Excel Formulas – 3 Popular Ways to Enter Arguments in a Formula

Nothing happens in Excel until you enter formulas, and nothing happens in formulas until you enter arguments. I will show you the three most popular ways (I think the unique ones) for entering arguments in an Excel Formula.

Come with me…

Even if you are  “mouse adept”  you will see the benefits of using the keyboard too.  Entering arguments by using the mouse appears so natural but this is not the unique way.

For example, how do you write the formula =SUM(A2:A235)?

1) Using the mouse. You click the SUM button, immediately you can drag and drop the mouse pointer to select the A2:A235 array. It is very simple and intuitive.

2) By hand. This technique consistsof putting your fingers at the keyboard and entering the = sign, writing the function name, and writing the A2:A235 stuff by yourself. At first you may think that this is a stupid way to do it (given that the mouse exists), but the fact is that there are instances in which you will love the keyboard…

  • For example, imagine yourself dragging the mouse to the row 2300; you suffer  two pains: you leave your cell perspective and return (you can simply type the 2300) and you usually pass from the 2300 row and fine tune the screen coordinates in several attempts.
  • You remain aware of the data being considered in your formula, no extra cells or overlapping cells by accident.

3) A mouse-keyboard combination. You enter the = sign by hand and then use the mouse to pick arguments. You can also drag and drop arrays and write other cell references by hand.

Whatever method you choose, the best part is that once you pick a cell, the cell reference is shown in your formula and Excel highlights that cell too. For easy identification, the rectangle of the cell is the same as the formula reference color.

I am not an advocate of a particular tactic. I use them interchangeably.

What about you?