Numbers - Adding Functions to Formulas

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Adding Functions to Formulas

A function is a predefined, named operation (such as SUM and AVERAGE) that you can
use to perform a calculation. A function can be one of several elements in a formula, or
it can be the only element in a formula.

There are several categories of functions, ranging from financial functions that
calculate interest rates, investment values, and other information to statistical functions
that calculate averages, probabilities, standard deviations, and so on. To learn about all
the iWork function categories and their functions, and to review numerous examples
that illustrate how to use them, choose Help > “iWork Formulas and Functions Help” or
Help > “iWork Formulas and Functions User Guide.”

Although you can type a function into the text field of the Formula Editor or
into the formula bar, the Function Browser offers a convenient way to add a function
to a formula.

Select a function to
view information
about it.

Search for a function.

Insert the selected function.

Select a category
to view functions in
that category.


Chapter 6

Using Formulas in Tables

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Chapter 6

Using Formulas in Tables


Left pane: Lists categories of functions. Select a category to view functions in that
category. Most categories represent families of related functions. The All category lists
all the functions in alphabetical order. The Recent category lists the ten functions most
recently inserted using the Function Browser.
Right pane: Lists individual functions. Select a function to view information about it
and to optionally add it to a formula.
Lower pane: Displays detailed information about the selected function.

To use the Function Browser to add a function:


In the Formula Editor or the formula bar, place the insertion point where you want the

function added.
Note: When your formula requires an operator before or after a function and you
haven’t added one, the + operator is inserted automatically. Select the + operator and
type a different operator if needed.


Open the Function Browser by doing one of the following:

Click in the formula bar and then click the Function Browser button.


Click the Function button in the toolbar and choose Show Function Browser from


the pop-up menu.
Choose Insert > Function > Show Function Browser.


Choose View > Show Function Browser.



Select a function category.


Choose a function by double-clicking it or by selecting it and clicking Insert Function.


In the Formula Editor or the formula bar, replace each argument placeholder in the

inserted function with a value.

Help for the “issue” argument
appears when the pointer is over
the placeholder.

Placeholders for optional
arguments are light gray.

Click to see a list of valid values.

To review a brief description of an argument’s value, hold the pointer over the argument
placeholder. You can also refer to information about the argument in the Function
Browser window.
To specify a value to replace an argument placeholder that has a disclosure triangle, click
the disclosure triangle and then choose a value from the pop-up menu. To review
information about a value in the pop-up menu, hold the pointer over the value. To
review help for the function, select Function Help.

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To specify a value to replace any argument placeholder, click the argument placeholder
and type a constant or insert a cell reference (see “Referring to Cells in Formulas” on
page 126 for instructions). If the argument placeholder is light gray, providing a value
is optional.