Excel Glossary

Excel term Description
FormulaA calculation or sequence of commands in a cell. Formulae must begin with an = symbol for Excel to recognise the cell contents as a formula. E.g., an Excel formula might be to add two other cells together, or it could be to check if another cell contains specific text and take different actions according to the result.
FunctionAn inbuilt command. Common functions are simple calculations: SUM, AVERAGE, MEDIAN; and basic commands such as IF, LOOKUP, MATCH. There are approximately 460 functions in Excel 2016, so you could learn one a day for a year, and still have some way to go!


Also called a file or document which contains all the pages (worksheets). Excel 2016 uses the file extension .xlsx for a standard filename, e.g. myworkbook.xlsx
WorksheetThis is a page within a workbook. A new Excel workbook opens with 3 sheets by default (Sheet1, Sheet2, Sheet3). Sheets can be renamed, and added by clicking on the + sign next to the last sheet. Worksheets are also referred to as tabs.