5 Excel functions that will make your life easier

Excel is a powerful tool that many people use for data analysis and manipulation. However, Excel can be difficult to master, and even experienced users may not be aware of all the features and functions that it offers.

In this article, we will share with you 10 Excel functions that can make your life easier. We’ll also provide some tips on how to use each function.

Before we begin, we recommend learning how to recover an unsaved Excel file. You never know when you might need it. And let’s face it, no Excel function can save you from frustration when accidentally losing an entire Excel file, right? With that said, let’s dive right in!

1. VLOOKUP

The VLOOKUP function allows you to search for a value in one column of data and return a corresponding value from another column. This is useful when you have large data sets that you need to search through quickly.

To use the VLOOKUP function, you need to specify the value that you want to search for, the range of cells that you want to search in, the column number of the data that you want to return, and whether you want an exact or approximate match.

For example, let’s say we have a list of employee names and ID numbers in one column, and we want to find the ID number of an employee named John Smith. We would use the following formula:

=VLOOKUP(“John Smith”, A1:B10, 2, FALSE)

This would search through the range of cells A1 to B10 for the value “John Smith” and return the value in column 2 (the ID number). By setting the fourth argument to FALSE, we are telling Excel to look for an exact match.

2. INDEX/MATCH

The INDEX/MATCH function is similar to VLOOKUP, but it is more flexible and can be used to search through data in multiple columns.

To use the INDEX/MATCH function, you need to specify the value that you want to search for, the range of cells that you want to search in, the column number of the data that you want to return, and whether you want an exact or approximate match.

For example, let’s say we have a list of employee names and ID numbers in one column, and we want to find the ID number of an employee named John Smith. We would use the following formula:

=INDEX(A1:B10, MATCH(“John Smith”, A1:A10, 0), 2)

This would search through the range of cells A1 to A10 for the value “John Smith” and return the value in column 2 (the ID number) of the row where “John Smith” is found. By setting the third argument to 0, we are telling Excel to look for an exact match.

3. IFERROR

The IFERROR function allows you to catch errors in your formulas and return a different value if an error is found. This is useful for avoiding broken formulas and improving the overall stability of your Excel files.

To use the IFERROR function, you need to specify the formula that you want to check for errors, and the value that you want to return if an error is found.

For example, let’s say we have a formula that returns an error when there is no data. We can use the IFERROR function to return a blank cell instead of an error:

=IFERROR(A1/B1, “”)

This would divide A1 by B1, and if an error is found, it would return a blank cell.

4. COUNTIF

The COUNTIF function allows you to count the number of cells that meet certain criteria. This is useful for quickly summarizing data without having to manually count cells.

To use the COUNTIF function, you need to specify the range of cells that you want to count, and the criteria that cells must meet to be counted.

For example, let’s say we have a list of employee names and ID numbers in one column, and we want to count how many employees have an ID number that starts with “A”. We would use the following formula:

=COUNTIF(B1:B10, “A*”)

This would search through the range of cells B1 to B10 and count how many cells start with “A”. The asterisk (*) is a wildcard character that represents any number of characters.

5. SUMIF

The SUMIF function allows you to sum the values in a range of cells that meet certain criteria. This is useful for quickly calculating totals without having to manually sum cells.

To use the SUMIF function, you need to specify the range of cells that you want to sum, the criteria that cells must meet to be included in the sum, and the range of cells that contain the values to be summed.

For example, let’s say we have a list of employee names and ID numbers in one column, and we want to sum the ID numbers of all employees whose name starts with “A”. We would use the following formula:

=SUMIF(A1:A10, “A*”, B1:B10)

This would search through the range of cells A1 to A10 for any cells that start with “A” and sum the corresponding ID numbers in the range B1 to B10.

And that’s a wrap! These are just a few of the many Excel functions that can make your life easier. Stay safe and have a good one!

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