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Introducing Excel Formula Helper



One of the most common comments we get here is “how does xxx formula works?” Even though there is vast documentation on excel formulas including the built-in help in MS Office, often it is difficult for us to learn a formula quickly and use it in a snap. So to help new users of excel learn the most frequent formulas I have built an excel formula helper page.

The page currently lists about 50 most commonly used excel formulas along with 1 index card for each to explain,

  • what the formula does
  • what is its syntax
  • 2 examples to understand how it works

see an example:

Excel Formula Help - MAX() example

The good thing about these index cards is, they use simple day to day English to explain the formulas, so I am guessing they are a great way for new users to learn and use the formulas.

I have tried to keep the page simple so that anyone can come and learn a few formulas quickly. Play around with it and let me know if this is useful (of if something is funny / broken)

Here is the link: excel formula helper – 50 day to day formulas explained in plain English

If you like it, please support me by adding it to delicious or stumble or sharing it with a friend 🙂


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8 Responses to “Introducing Excel Formula Helper”

  1. Jon Peltier says:

    You really think you can compete with the Microsoft Office help system?

  2. Jon Peltier says:

    BTW, the way you show the example usage here might be confusing. Max(1,2,3)=3 is a Boolean relationship with a result of TRUE. It would be best to have the examples show two parts, syntax on the left and result on the right.
    Maximum value in the range A1:A10

  3. Chandoo says:

    @Jon : thanks... The idea is not to compete with MS help but to complement it with few more easy & fun alternatives (possibly)

    and I agree that max(1,2,3) = 3 does look like a Boolean true, but the intention is that users will read it as max(1,2,3) is 3 as in normal English. If I get few more requests calling out this confusion I can reverse the damage 🙂

  4. Jon Peltier says:

    "The idea is not to compete with MS help"
    People will be disappointed. The reputation is that MS Office Help gets worse with each successive release. Fortunately I'm too smart to need help files any more (I wish!!).

  5. Denise says:

    Most useful Mr PHD.
    Many thanks for taking the time to do this. I am finding this very helpful indeed with my work.
    Well done Mr Chandoooooooooooooooo

  6. [...] on the Pointy Haired Dilbert blog [^] has launched an excel formula helper [^].  The aim is to provide normal users of Excel with an easy to understand English explanations, [...]

  7. [...] Introducing Excel Formula Helper Chandoo is taking on the Microsoft Office Help system. It’s still pretty small, with about 50 [...]

  8. ravi says:

    I have a small doubt pl. see the example below

    A1 B1 C1 D1 E1
    Start time End time duration Count Count per 1 hr.
    9:00 AM 11:00 AM 2.00 200 2400

    I use the formulas for C1 & E1 as given below

    duration Count Count per 1 hr.
    =B4-A4 200 =D4/C4

    but the Count per 1hr is not correct, so how can solve this problem

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