Excel - Basic functions or formulae (SUM, AVERAGE, COUNT)

Basic functions formulae (SUM, AVERAGE, COUNT, MAX & MIN)

This page will cover the 5 basic functions found in the auto-sum drop-down menu:

  • SUM



  • MAX

  • MIN


  • Summation, the addition of a sequence of numbers  Illustrative image

This Sum function will add the value of anything it finds within the specified range. 

"=SUM(A1:A20)"  - This will give us the Sum of Column A between A1 and A20.

We can also stipulate each number manually as well, for example: =SUM(12,4,6,8) would give us the value 30. The function will total the value of all reference or values within the parenthesis.


  • Gives you the mean average of values within the specified range.  Illustrative image

This is not to be confused with the Mode or Median average. 


Taking the average of multiple ranges of data

In order to take the average of more than one range using a single function, first start the = AVERAGE function. After adding your first range press "," (comma) and then select the second range of values, end the function with a parenthesis (bracket) and press enter. (this is shown at the end of the GIF animation above)



  • MIN - Will return the smallest number found in a set of values.
  • MAX - Will return the highest number found in a set of values.

Can be very useful if you'd like to divide/multiply a value by the highest/lowest value found in a set of numbers. This means as you incorporate more data the number can update freely.  Illustrative image



  • COUNT - Counts the number of cells in a range than contain numbers
  • COUNTA - Counts the number of cells in a range that are not empty

Very useful for counting the number of values in a data set, especially when that data set may not start at the top of a spreadsheet.  Illustrative image

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