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I Need a Little Help Here!

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008 by | Filed Under: MS Excel, MS Office Help

I Need a Little Help Here!

I don’t know about you, but I sometimes find myself guessing what arguments are needed in an MS Excel function.

If it’s something I haven’t used in awhile, I may not be able to come up with the exact components that actually go into the parenthesis.

At that point, I stop everything and go in search of the Function Wizard. With that, I’m able to see what Excel needs in order to fulfill my requested calculations. Or, if I’m feeling lazy, I simply guess and hope an error doesn’t occur.

Who am I kidding? Most of the time, I end up with a bad function, so I have to see the required arguments to fix it anyway.

Find yourself in that predicament too?

If so, I bet you’d appreciate a quick way to see the arguments, without the distraction of the Function Wizard or errors.

No problem!

The next time you’re in unfamiliar territory, simply start the function as usual (= and then the function name) and hit Ctrl + Shift + A.

Let’s say you’re using the PMT function to calculate a loan payment. Excel will turn your “stuck” moment of this:

Into this:

As you can see, the required arguments are now listed and all you have to do is replace each one with the required data or cell reference.

Or, if you want to use the Function Wizard instead, just start the function and use Ctrl + A.

That will start the Function Wizard in the Function Arguments dialogue window, while bypassing the step of searching for the needed function from a list.

And, as always, I have a side note for all you Excel 2007 users. While this tip does work, you will also find that the arguments are automatically displayed just below the cell once the left parenthesis is typed.

There you have it. A little extra help right when you need it!

~ April

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