# What is the difference between function and formula in Excel?

What is the difference between those two when speaking of Microsoft Excel?

-

A formula is statement written by the user to be calculated. Formulas can be as simple or as complex as the user wants. A formula can contain values, references to cells, defined names, and functions.

A function is a piece of code designed to calculate specific values and are used inside formulas. Functions to sum values, calculate a trigonometric cosine, and to calculate the current time are built into excel. Additional functions can be defined using Visual Basic.

Functions are typed alongside parenthesizes, where in the arguments if any are listed in between. To use functions in a formula, for example

=COS(3.14) will return the calculated cosine. =NOW() returns the current time. =SUM(1+2+3) *2 will multiply the sum by 2

Source

-

A function is a built-in operation, such as `SUM()`, `AVERAGE()`, etc. A formula (also known as an equation) is something that the user defines, and can use/refer to various functions in it. A formula starts with an = sign, such as `=(D1+D2)/A\$3`. They are similar in that both return a result based on the calculations that each performs. The difference is that a function is a built-in calculation, while a formula is a user-defined calculation. A formula could just use a single function.

For example, if you enter `=AVERAGE(A1:A56)`, that is a formula, using the AVERAGE function. If you enter `=SUM(G4+A5) - 25 * MIN(B3:B6)`, that is a formula which uses both the SUM function and the MIN function, as well as standard mathematical operators (`-`, `+`, `*`).

-

Though, function and formula are general terms that are of great significance in the study of math, chemistry and physics where a student encounters lots and lots of them, this article attempts to find differences between functions and formulas that one encounters when he tries to use Excel as a calculator. There are both formulas such as =A1+A2 and =345*14 as well as predefined formulas such as SUM, INDEX, VLOOKUP etc (there are hundreds of such formulas). But these predefined formulas are referred to as functions. Let us take a closer look.

You can write a formula containing a function though, it is possible to write a formula without a function. Those who use excel spreadsheet often need to master the skill of using both functions as well as formulas to be able to learn financial modelling. It is thus, possible for those who have expertise to build their own functional worksheets. To achieve a particular calculation, one needs to come up with a formula as it is the formula that comes up with a value. So if it is something specific, you need to write a formula for it, though there are more than 300 pre set formulae that are known as functions to help you out in your endeavor. One can write simpler formulas using these functions, but if he has to calculate something complex, he will have to write out his own formula.

-

A formula is statement written by the user to be calculated. Formulas can be as simple or as complex as the user wants. A formula can contain values, references to cells, defined names, and functions. All formulas must start with the equals sign. `=1+2+3`

A function is a piece of code designed to calculate specific values and are used inside formulas. Functions to sum values, calculate a trigonometric cosine, and to calculate the current time are built into excel. Additional functions can be defined using Visual Basic. Functions are typed alongside parenthesizes, where in the arguments if any are listed in between. To use functions in a formula, for example `=COS(3.14)` will return the calculated cosine. `=NOW()` returns the current time. `=SUM(1+2+3) *2` will multiply the sum by 2

-

A function is a piece of code designed to calculate specific values and are used inside formulas. Functions to sum values, calculate a trigonometric cosine, and to calculate the current time are built into excel. Additional functions can be defined using Visual Basic. Functions are typed alongside parenthesizes, where in the arguments if any are listed in between. To use functions in a formula, for example =COS(3.14) will return the calculated cosine. =NOW() returns the current time. =SUM(1+2+3) *2 will multiply the sum by 2

A formula is statement written by the user to be calculated. Formulas can be as simple or as complex as the user wants. A formula can contain values, references to cells, defined names, and functions. All formulas must start with the equals sign. =1+2+3

-

In MS Excel cell contains formulae as well. The formulae entered in cells are used for calculations. For specifying that a cell contains a formula always start the formula with an =sign.

A function is a piece of code designed to calculate specific values and are used inside formulas.

-