Welcome to our guide about important Excel functions! No matter if you’re a student, work in an office, or just want to get better at using spreadsheets, these formulas are important to learn. Nowadays, being good at Excel can make you work quicker and more accurately. So, let’s look at the top 10 Excel functions that everyone should know.

## ESSENTIAL EXCEL FUNCTIONS

### SUM

The SUM function is one of the most fundamental Excel formulas, allowing users to quickly add up numbers in a range. To use the SUM function, simply input “=SUM(” followed by the range of cells you want to sum, separated by commas.

For example,

**=SUM(A1:A5)**

This will sum the values in cells A1 to A5. This formula is handy for calculating totals, budgets, or expenses.

### COUNT

The COUNT function in Excel is a statistical function that counts the number of cells containing numbers within a given range. It returns the count of numeric values in a range, excluding text, logical values, and empty cells.

To use COUNT, input “=COUNT(” followed by the range of cells you want to count.

Example:

**=COUNT(A2:A10)**

This formula will return the count of numeric values in cells A2 through A10.

**=COUNT(A2:A10, B2:B10)**

This formula will return the total count of numeric values in both ranges.

Unlike the COUNT function, COUNTA includes all types of data, including text, logical values, and error values, but excludes blank cells.

**=COUNTA(A2:A10)**

This formula will return the count of cells that are not empty in cells A2 through A10. Watch the following short video to understand the difference between COUNT() and COUNTA() function.

### AVERAGE

The AVERAGE function calculates the arithmetic mean of a range of numbers in Excel. It is ideal for calculating averages, means, or central tendencies of datasets. Whether you’re analyzing sales data, survey responses, or financial figures, the AVERAGE function provides a quick and reliable way to summarize your data and gain valuable insights.

To use AVERAGE, input “=AVERAGE(” followed by the range of cells you want to average.

For example,

**=AVERAGE(A1:A10)**

This will calculate the average of the values in cells A1 to A10. AVERAGE is commonly used for tasks like calculating the average sales for a period or the average scores of a group of students.

### MIN/MAX

The MIN and MAX formulas return the lowest and highest values in a range, respectively. These formulas are handy for identifying the minimum and maximum values within a dataset.

For instance, **=MIN(G2:G10) **will return the lowest number in cells G2 to G10, while **=MAX(G2:G10)** will return the highest number.

### CONCAT

Using the CONCAT function, a user can combine text strings from multiple cells into a single cell. This is useful for creating customized labels, reports, or data summaries.

Simply enter “=CONCAT(“)” and the text strings or cell references you wish to combine, separated by commas, to use CONCAT function.

For example,

**=CONCAT(A1, ” – “, B1)**

This will combine the text from cells A1 and B1, separated by a hyphen.

Alternatively, we can get the above output by using “&” as follows:

**=A1&”-“&B1**

### VLOOKUP

The VLOOKUP function is incredibly useful for searching and retrieving data from a table. With VLOOKUP, users can find a value in the leftmost column of a table and return a corresponding value from a specified column.

To use VLOOKUP, enter “=VLOOKUP(” followed by the lookup value, table array, column index number, and optional range lookup parameter.

For example,

**=VLOOKUP(B2, A2:C10, 3, FALSE)**

This will look up the value in cell B2 in the table range A2:C10 and return the value from the 3rd column.

### INDEX-MATCH

The INDEX-MATCH combination is a powerful alternative to VLOOKUP for performing lookups in Excel. Unlike VLOOKUP, INDEX-MATCH can handle lookups in any column and is not limited to searching in the leftmost column of a table. To use INDEX-MATCH, first, use the MATCH function to find the position of the lookup value in the table, then use the INDEX function to retrieve the corresponding value. This combination offers greater flexibility and accuracy, especially when working with large datasets or tables with changing structures.

For example, **=INDEX(E2:E10, MATCH(G2, D2:D10, 0))** will return the value in column E corresponding to the value in cell G2 found in column D.

For futher detail understanding please read How to Use Index Match in Excel: A Comprehensive Tutorial

### IF

IF Function The IF function enables users to perform logical tests and return different values based on the result. This function is especially useful for creating conditional statements in Excel. It follows the syntax

**=IF(logical_test, [value_if_true], [value_if_false])**

To use IF, input “=IF(” followed by the logical test, value if true, and value if false.

For example, **=IF(A1>10, “Yes”, “No”)** will return “Yes” if the value in cell A1 is greater than 10, otherwise it will return “No”.

### SUMIF

The SUMIF function allows you to add only the cells that meet a specific criterion. With SUMIF, you can specify a range of cells, a criterion, and the cells to sum if the criterion is met. The syntax for SUMIF is

**=SUMIF(range, criteria, [sum_range])**.

For instance, “=SUMIF(C1:C10, “Apples”, A1:A10)” will sum the values in cells A1 to A10 where the corresponding cells in C1 to C10 contain “Apples”. SUMIF formulas are useful for filtering and analyzing data based on specific conditions.

### COUNTIF

The COUNTIF function helps you count the number of cells that meet a specific condition. With COUNTIF, you can specify a range of cells and a criterion to count only cells that meet that criterion. The syntax for COUNTIF is

**=COUNTIF(range, criteria)**.

Example:

**=COUNTIF(B1:B10, “Yes”)**

This will count the number of cells in B1 to B10 that contain “Yes”. This formula is useful for tracking occurrences or analyzing data based on specific criteria.

The COUNTIFS function in Excel extends the functionality of COUNTIF by allowing you to specify multiple criteria. It counts the number of cells that meet all the specified conditions. The syntax for COUNTIFS is

**=COUNTIFS(range1, criteria1, [range2, criteria2], …)**

Example:

Suppose we have a dataset containing student scores in the range B2:B10 and corresponding subjects in the range A2:A10. To count the number of scores greater than or equal to 80 in the subject “Math”, we can use the following formula:

**=COUNTIFS(A2:A10, “Math”, B2:B10, “>=80”)**

This formula will return the count of cells in the range B2:B10 where the subject is “Math” and the score is greater than or equal to 80.