User Defined Functions

Excel has hundreds of built-in worksheet functions that you can use in cell formulas. You can select an empty worksheet cell, select the Formulas tab of the Ribbon, and click one of the buttons in the Function Library chunk to see a list of functions. Among the most frequently used functions are SUM, IF, and VLOOKUP. If the function you need is not already in Excel, you can write your own user-defined function (or UDF) using VBA.

UDFs can reduce the complexity of a worksheet. It is possible to reduce a calculation that requires many cells of intermediate results down to a single function call in one cell. UDFs can also increase productivity when many users have to repeatedly use the same calculation procedures. You can set up a library of functions tailored to your organization.

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