function.

The syntax is the same for the AVERAGE function in Excel as with the SUM function, `AVERAGE(value1, value2,...)` with `value1` required and `value2` optional. You can enter cell references or ranges for the arguments.

To average the numbers in cells A2 through A10, you would enter the following formula and press Enter:

`=AVERAGE(A2:A10)`

You then get your average in the cell containing the formula.

## 3. Find the High or Low Value: MIN and MAX

When you need to find the minimum or maximum value in a range of cells, you use the MIN and MAX functions.

The syntaxes for these functions are the same as the others, `MIN(value1, value2,...)` and `MAX(value1, value2,...)` with `value1` required and `value2` optional.

To find the minimum, lowest value, in a group of cells, enter the following replacing the cell references with your own. Then, hit Enter:

`=MIN(B2:B10)`

And to find the maximum, highest value, use:

`=MAX(B2:B10)`

You’ll then see the smallest or largest value in the cell with the formula.

## 4. Find the Middle Value: MEDIAN

Instead of the minimum or maximum value, you may want the middle one.

As you may have guessed, the syntax is the same, `MEDIAN(value1, value2,...)` with the first argument required and the second optional.

For the middle value in a range of cells enter the following and press Enter:

`=MEDIAN(A2:A10)`

You’ll then see the middle number of your cell range.

## 5. Count Cells Containing Numbers: COUNT

Maybe you’d like to count how many cells in a range contain numbers. For this, you would use the COUNT function.

The syntax is the same as the above two functions, `COUNT(value1, value2,...)` with the first argument required and the second optional.

To count the number of cells that contain numbers in the range A1 through B10, you would enter the following and press Enter:

`=COUNT(A1:B10)`

You then get your count in the cell containing the formula.

## 6. Insert the Current Date and Time: NOW

If you’d like to display the current date and time whenever you open your spreadsheet, use the NOW function in Excel.

The syntax is `NOW()` because the function has no required arguments. You can, however, add or remove from the current date and time if you like.

To return the current date and time, enter the following and press Enter:

`=NOW()`

To return the date and time five days in the future from the current date and time, enter this formula and hit Enter:

`=NOW()+5`

And here’s how the results would look for each of the above formulas.