Difference between formulas and functions in Excel

formulas and functions in excel

It is very common to confuse formulas and functions in Excel when we use Microsoft Excel. To perform mathematical operations, both tools are used, and for this reason, it is easier to assume that they are the same, but in fact, they have differences. To understand each of them, we are going to define them separately.

What is a formula in Excel?

A formula in Excel is a mathematical equation. It’s built from mathematical values ​​or data that we have entered into the cells. We can create it from direct values ​​or cell references. All formulas start with the = symbol, and the equation values ​​are added.

We create the formulas in the formula bar Excel is on the top of the Excel.

What are the functions in Excel?

The functions in Excel are formulas pre-defined by the program are executed using specific values, which are known as arguments. These are values ​​that are structured and follow a specific sequence as if it were an Excel macro. Unlike the formulas, its content cannot be modified. They are used to performing simple calculations such as SUM or AVERAGE, but also many more complex ones. There are a wide variety of functions available to users and classified according to their purpose.

How is a function different from a formula in Excel?

The functions are created from mathematical formulas but cannot be modified, they are pre-defined by the program.

They have in common that both resources facilitate mathematical operations and they both start with the symbol (=). But its structure is different, whereas the is formulas are created by adding values and assigning the mathematical operation (+, -, *, /) we created the functions from arguments using parentheses. A practical case would be:

  • Example of a formula: = A1 + B1
  • Example of a function: = SUM (A1: B1)

Both formulas and functions in Excel are written to the formula bar. For functions, Excel helps correctly complete the arguments. If the sequence is written incorrectly, a warning is skipped, it also offers a list of options.

In short: Difference between formulas and functions in Excel

  • Nowadays it has become commonplace to use the Excel spreadsheet as a calculator, but you need to know formulas and functions in order to do this.
  • In Excel, there are formulas and also pre-defined formulas that are useful for complex calculations.
  • Pre-defined formulas are known as functions.
  • We should devise Formula if he is eager to make specific calculations.

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