# 4.9: Adding Basic Functions to Formulas

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Excel contains over 400 built-in functions that can be included in a formula to perform common calculations. A function performs a calculation on data called arguments to compute a result. Arguments are variables or values the function requires and are contained within parenthesis, and usually consist of cell references, but can also contain constants, text, cell ranges, and even other functions! The syntax of a formula using a function is: function name(argument1, argument2, etc.)

Functions can be typed with the help of a ScreenTip, or added from the Insert Function window, which can be opened by clicking the symbol found at the left of the formula bar, or at the left side of the Function Library found in the Formulas tab of the ribbon.

The most popular functions are also the easiest to comprehend, which might be correlated! Some of these most popular functions are easily accessible from the AutoSum button in the Editing group on the Home tab of the ribbon. Look for the Greek sigma symbol. This feature is invaluable when it comes to entering functions, especially for common calculations computed via the SUM, COUNT, AVERAGE, MAX or MIN functions.