Excel Insert Function
Insert function is not an actual function in excel instead it is an wizard box provided by excel to help us in finding out the type of function we require in our data, in older versions of excel this function was located in the insert tab however in the newer versions of excel this wizard box is available in the formulas tab by clicking in the FX button provided which is the wizard box for the insert function.
Method #1 – Using Equal To Sign
For sure we all know all the formulas in excel start with an equal (=) sign in excel and I think this is what our early excel coach must have taught. Now let’s start with inserting formula in excel with equal sign first.
#1 – Calculations without Inbuilt Formulas
We can use excel as a basic calculator to perform basic calculations without the help of inbuilt formulas. Unlike a calculator, Excel can make the formula dynamic if you are referring the formula to cells and if you are entering the numbers directly to the formula it does not make the formula dynamic.
Now take a look at the calculation of 10 + 20 = 30 in excel. Open the equal sign in the cell A1.
Now hit enter button it will perform the calculation just like your calculator.
Now we can see the result of 10+20 in the cell A1 and we can see the formula in the formula bar.
#2 – Calculations without Inbuilt Formulas: Based On Cell Values
We have learned how to enter the formula in excel by using equal and supply values directly to the formula itself. Now we will see how to apply formulas for cells.
In cell A1 I have the number 10 & in cell A2 I have the number 20. In cell A3 I want the summation value of these two.
Open equal sign in cell A3 and select the A1 cell.
After selecting the cell A1 type plus (+) sign and select the cell A2.
Hit enter to see the result of the excel formula.
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This is a dynamic formula because if any change happens in cell A1 & A2 it will impact the cell A3 because A3 cell contains the formula which is completely dependent on A1 & A2 cells.
Method #2 – Using Insert Function Dialog Box
Example #1 – Excel Built-in Formulas
Take the same example as cell A1 & A2 apply inbuilt SUM function to get the total. In A3 after equal start the letter S we will get all the formula which starts with S.
Next enter the letter U now we will see all the formulas which starts with the letters SU
Like this, we can apply built-in formulas in excel. Remembering 450+ formulas in excel is not an easy task at all, but we can insert formula by using Excel INSERT FUNCTION option as well.
Click on this fx option to open the INSERT FUNCTION dialogue box.
Here we can search the formula we want to use. If we are not sure which formula to apply we can enter the brief description about the formula for example if I want to SUM cells I can write sum cells and it will give me the list of excel formulas
Once you get the list of recommended formulas click on the function you want to use.
Now we need to specify which cells we want to use to SUM.
- Number 1 will be our first number which is there in the cell A1.
- Number 2 will be our second number which is there in the cell A2.
Select both the numbers.
Now look at the options we have, it has opened up one more Number 3 slot to select the third number if any and also we can see the resulting review here only.
Click on OK to complete the formula and we will have a result in A3 cell.
Example #2 – Using Insert Function Dialog Box
Take a look at one more example. I have four values.
I cell B6 I want to calculate the AVERAGE values of above 4 numbers in cell B2, B3, B4, and B5
Step 1: Select the cell B6 and click on fx.
Step 2: Now we will see the INSERT FUNCTION dialogue box.
Step 3: Now type AVERAGE in the search box and click on GO we will see the AVERAGE function.
Step 4: Select the AVERAGE function. We will see the dialogue box.
Step 5: Select the first 2 cell values i.e. B2 & B3. It will open up another cell reference.
Step 6: Like this select all the values you want to find the average.
Now we can see the result preview, what are cells we have selected, and click on OK to complete the formula.
We have the AVERAGE function is cell B6.
Things to Remember
- Limit INSERT FUNCTION only for your understanding. Once you are comfortable with formulas type them directly into the cell.
- We can INSERT FUNCTION under the FORMULA tab as well.
- We can INSERT FUNCTION under Auto SUM drop down by clicking on More Functions.
- The short cut key to INSERT FUNCTION in excel is Shift + F3.
This has been a guide to Insert Function in Excel. Here we discuss how to insert formulas and functions in excel using equal to sign and insert function dialogue box along with practical examples and downloadable excel template. You may learn more about excel from the following articles –