54. Use the Function Wizard
BEFORE YOU BEGIN
52 About Calc Functions
53 Enter Calc Functions
56 Work with Dates and Times
Some functions require more arguments than a simple cell or range. Calc contains many financial functions, for example, that compute loan values and investment rates of return. If you want to use one of the more advanced functions, or if you're unsure exactly which arguments are required for a function you're about to use, be sure to take advantage of Calc's Function Wizard.
With this wizard, you can
From the Function Wizard dialog box, you don't need to memorize long function argument list requirements. This wizard helps you create your functions.
If you need only a reminder of what a function is named or what it's for, just request the Function List .
Function List A window pane that lists all functions, organized by type.
54. Use the Function Wizard
Request the Function Wizard
Click the cell you want to hold the function and then click the Function Wizard button on the Formula bar. Alternatively, choose Insert, Function from the menu bar. The Function Wizard dialog box opens to guide you through each step in this process. As with any wizard, you can use the Next and Back buttons to move among the steps.
Select a Category
Select the category from which you wish to write a function. For example, if you are wanting to compute the net present value of a series of cash flows, you would first select the Financial category and scroll down until you reach the NPV function entry.
| | Select a Function to Build
When you see the function you wish to use in the Functions
list, double-click to select that function name . Calc displays a list of fields to match every argument that function needs.
For example, if you selected the NPV
function, Calc would display the fields that match the NPV()
argument list: rate of return and one or more values representing the cash flow. As you add arguments, Calc displays the current result in the Function
area. You can type the arguments into the fields or click the appropriate cells in the worksheet. If you can't see the cell you want to include as an argument, click the Shrink
button for the desired field, click the cell or select the range, and then click the Maximize
button to enter the argument and restore the dialog box. Click OK
when you finish the function.
In the Function Wizard, you can type either specific values, cell addresses, or ranges (by name or by their address), or you can click to select cells from the current sheet. Click to scroll the scrollbar if more arguments are needed than will show on the current Function Wizard dialog box.
Request the Function List
If you don't need the Function Wizard's help, select Insert, Function List from the menu to display the Function List pane at the right of your screen.
| | Search for a Function
Open the function category list to select the function category you want to choose from. Scroll the list of functions in that category to find the one you want to use. Click any function to see the types of arguments it requires and a description of its purpose at the bottom of the task pane.
You can hide the Function List at any time by clicking its Hide button. Also, you can turn the Function List pane into a floating toolbar that you can move to any location on your screen by dragging the pane's title bar into the work area.
If the area at the bottom of the Function list is too small to provide a useful description of the selected function, drag its top edge up for a better view.
If you're working on a complex formula or function and want to see the results of only part of it, select only the arguments whose result you want to see and press press F9 . The result appears in a ScreenTip which disappears when you continue typing or press F9 again.
Follow the Function Pattern
If you double-click the function in the Function List , Calc inserts the function's format in your cell and highlights each argument (such as RATE ) while you fill in each argument with a value, cell, or range.
After entering the arguments, press Enter . Calc then completes the function and displays the results.