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# Excel Formulas & Functions For Dummies 5th Edition

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## Book Preface

Excel worksheets are used in many walks of life: business, education, home ﬁnances, and even hobbies (such as keeping track of your baseball-card collection). In my house, we use Excel for a lot, from our taxes (boring!) to
our ever-growing recipe collection (yummy!). Often, I use Excel in place of a calculator. After all, Excel is like a calculator on steroids!

In the workplace, Excel is one of the most commonly used analysis and reporting tools. Financial statements, sales reports, inventory, project scheduling, customer activity  — so much of this stuﬀ is kept in Excel. The program’s capability to manipulate and give feedback about the data makes it attractive. Excel’s ﬂexibility in storing and presenting data is like magic

This book is about the number-crunching side of Excel. Formulas are the keystone to analyzing data — that is, digging out nuggets of important information. What is the average sale? How many times did we do better than average? How many days are left on the project? How much progress have we made? That sort of thing.
Formulas calculate answers, straight and to the point. But that’s not all. Excel has dozens of built-in functions that calculate everything from a simple average to a useful analysis of your investments to complex inferential statistics. But you don’t have to know it all or use it all; just use the parts that are relevant to your work.

This book discusses more than 150 of these functions. But rather than just show their syntax and list them alphabetically, I assemble them by category and provide real-world examples of how to use them alone, and in formulas, along with step-by-step instructions and illustrations of the results.

Foolish Assumptions

I assume that you have a PC with Excel 2019 loaded. That’s a no-brainer! Nearly all the material is relevant for use with earlier versions of Excel as well. I also assume that you know how to navigate with a keyboard and mouse. Last, I assume that you have used Excel before, even just once. I do discuss basics in Chapter 1, but not all of them. If you really need to start from scratch, I suggest that you read the excellent Excel 2019 For Dummies, by Greg Harvey (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.).

Other than that, this book is written for Excel 2019, but just between you and me, it works ﬁne with older versions of Excel. There could be a function or two that isn’t in an older version or works slightly diﬀerently. But Microsoft has done an excellent job of maintaining compatibility between versions of Excel, so when it comes to formulas and functions, you can be conﬁdent that what works in one version works in another.

How to Use This Book

You do not have to read the book sequentially from start to ﬁnish, although you certainly can. Each chapter deals with a speciﬁc category of functions — ﬁnancial in one chapter, statistical in another, and so on. Some categories are split over two or more chapters. I suggest two ways for you to use this book:
» Use the index to look up speciﬁc functions you are interested in.