Google Sheets Functions Tutorial: 8 Essential Functions Every User Should Master

In this Google Sheets Functions Tutorial you will find that Google Sheets is a powerful tool that can simplify your work and make your life easier. One of its key features is functions, which are predefined formulas that perform calculations using specific values in a particular order.

With functions, you can quickly find the:

  • SUM

value for a range of cells.

To use functions effectively, you need to understand the different parts of a function and how to create arguments to calculate values.

In this tutorial, we’ll walk you through how to use Google Sheets, provide you with some helpful basic functions, and share some tips and tricks to help you supercharge your work.

Whether you’re organizing monthly marketing deliverables or tracking profits for your small business, Google Sheets Functions can help you streamline your processes and achieve your goals.

What is the difference between formulas and functions in Google Sheets?

You create formulas for calculations while functions are built-in operations within the google sheets that can perform various tasks, such as advanced calculations values between cells, rows, columns, or ranges. Let us show it in an example:

google sheets functions tutorial


  • I manually added a range of cells which are:
  • A1,A2 and A3
  • Which holds values 1+2+3
  • Answer: 6
google sheets functions tutorial


  • Instead of manually adding up a range of cells, you can use the “SUM” function to quickly get the total which is of-course is 6

In Google Sheets, a formula is a combination of mathematical operators, cell references, and functions that perform calculations or manipulate data.

On the other hand, a function is a predefined formula that performs a specific task, such as calculating the sum or average of a range of cells.

While both formulas and functions can be used to perform calculations in Google Sheets, functions are often easier to use and can save time when working with large amounts of data.

What are the components of a function in Google Sheets?

To use functions effectively, it’s important to understand the different components of a function and how to create arguments to calculate values and cell references.

With this knowledge, you can streamline your data analysis and make more informed decisions.

Every function has the following characteristics:

  • To call any function you have first to use an equal sign ‘ = ‘ before calling it, so always remember to use an equal sign before typing your function name otherwise google sheets will understand it as a text, by the way you can use also the plus sign ‘ + ‘ to start a function as shown in the code below
  • Every function has a name for example SUM, AVERAGE, COUNT, MAXIMUM, MINIMUM…
  • Every function need an arguments which are located between brackets in the above code, think about it as you need to put something into a function to get something out of a function. Arguments may be single cell or range of cells usually separated by colon or comma
  • Functions arguments can be horizontal or vertical ranges

Let apply these characteristics in examples.

What are the basic formulas and functions in Google Sheets?

Google Sheets offers a variety of formulas and functions to help users perform calculations and manipulate data. Some of the basic functions include:

  • SUM
  • MIN
  • MAX
google sheets functions tutorial


  • We use SUM to add up numbers
  • The argument in this example is A1:A4
google sheets functions tutorial


  • We use AVERAGE to find out the average of range of values
  • The argument in the example is A1:A4


  • The PRODUCT function returns the result of multiplying a series of numbers together


  • The QUOTIENT functions request 2 arguments separated by a comma
  • It returns the result of dividing 2 arguments
  • In the example the argument are (A4,A2)


  • The COUNT function will return the count of a number of numeric values not the ones which contains text
google sheets functions tutorial


  • The COUNTA function will count the numbers of cells that are not empty whether it is numeric or text
  • COUNTA counts numeric, text and formulas
  • COUNTA counts anything as long it is not empty
google sheets functions tutorial


  • MIN returns the minimum value in a numeric data set
  • In our example you can see that the data set contains 18 cells only, but if the data is huge then you will understand its importance
  • You are not going to use MIN all time but when you do you will find how much it is an incredibly powerful tool
Google Sheets Functions Tutorial


  • MAX will return the maximum value in a numeric data set
  • In a big data set MAX will be very useful and will find the maximum value instantly
  • As MIN, MAX is extremely useful function to have when you need it

What is a Nested Function with example

Nested functions in Google Sheets refer to the practice of using one function inside another function.

This allows you to perform more complex calculations and automate repetitive tasks.

For example, you could use the SUM function to add up a range of cells, and then use the AVERAGE function to calculate the average of that sum.

Let me simplify it:

Google Sheets Functions Tutorial

From Inside to Outside

  1. Start adding the range B2:B7 and hold the value which is 484
  2. Add the range C2:C7 and hold the value which is 500
  3. Calculate the AVERAGE of the 2 values above which are (484 + 500) / 2
  4. Answer is 492

Bonus Tips

google sheets functions tutorial
  • To apply the same function all way down to any column you select the little blue dot in the bottom right of your cell and drag it down as shown in the side image
  • It is recommended to highlight the whole column when you use functions and to do so you must change the argument as shown in the side image, as you can see, I typed =COUNTA(A2:A) which means that I asked google sheets to select the column A starting from A2 till the end of the column no matter how long it is. We do so in order to count any inputs even it is not shown on the screen because it may be located in A100 for example.


In this Google sheets functions tutorial we learned that using functions in Google Sheets can save time and increase accuracy in data analysis and manipulation. Functions can perform complex calculations, automate tasks, and provide real-time updates. They also allow for easy collaboration and sharing of data with others. Overall, using functions in Google Sheets can greatly improve productivity and efficiency.

I do recommend visiting my other posts GOOGLE SHEETS MAC SHORTCUTS ,GOOGLE SHEETS 101 and one of my resources HOW TO USE GOOGLE SHEETS

Now if you find yourself a bit confused i recommend to watch this video and then read this post again in order not to memorize it well as functions are essential part in google sheets

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