Open In App

Top Excel Formulas and Functions You Should Know 2024

Last Updated : 15 Mar, 2024
Like Article

Basic Excel Formulas and Functions – Quick Guide

  2. SUM
  3. IF
  4. TRIM
  9. MIN
  10. SUMIF
  12. TIME Formulas
  13. TODAY

Microsoft Excel is an invaluable tool for managing and analyzing vast datasets, offering a user-friendly interface and a plethora of built-in features. Here, we are introducing the top essential Excel formulas that empower users to efficiently handle complex data tasks. In this guide, we’ll explore some of the best ones. Whether you’re new to Excel or know a lot about it, we’ll show you how these tools can make your spreadsheets better.


Before delving into these formulas, it’s crucial to distinguish between formulas and functions. Formulas, initiated with the equal sign (=), are the foundation for performing intricate calculations, while functions are predefined operations with names indicating their specific utility. This exploration of Excel’s formula landscape promises to enhance the proficiency of both beginners and seasoned users, unlocking the full potential of this versatile spreadsheet software.

What is Excel Formula

You can use Excel formulas to find patterns in the values in your spreadsheet’s cells, conduct calculations on those values, and then return the results to the cell of your choice. Some basic Excel formulas include those for sum, subtraction, percentage, division, average, even dates and times, and a lot more.

For example: =A1+A2+A3+A4+A5, which finds the sum of the range of values from cell A1 to cell A5.

What is an Excel Function 

Where a formula in Excel is a mathematical expression that computes the value of a cell, functions in Excel are already existing preset formulas in Excel. Based on the values supplied as arguments or parameters, functions perform certain calculations in a specific order. 

For example: =SUM (A1:A10). This function adds up all the values in cells A1 through A10.H

How to Use Functions in Excel

In the most recent versions of Excel, you may discover and enter Excel formulas into particular cells of your spreadsheet by navigating to the top menu bar and clicking on Formuas and selecting the type of formula.

Quick Tip to Become a Pro in Excel: The more you use Excel formulas, the easier it will be to remember and perform them manually. Excel has over 400 functions, and the number is increasing from version to version. The formulas can be inserted into Excel using the following method:

Step 1: Open your Excel Sheet and Choose a cell.

Step 2: Type “=”, then press Enter.

Step 3: Select or input the address of a cell.

Step 4: Enter an operator.

Step 5: Input the address of the next cell.

Step 6: Press Enter.


Insert Function

How to Use Formulas in Excel: An Overview

1. Simple Insertion by Typing the Formula in Excel

The simplest way to insert fundamental Excel formulas is by typing a formula into a cell or the formula bar. Typically, the process begins with typing an equal sign (=) followed by the name of an Excel function, by doing this Excel will start showing you suggestions in the drop down menu to select and enter the formula.


Simple Insertion by Typing the Formula in Excel

2. Using the Insert Function option from Formulas Tab in Excel

If you want complete control over your function insertion, use the Excel Insert Function dialogue box. To do so, go to the Formulas tab and select the first menu, Insert Function. All the functions will be available in the dialogue box.


Using the Insert Function option from Formulas Tab in Excel

3. Selecting the Formula from Formula Tab in Excel

This option is for those who want to quickly dive into their favorite functions. Navigate to the Formulas tab and select your preferred group to access this menu. Click to reveal a sub-menu containing a list of functions. You can then choose your preference. If your preferred group isn’t on the tab, click the More Functions option — it’s most likely hidden there.


Selecting the Formula from Formula Tab in Excel

4. Using Quick Insert to use Recently Used Tabs in Excel

If retyping your most recent formula becomes tedious, use the Recently Used menu. It’s on the Formulas tab, the third menu option after AutoSum.


Using Quick Insert to use Recently Used Tabs in Excel

Difference Between Formula and Functions in Excel





A specific expression that calculates a value based on input values. Formulas can be simple (e.g., =A1 + B1) or complex (e.g., =VLOOKUP(A1, A2:B10, 2, FALSE))

=A1 + B1


A pre-built formula that performs a specific task. Examples of functions include SUM, AVERAGE, COUNT, etc. Functions can take multiple arguments (inputs) and return a single output value.


Excel Formulas and Functions with Examples

1. Excel SUM Formula

The SUM formula in Excel is one of the most fundamental formulas you can use in a spreadsheet, allowing you to calculate the sum (or total) of two or more values. To use the SUM formula, enter the values you want to add together in the following format: =SUM(value 1, value 2,…..).

Example: In the below example to calculate the sum of price of all the fruits, in B9 cell type =SUM(B3:B8). This will calculate the sum of B3, B4, B5, B6, B7, B8 Press “Enter,” and the cell will produce the sum: 430. 


Excel SUM Formula

2. Excel SUBTRACTION Formula

To use the subtraction formula in Excel, enter the cells you want to subtract in the format =SUM (A1, -B1). This will subtract a cell from the SUM formula by appending a negative sign before the cell is subtracted.

Example: If A3 was 300 and B3 was 225, =SUM(A1, -B1) would perform 300 + -225, returning a value of 75 in D3 cell.




In Excel, enter the cells to be multiplied in the format =A3*B3 to perform the multiplication formula. An asterisk is used in this formula to multiply cell A3 by cell B3.

Example: If A3 was 300 and B3 was 225, =A1*B1 would return a value of 67500.



Highlight an empty cell in an Excel spreadsheet to multiply two or more values. Then, in the format =A1*B1…, enter the values or cells you want to multiply together. The asterisk effectively multiplies each value in the formula.

To return your desired product, press Enter. Take a look at the screenshot above to see how this looks.

4. Excel DIVISION Function

Division in Excel is one of the most basic functions available. To do so, highlight an empty cell, enter an equals sign, “=,” and then the two (or more) values you want to divide, separated by a forward slash, “/.” The output should look like this: =A3/B3, as shown in the screenshot above. To use the division formula in Excel, enter the dividing cells in the format =A3/B3. This formula divides cell A3 by cell B3 with a forward slash, “/.”

Example: If A3 was 300 and B3 was 225, =A3/B3 would return a decimal value of 1.333333333.


Excel DIVISION Function

5. Excel AVERAGE Function

The AVERAGE function finds an average or arithmetic mean of numbers. To find the average of the numbers, type = AVERAGE(A3, B3, C3….) and press ‘Enter’ it will produce the average of the numbers in the cell.

Example: If A3 was 300, B3 was 225, C3 was 180, D3 was 350, E3 is 400 then =AVERAGE(A3,B3,C3,D3,E3) will produce 291.


Excel AVERAGE Function

6. Excel IF () Function

In Excel, the IF formula is denoted as =IF(logical test, value if true, value if false). This lets you enter a text value into a cell “if” something else in your spreadsheet is true or false.

Example: You may need to know which values in column A are greater than three. Using the =IF formula, you can quickly have Excel auto-populate a “yes” for each cell with a value greater than 3 and a “no” for each cell with a value less than 3.


Excel IF () Function

7. Excel PERCENTAGE Formula

To use the percentage formula in Excel, enter the cells you want to calculate the percentage for in the format =A1/B1. To convert the decimal value to a percentage, select the cell, click the Home tab, and then select “Percentage” from the numbers dropdown.

Excel doesn’t have a set “formula” for percentages, but it makes it simple to transform any cell’s value into a %, saving you the time and effort of having to compute and reenter the data.

On Excel’s Home tab, you can find the default setting for converting a cell’s value to a percentage. Select this tab, highlight the cell(s) you want to convert to a percentage, and then select Conditional Formatting from the dropdown menu (this menu button might say “General” at first). Then, from the list of options that appears, choose “Percentage.” This will convert the value of each highlighted cell into a percentage. You can find this functionality lower down.


Excel PERCENTAGE Formula

8. Excel MODULUS Function

The MOD() function aims to return the remaining after dividing a given number by a divisor. For a better understanding, let’s look at the examples below.

Example: We have divided 20 by 3. The remainder is calculated using the function “=MOD(A2,3)”. The outcome is kept in B2. Alternatively, we can just type “=MOD(20,3)” and get the same result.


Excel MODULUS Function

9. Excel CONCATENATE Formula

CONCATENATE is a useful formula that combines values from multiple cells into the same cell.

Example: =CONCATENATE(A3,B3) will combine Red and Apple to produce RedApple. 



10. Excel DATE Formula

DATE is the Excel DATE formula =DATE(year, month, day). The values entered in the parenthesis, including values from other cells, will be converted to a date using this formula.

Example: If A2 was 2019, B2 was 8, and C1 was 15, =DATE(A1,B1,C1) would return 15-08-2019.


Excel DATE Formula

11. Excel TRIM Formula

The TRIM formula in Excel is denoted =TRIM(text). Any spaces placed before or after the text in the cell will be eliminated by this formula.

Example: If A2 includes the name “Virat Kohli” with unwanted spaces before the first name, =TRIM(A2) would return “Virat Kohli” with no spaces in a new cell.


Excel TRIM Formula

12. Excel LEN Function

LEN is the function to count the number of characters in a specific cell when you want to know the number of characters in that cell. =LEN(text) is the formula for this. Please note that Excel’s LEN function counts every character, including spaces.

Example: =LEN(A2), returns the total length of the character in cell A2, including spaces.


Excel LEN Function

13. Excel CEILING Function

In ceiling a number is rounded up to the nearest multiple of importance using the CEILING() function.

Example: The nearest highest multiple of 1 for 2.5 is 3.

Note: The #VALUE! error value is returned by CEILING if either input is not a number.


Excel CEILING Function

14. Excel FLOOR Function

The floor function reduces a number to the nearest multiple of importance, in contrast to the ceiling function.

Example: The nearest lowest multiple of 1 for 2.5 is 2.


Excel FLOOR Function

15. Excel REPLACE Function

The REPLACE() function does exactly what its name implies, it replaces a portion of a text string with another text string.

The syntax is =REPLACE(old_text, start_num, num_chars, new_text).

  • Old_text: Text in which you want to replace some characters.
  • Start_num in this case refers to the index position from which you wish to begin replacing the characters. The amount of characters you want to replace is then indicated by num_chars.
  • New_text: The text that will replace characters in old_text.

Example: =REPLACE(A3,3,2,”23″) Replaces the last two digits (22) of 2022 with 23 making it 2023.


Excel REPLACE Function

Example: =REPLACE(A2,1,5,”@”) Replaces five characters in GeeksForGeeks with a single @ character, starting with the first character (G).


Excel REPLACE Function

16. Excel SUBSTITUTE Function

In a text string, the SUBSTITUTE() function substitutes new text for old text.

Syntax: SUBSTITUTE(text, old_text, new_text, [instance_num])

Text: The text or the reference to a cell containing text for which you want to substitute characters.

Old_text: The text you want to replace.

New_text: The text you want to replace old_text with.

[instance_num] refers to the index position of the present texts more than once.

Example: =SUBSTITUTE(A2, “Student”, “Employee”) Substitutes Employee for Student (Employee Details) making it Employee Details.


Excel SUBSTITUTE Function

17. Excel NOW() Function

The NOW() function in Excel give the present date (today’s date), It retrieves the current system clock time.


Excel NOW() Function

18. Excel TODAY() Function

The TODAY() function in Excel provides the current system date.


Excel TODAY() Function

19. Excel DAY() Function

The function DAY() is used to return the day of the month. The value will fall between 1 and 31. The first day of the month is 1 and the last day is 31.


. Excel DAY() Function

20. Excel MONTH() Function

The month is returned by the MONTH() function as a number between 1 and 12, with 1 denoting January and 12 denoting December.


Excel MONTH() Function

21. Excel YEAR() Function

The YEAR() function, as the name suggests, returns the year from a date value.


Excel YEAR() Function

22. Excel TIME() Function

The Excel serial number with a time format is created by the TIME() function using the hours, minutes, and seconds provided as numbers.


Excel TIME() Function

23. Excel DATEDIF Function

The DATEDIF() function provides the difference between two dates in terms of years, months, or days.

Example: Using DATEDIF function to calculate the current age of a person based on two given dates, the date of birth and today’s date.


Excel DATEDIF Function

24. Excel VLOOKUP Formula

The VLOOKUP formula searches for the value in the leftmost column of the table array and returns the value from the same row from the specified columns.

Formula: =VLOOKUP(lookup_value, table_array,col_index, range_lookup)

Lookup_value: The value for which you are looking.

Table_array: the range of the table, worksheet, or selected cell with multiple columns.

col_index: The position of the column to extract the value.

range_lookup: “TRUE” indicates the approximate match(default), and “FALSE” indicates the exact match.

Example: =VLOOKUP(A10,A1:C7,2,FALSE)


Excel VLOOKUP Formula

25. Excel HLOOKUP Formula

HLOOKUP(Horizontal lookup) is similar to the VLOOKUP formula. This function looks for a value in the top row of a table or array of benefits. It gives the value in the same column from a row you specify.

Formula: =HLOOKUP(lookup_value, table, row_index, range_lookup)

Lookup_value: This indicated the value for lookup.

Table_array: the range of the table, worksheet, or selected cell with multiple columns.

row_index: The position of the row to extract the value.

range_lookup: “TRUE” indicates the approximate match(default), and “FALSE” indicates the exact match.

Example: HLOOKUP(B5,A1:D3,3,0)


Excel HLOOKUP Formula

26. Excel POWER Function

The POWER() function returns the result of a number raised to a certain power.

Formula: POWER(number, power)

Example: POWER(A2,3)


Excel POWER Function

27. Excel INDEX-MATCH Function

The INDEX-MATCH function can be used to return a value in a column to the left. This is the most popular function in Excel for performing more advanced lookups. INDEX-MATCH in Excel has several advantages over the VLOOKUP Function. The main advantage of using INDEX-MATCH is it only has to consider the lookup column and the return column.

Formula: INDEX(reference, [row], [column])

Example: =INDEX(B2:B6,MATCH(D2,A2:A6,0))


Excel INDEX-MATCH Function

28. Excel Data Analysis Function

What-If Analysis involves altering values to test various scenarios within Advanced Excel.

Multiple sets of values can be applied to one or more formulas in Advanced Excel to explore diverse outcomes.

Solver is a valuable tool for What-If Analysis, functioning as an add-in program in Microsoft Excel. It helps identify optimal values for a formula within a designated cell, known as the objective cell. However, constraints or limits may apply to other formula cell values on a worksheet.

Solver operates with decision variables, which are cell groups used in calculating formulas within objective and constraint cells. It adjusts the values of decision variable cells to adhere to constraints on constraint cells, assisting in determining the desired outcome for the objective cell.


Excel Data Analysis Function

29. Excel SUMIF() Function

SUMIF Function adds all the values in a range of cells that meet a specified condition.

Formula: = SUMIF(range,criteria,[sum_range]).

Example: = SUMIF(C6:C11,”>=20″)

30. Excel AVERAGEIF() Function

It Calculates the average value in a range of cells that meet the specified criteria. Formula: =AVERAGEIF(range,criteria,[average_range]).

Example: =AVERAGEIF(C6:C11,”>=20″)

31. Excel COUTNIF() Function

The COUNTIF Function is used to count the total number of cells in the given range that satisfy the condition.

Formula: COUNTIF(range, criteria)

Example: =COUNTIF(C2:C6,”PASS”)


Excel COUTNIF() Function

32. Offset Function in Excel

The OFFSET function retrieves a reference to a cell range located a defined number of rows and columns away from a given cell or range of cells.

Offset Function =OFFSET(reference, rows, cols, [height], [width])


In conclusion, mastering basic Excel formulas and functions is essential for anyone working with data in this versatile spreadsheet software. Remember that every formula should commence with an equal sign to avoid errors, and if you need to input text values, enclose them within double quotation marks. Additionally, ensure that the cell format is set to ‘General’ before entering a function, as a ‘Text’ format may disrupt formula execution. Lastly, be mindful that even blank cells with only spaces are not considered truly empty, as spaces are counted as characters. By adhering to these fundamental principles, you can harness the full potential of Excel’s formula and function capabilities, making your data management tasks more efficient and error-free.

Frequently Asked Questions on Top Excel Formuals

What are the basic functions of Excel?

There are the 5 basic Excel functions:

  1. The VLookup Function.
  2. The Concatenate Function.
  3. Text to Columns.
  4. Remove Duplicates.
  5. Pivot Tables.

What is the most basic Excel formula?

The SUM() formula is both the most commonly used and simplest formula within Excel. Its primary function is to perform addition on a designated range of cells, provided that these cells contain numeric values, and it necessitates a minimum of two cells to function correctly.

How can I insert formulas in Excel?

Follow the below steps to insert formulas in Excel:

  • Step 1: Select the cell where you want the output
  • Step 2: Type (=) sign followed by Formula.

For example: To sum two values put “=A1+A2”.

What are cell references?

You can use a cell reference to copy formulas from one cell to another cell. There are two types of cell references absolute and relative. By default, cell references are relative. The absolute cell reference is a formula that remains fixed, regardless of where the formula is being used (copied, or moved). It is denoted by a dollar sign($).

A relative cell reference adjusts its position based on the location of the formula when copied or moved.

Can we use multiple formulas at a time?

Yes, We can use multiple formulas by nesting. Nesting is using one formula and inside another. Nesting allows us to perform complex problems.

For example, if you want to multiply two vlaues you can use Multiply function on the basis of a given condition using the IF function.

Similar Reads

Top 20 Excel Shortcuts That You Need To Know
Although many of us are already aware of Microsoft Excel, let us still have a basic introduction to it. Microsoft Excel is a very powerful and pretty old application developed by Microsoft in the year 1984, extensively used for spreadsheet processing, business operations, accounting, social media marketing, and many more. It is extensively used acr
6 min read
6 New Functions or Formulas in Excel 2019
A formula is a mathematical expression that computes a cell's value. Functions are predefined formulas found in Excel. Based on the values specified as arguments or parameters, functions perform specific calculations in a specific order. For instance, =SUM (C1:C10). This function adds the values from cells C1 to C10. In the math and trigonometry, s
6 min read
Top Excel Data Cleaning Techniques to Know in 2024
In the world of business and data analysis, being a pro at Excel Data Cleaning is a game-changer. Everyone wants top-notch accuracy and quality in data, right? Well, that's where Excel comes in handy. Cleaning up your data involves kicking out those pesky blank spaces, fixing mistakes, and updating outdated info. You can do all of this super easily
12 min read
How to calculate Sum and Average of numbers using formulas in MS Excel?
Everyday in school, offices, business sectors or any other field lots of information are there that are required to store for future use. For anyone, it is very difficult to remember that information for a long time. Earlier data and information are stored in a form of a register, file, or by paperwork but finding it may be difficult for us. It tak
4 min read
Standard Deviation in Excel: How to Calculate, Formulas and Examples
The Standard Deviation is a statistical measure that helps us to understand the amount of variance in a dataset. This statistic can be quite helpful in determining how similar or distinct your data is. Standard deviation may be calculated in Microsoft Excel quickly if you know the formulas and commands to use. In this article, we examine the functi
10 min read
Array Formulas in Excel
Excel is among the most powerful and widely used spreadsheet tools which eases organizing numbers and data within the sheets with pre-built formulas and functions. In this article, we are going to study Array Formulas. Arrays are one of them. Using Excel Array Formulas, make it super easy to handle a lot of data. Before understanding and using the
8 min read
Basic Excel Formulas
Functions in Excel are the predefined formulas that have their specific meaningful work. They make our task easy and quick like finding the sum, count, average, maximum value, and minimum values for a range of cells. For example, the SUM function will calculate the sum of the range passed to it as an argument. Functions increase productivity while
1 min read
How to calculate Sum of Digits in a Number using Non Array Formulas in Excel?
In Excel, we can easily add the digits of a number. Usually, calculations that involve multiple values can be dealt with the help of array formulas, but here, we are going to find the sum of the digits of a number using non-array formulas. As an example, say we have a number 238 in one of the cells of the Excel sheet and we want to find the sum of
4 min read
Dynamic Array Formulas in Excel
Dynamic arrays are resizable arrays that calculate automatically and return value into multiple cells based on a formula entered in a single cell. The new array (multiple cells) that we get is known as spilling and the new array has been placed in neighboring cells. It is not necessary to use Ctrl + Shift + Enter to enter an array formula. Dynamic
2 min read
Excel Formulas not Working, not Calculating: Quick Ways to Fix Them
Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet application that has been used by millions of people worldwide for more than three decades. Pivot tables, graphing tools, calculations, and a macro programming language are included. In contrast to other apps such as Word, spreadsheet software calculates values using mathematical formulas and data in cells. However,
7 min read