Google Sheets is a powerful spreadsheet program that performs complex calculations on the data entered in each cell. The app uses formulas and functions to perform these tasks, so you don’t have to. A formula is an expression which you enter to tell Google Sheets how to calculate the value of the cell, and the function is a predefined formula that Google Sheets has created for you.

Instructions in this article apply to Google Sheets.

Why use a function?

The difference between a formula and a function is that you create formulas to perform calculations while functions are pre-built formulas found in Google Sheets. Functions save time and reduce the chance of errors.

For example, to add a string of numbers with formulas the following is entered into a cell in Google Sheets:

= A1 + B1 + C1 + D1 + E1 + F1,

To add the same string of numbers using a function, type the following:

= SUM (A1: F1),

Using a function is effective when working with a large number of elements or for more complex calculations.

Google Sheets Function Syntax

Each function has syntax which is the specific order in which elements are entered for the function to perform the required calculation.

Every function starts with a function name followed by arguments which are separated by commas or colons and enclosed in parentheses. Main Function Design:

Function_name (аргумент1, аргумент2)

Here is an example:

СУММ (A1, B1)

How to use Google Sheets features

The fastest and easiest way to use the function is from menu » Functions» .

  1. Select the cell where you want to display the result of the calculation.

    Cell selected in Google Sheets
  2. From the toolbar select » Functions» then select a function. There are five main functions, plus submenus that contain all possible functions. Five main functions:

    • SUM : adds values ​​to a range of cells
    • AVERAGE : Counts average value in a range of cells.
    • COUNT : Provides the number of values ​​in a range of cells.
    • MAX : provides the maximum value in a range of cells.
    • MIN : provides the minimum value in a range of cells.
    Formulas Amount, Average, Amount, Max, Min in Google Sheets
  3. Select cells to include in the range.

    To select individual cells rather than consecutive cells, press and hold ctrl and make your choice. To select a continuous range of cells, press and hold Shift and select the first and last cells in the range.

    Range of cells selected for SUM
  4. Click Enter .

    Summary result in Google Sheets
  5. The result will appear in the selected cell.

How to Use Complex Features in Google Sheets

Google Sheets includes dozens of features that perform a variety of tasks. For example, to calculate the number of days or the number of working days (Monday to Friday) between two dates.

To find the function you need, refer to the full list of functions Google Sheets . To narrow down your options, enter your search term in field » Filter» and press the » Input», to see your selection. For example, to find a function to calculate the number of days, type days as a search term. The two possible results are the DAYS and NETWORKDAYS functions.

Either go to the Google Sheets Dashboard, select » Functions» then select the submenu at the bottom of the list.

Some features require data to be entered in a certain way. Here’s how to do it, using the NETWORKDAYS function as an example.

  1. Select the cell where you want to show the number of business days between two dates.

  2. Enter = NETWORKDAYS .

    To use this feature, you can start with an empty table.

  3. Two options are displayed: NETWORKDAYS and NETWORKDAYS.INTL. Select NETWORKDAYS .

    Networkdays option in Google Sheets
  4. The correct format used to enter the function is displayed. View it, then select x, to leave.

    X button to close formula options
  5. Enter the start and end dates for the date range using the same format as in the formula. Pay special attention to punctuation.

    Date Range in Google Sheets
  6. Click Enter .

    Result Cell in Google Sheets
  7. The number of working days is displayed in the selected cell.

How to use functions with text in Google Sheets

Google Sheets features can also be useful when working with text. For example, the GOOGLETRANSLATE function translates the selected text from the source language into another specified language.

Here’s how to do it using as an example spanish word hola :

  1. Select the cell where you want to display the translated text.


    translation from google
  3. Click Enter .

    Hello translation in Google Sheets
  4. The translation will appear in the selected cell.

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