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Basic Google Sheets Functions: What are They and How to Use Them

Aug 04, 2022

Functions are essential to any spreadsheet app, which is no different for Google Sheets. However, if you are starting on Google Sheets, functions can seem incredibly overwhelming.

This article will take you through the basic Google Sheets functions you can use to improve your skills and enhance your worksheets.

Suggested read: How to Insert Line of Best Fit in Google Sheets

Add Numbers: SUM

First, let's start with the most basic function in Google Sheets: adding numbers using the SUM function. This function allows you to add numbers in a cell range, multiple numbers, or a mixture of the two.

The syntax for this function is SUM(value1, value2). Value one is required, but value two is optional.

Average Numbers: AVERAGE

Perhaps you want to look at the average numbers in a range of cells. Don't worry; you can use the AVERAGE function for that.

The Google Sheets function AVERAGE syntax is the same as in Microsoft Excel.: AVERAGE(value1, value2,...).

Suggested read: Master the VLOOKUP Google Sheets function

Count Cells With Numbers: COUNT

If you have been asked to count cells in a worksheet, you will know how frustrating it is to see every cell or cell range. You can use the same function as in Excel to make this quick and easy. Here is the syntax for the COUNT function.

COUNT(value1, value2,...).

Suggested read: Learn What is Google Sheets COUNTIF Function

Remove Non-Printable Characters: CLEAN

If you import data via a separate location into your Google Sheets, sometimes the data can include non-printable characters, such as returns of backspaces. The CLEAN function helps rid your spreadsheet of visible and invisible characters. Here is the syntax:


Remove White Space: TRIM

Another useful function for cleaning up your Google sheet is the TRIM function. Like Microsoft Excel, this function removes white spaces within a cell. Here's the syntax:


Combine Text or Values: CONCATENATE and CONCAT

You can use two functions to combine values, text, or strings via the CONCAT and CONCATENATE functions.

These two functions are significant, though, as CONCATENATE provides more flexibility. For example, you can merge words and add spaces between them. Here is the syntax:

CONCATENATE(string1, string2,...) and CONCAT(value1, value2)

Suggested read: How to Link Spreadsheets in Google Sheets

Insert an Image in a Cell: IMAGE

There is an essential feature within Google Sheets for inserting an image into a cell, but it does not give you as many options to resize it as you get with the IMAGE function. Here is the syntax:

IMAGE(URL, mode, height, width).

Google Sheets Spreadsheet Functions: Summary and Key Takeaways

Now you have the top essential functions you can use in Google Sheets! Once you have mastered these functions, you can look at integrating other functions, such as the IF function.

Check out other blogs on our website for more helpful advice on Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel.

Frequently Asked Questions about Google Sheets Formulas:

What are the Basic Functions of Google Sheets

  • Add Numbers: SUM

  • Average Numbers: AVERAGE

  • Count Cells With Numbers: COUNT

  • Enter the Current Date and Time: NOW and TODAY

  • Remove Non-Printable Characters: CLEAN

  • Remove White Space: TRIM

  • Combine Text or Values: CONCATENATE and CONCAT

  • Insert an Image in a Cell: IMAGE

  • Validate an Email Address or Link: ISEMAIL and ISURL

Is the Google Sheets Spreadsheet App Free to Download?

You can download the Google Sheets app from the Android or Apple store.

Are Google Spreadsheets Easy to Use?

Google spreadsheet is an excellent alternative to Microsoft Excel. It allows you to manipulate data across multiple cells, numeric input values to study, and link up to your Google Workspace and Google Drive accounts.

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