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Developer: sar7c9@mst.edu, 8/2015 update by schmidtjb@mst.edu
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Pre-reqs/Technical Skills
• Office for Engineers Module
• Basic computer use
Expectations
• Implement steps in software while reading through lesson material
• Complete quiz on Blackboard
• Submit completed assignment on Blackboard
Objectives/Measurables
• Know the different parts of a function, and how to correctly enter arguments, measured via Blackboard quiz score
• Learn about several often-used Excel functions, measured via Blackboard quiz score
• Learn how to convert equations and process that you are familiar with into a format that Excel understands, measured via the score on the assignment
Lesson 1 – Advanced Functions ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 1
Pre-reqs/Technical Skills ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 1
Expectations ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 1
Objectives/Measurables …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 1
1. Introduction ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 2
1.1 The Insert Function Window ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 2
2. Parts of a Function …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 3
3. Data Management Functions ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 4
3.1 The COUNT Function ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 4
3.2 The COUNTA Function ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 5
3.3 The COUNTIF Function …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 5
3.4 The SUMIF Function …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 6
3.5 The IF Function ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 6
4. Mathematical Functions ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 9
4.1 The RADIANS Function ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 10
4.2 The SIN and COS Functions ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 10
4.3 The SQRT and POWER Functions ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 10
5. Conclusion …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 11
Assignment ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 12
Developer: sar7c9@mst.edu, 8/2015 update by schmidtjb@mst.edu
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1. Introduction
In the Office for Engineers Module you learned about a few basic functions, including Sum and Average, these functions are just a couple of the hundreds of Excel functions available. This huge library of functions can be extremely powerful, if you know how to use it. In this lesson you will create two different spreadsheets using functions, a class grade sheet and a projectile motion spreadsheet.
1.1 The Insert Function Window
There are many, many functions in Excel. Let’s look at a list of all the available functions.
1. Go to the “Formulas” tab on the Ribbon
2. Click the “Insert Function” button on the far left of the ribbon
3. In the insert function window that opens, functions are listed in the lower box; Use the drop down box to filter and view functions by category
4. Look through and read the descriptions of a few functions
Figure 1 – The Insert Function Window
• Refer to the Insert Function Window if there is a problem that could possibly be solved with functions, but you don’t know the name of the function
o The search feature in this box is invaluable for finding new functions. It works best if the main component of what needs to be done is searched for. Example: If looking for the function to add all the cells in a column, you would search for “Add”
Developer: sar7c9@mst.edu, 8/2015 update by schmidtjb@mst.edu
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• While the insert function dialogue box can be used to insert functions into the spreadsheet, it does not need to be used every time a function is used.
o Recall: to use a function on a spreadsheet type “=” followed by the function name
• If you need more information about a function or extra help with getting a function to work, the blue hyperlink in the bottom left corner of the insert function dialogue box will open another window. This window has additional information about the use of the function and an example of the function in use.
2. Parts of a Function
There is a specific format that all functions are displayed throughout Excel, and if the parts of a function are understood then using them will be much easier. Here are a few examples followed by an explanation:
Figure 2 – Example of Functions
1. The function name in all caps is first, this is what is typed to call (use) the function.
o When typing in a function, you don’t need to type it in all caps, the program will automatically change it to caps when you are finished
2. Following the function name is an open parenthesis, followed by a list of arguments.
o A function can have any number of arguments including zero. Arguments are the input needed by the function in order to output a value.
3. If there is more than one argument, a comma is used to separate them.
4. After all of the arguments, there is a close parenthesis. Excel automatically inserts this and it is important because it tells both the user and the computer that they have reached the end of the function
o This may seem trivial, but is an extremely useful tool to keep track of what level you are on when working with nested (one function inside another) functions
Figure 3 – Excel’s Dynamic Input
Developer: sar7c9@mst.edu, 8/2015 update by schmidtjb@mst.edu
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• When manually using functions in workbooks, Excel will help with a dynamic input that displays the function in standard format, reminding the user of the number of arguments and order of input
• From here on out, anytime a function is mentioned in this module, it will be stated in all caps like it is in Excel, for example: “AVERAGE is a very handy tool.”
3. Data Management Functions
Excel is outstanding at managing and interpreting large amounts of data, and has many functions available that are useful for just this purpose. To give you a brief overview of some of the data management functions available, you will be constructing a mock grade sheet including functions to evaluate statistics and letter grades.
3.1 The COUNT Function
You are going to use the COUNT function to find out how many students are in the class. The argument, (the required input), for COUNT is a range a cells, COUNT then returns an integer representing how many cells with numbers are found in the range.
Figure 5 – The COUNT Function
1. Select cell H2
Developer: sar7c9@mst.edu, 8/2015 update by schmidtjb@mst.edu
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2. Enter “=COUNT(A:A)”, the argument “A:A” tells the COUNT function to check every cell in the A column for numbers.
o The argument “A:A” can also be entered by clicking on the “A” title on the grid axis label when inside the parenthesis of the function
3. It is always a good idea to label what numbers are in spreadsheet so it is easy for other people to use. So in G2 enter “Total Students:”
Figure 6 – Total Students
3.2 The COUNTA Function
You are going to use the COUNTA function to count how many students are present in class. COUNTA is very similar to COUNT, but instead of numbers it checks for any value, including letters.
Figure 7 – The COUNTA Function
1. Select cell H3
2. Enter “=COUNTA(B:B)-1”, again this tells COUNTA to check all the cells in column B for any value. The “-1” subtracts one because COUNTA will count any filled cell, including the column title and any adjustments like this must be made manually
3. In G3 enter “Students Present:”
Figure 8 – Students Present
3.3 The COUNTIF Function
You are going to use the COUNTIF function to count how many students answered true or false. This is similar to the previous two functions, but works by checking the designated cells for the user defined criteria, (which can be having certain letters, numbers, or fulfilling mathematic inequality or other test), and only counts the cells that fulfill the criteria.
Figure 9 – The COUNTIF Function
1. Select cells H4
2. Enter “=COUNTIF(C:C,”TRUE”)”, this is similar to the last two functions, but it has an extra argument. The second argument is the value that you want to count and needs to be in quotations; in this case, COUNTIF checks each cell in the C column for the word “TRUE”.
3. In G4 enter “True:”
Developer: sar7c9@mst.edu, 8/2015 update by schmidtjb@mst.edu
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4. Select H5 and repeat the procedure using column D:D and “FALSE”, then enter “False:” in G5
Figure 10 – True and False Answers
3.4 The SUMIF Function
Let’s say you need to sum the “Question 2” column of the students, but only the ones who answered “true” for question 1, the SUMIF function is needed. SUMIF checks in a designated column for a user defined criteria, like COUNTIF, and then can sum the cells that match the criteria or corresponding cells in a different column.
Figure 11 – The SUMIF Function
1. Select H6
2. Enter “=SUMIF(C:C,”TRUE”,D:D)”, the first argument is the range which SUMIF checks for the criteria, the second argument is the criteria SUMIF tests for, and the third argument are the cells that SUMIF sums if their corresponding cell fulfills the tested criteria.
o The 2 columns of cells are related by the order they are listed, to put it another way the first cell of the first column corresponds to the first cell of the second column, the second cell to the second cell and so on.
3. In G6 enter “Sum of True’s:”
Figure 12 – Sum of True’s
3.5 The IF Function
There is a list of grades percentages in the spreadsheet, but not the letter grades. For a smaller class it may not be too hard to go through and manually mark each grade, but this class has too many students to easily do this, this is one place where excel functions and a little programming really come in handy. The IF function acts like a simple switch, it evaluates a true of false statement; if it is true, IF does something; if it is false, IF does something else.
Developer: sar7c9@mst.edu, 8/2015 update by schmidtjb@mst.edu
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Figure 13 – The IF Function
1. Select cell F1 and enter “Letter Grade”

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