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What are some common functions in Microsoft Excel?

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Quick Answer

Some common Microsoft Excel functions include SUM, IF, LOOKUP, VLOOKUP and MATCH, as of the Excel 2013 version. SUM adds the values in selected cells, IF returns a value based on true-or-false conditions and LOOKUP finds a value from a row or column based on a selected row or column.

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VLOOKUP is similar to LOOKUP, but lets you search an entire table or range by row, while MATCH returns the position of a desired value from anywhere on the spreadsheet. CHOOSE, DATE and DAYS are also useful functions. CHOOSE returns a value based on an index number, while DATE automatically returns the correct serial number associated with a particular date. DAYS shows the number of days between two given dates.

Microsoft Excel features common functions that have Web-based purposes, such as ENCODEURL, FILTERXML and WEBSERVICE. The ENCODEURL function returns a URL-encoded string as the name suggests, allowing users to embed links into the spreadsheet. FILTERXML uses an XPath to return a specific data string from a website's XML content, while WEBSERVICE returns data associated with a Web service. The Web functions are all available in the Excel 2013 version.

Microsoft Excel also features statistical functions under the Formulas tab and the Statistical or Math & Trig subcategories. These include ZTEST, CHITEST and FTEST, all of which return results for the associated statistical tests.

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