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How to select arguments with the formula tip window

Function screen tips are a great way to navigate and select function arguments.

Let's take a look.

Whenever you enter or edit a formula that contains a function, the function tip window appears.

The location that the function tip window appears in depends on where you're editing the formula. If you're editing a cell directly, it appears below the cell. If you're working in the formula bar, it appears just below the formula bar.

Whenever the tips appear, you're free to move them to a new location if they're in your way. Just hover over the edge of the window until you see the cursor change, and then drag to a new location.

The function tip window may seem like it's just clutter in your way, but it actually provides two really useful features. First, you can use it to get more information about any function. Just click directly on the function name. Second, and more important, you can use the tip window to select and navigate through function arguments.

Just click inside a function name, or click inside a function to activate, and then click the argument you want to select. You can use this feature to quickly navigate and confirm arguments for even very complex formulas.

You'll also see me use this feature a lot when I'm building a more complex formula, and I need to replace certain hard-coded arguments with another function. In this case, I might copy a formula to the clipboard, and then use the function tip window to select just one particular argument, then paste the formula from the clipboard to replace the existing value.

Selecting function arguments precisely is a finicky operation. By using the function tip window, you can speed things up a lot.

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Author 
Dave Bruns

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