Five Excel Functions and How to Use Them

Excel, the powerful spreadsheet program from Microsoft, is always evolving. Whether you’re an accountant, a project manager, or someone just trying to keep track of household expenses, Excel’s continual improvements can help make your tasks easier. In this article, we’ll discuss five useful functions and provide practical examples of how they can be used.


Purpose: To look up a value and return a corresponding value, replacing the older VLOOKUP and HLOOKUP functions.

Example: Suppose you have a list of products in Column A and their prices in Column B. To find the price of “Widget”, you can use:

=XLOOKUP("Widget", A:A, B:B)

This will search for “Widget” in Column A and return the corresponding price from Column B.


Purpose: To return the relative position of a lookup value in an array or range.

Example: Given a list of employee names in Column A, to find the position of “John Doe”, use:

=XMATCH("John Doe", A:A)

This will return the row number where “John Doe” is found.


Purpose: To generate a list or matrix of sequential numbers.

Example: To create a 5×1 array of sequential numbers starting from 1:


This will generate a list of numbers from 1 to 5.

4. LET()

Purpose: To assign names to calculation results, making formulas more readable and reducing redundancy.

Example: Suppose you want to calculate the area of a circle with radius in cell A1. Instead of typing the formula =PI()*A1^2 you can use:

=LET(radius, A1, area, PI()*radius^2, area)

This assigns the value in A1 to “radius” and then calculates the area, making the formula easier to read and modify.


Purpose: To filter a range or array based on certain conditions.Example: Given a list of products in Column A and their prices in Column B, to get a list of products that cost more than 50:

=FILTER(A:A, B:B>50)

This will return a list of products from Column A where the price in Column B is greater than $50.

In conclusion, Excel’s ever-expanding repertoire of functions aims to simplify your tasks, making data analysis and presentation more efficient. If you haven’t explored these functions yet, now’s a perfect time to dive in and elevate your Excel game!

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