How to Use Excel Functions on a Range of Cells

by Oxana Fox

Microsoft Excel is a widely used spreadsheet software distributed as a part of the Microsoft Office package. Excel organizes data in the form of worksheets (spreadsheets), allowing a user to make various calculations on data as well as plot graphs. Each spreadsheet consists of cells identified with a letter/number combination; for instance, "A5" or "E12." Excel built-in mathematical and other functions permit easy work with a cell range without typing each cell in this range explicitly.


Open Microsoft Excel and press "Ctrl/N" to create a new document.


Click on a cell in the Excel spreadsheet where you need to insert a function and press the "=" keu on the keyboard.


Type the function name and the opening parenthesis "(" (for example, "SUM(").


Continue typing by entering the first cell in the range followed by a colon (":") and the last cell in the range. Finally, type the closing parenthesis, ")." For example in "SUM(A2:A12)" the sum operation will be applied to the cell range from A2 to A12.


Press "Enter" to insert the formula.


  • check You can use several cell ranges within a function, separating each range with a comma; for example,
  • check "SUM(A2:A12, C3:C7)."

About the Author

Oxana Fox is a freelance writer specializing in medicine and treatment, computer software and hardware, digital photography and financial services. She graduated from Moscow Medical College in 1988 with formal training in pediatrics.