Microsoft's continually enhancing the computing power of the Excel worksheet through the addition of new built-in functions. Excel 2016 now contains some new Text and Logical functions that you definitely will want to check out. Regarding formula updates, discover how easy it is to build simple formulas for returning specific information from worksheet cells identified with the new Stocks or Geography data type.

Fig. 2-1: Creating a formula that retrieves MSFT volume traded.

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The new Stocks data type in Excel 2016 enables you to retrieve and insert all types of financial information about a stock in succeeding cells in the same row, using the Show Card or Insert Data buttons. You can also build simple formulas that return this financial information anywhere in the worksheet. Figures 2-1 and 2-2 in the Formula Updates gallery above illustrate how you do this. In Fig. 2-1, using the Stocks data type, cell A1 of the worksheet that originally contained the label, MSFT, has been associated with Microsoft Corp. In cell B3, I am building a formula that returns the volume traded of Microsoft stock:

- With the cell cursor in cell B3, type = (equal) and then click cell A1 containing the Microsoft Corp Stocks data.
- Scroll down the drop-down menu that appears beneath cell B3 containing the list of various financial data the formula can return until Volume is selected.
- Double-click Volume in the drop-down menu to insert it into the formula so that the formula now reads, =A1.Volume.
- Click the Enter button on the Formula bar to close the drop-down menu and complete the formula entry in cell B3.

Fig. 2-2 shows you the calculated result in cell B3. Note that Excel automatically assigns the Accounting numerical formatting to the value that this formula returns.

Figures 2-3 and 2-4 in the Formula Updates gallery above illustrate how easy it is to build formulas using cells associated with the new Geography data type. In Fig. 2-3, the label, China, entered into cell A1 has been associated with the People's Republic of China using the Geography data type. In cell B3, you can create a formula that returns the CPI (Consumer Price Index) as follows:

- With the cell cursor in cell B3, type = (equal) and then click cell A1 containing the China Geography data.
- Double-click CPI in the drop-down menu that appears to insert CPI into the formula so that now reads, =A1.CPI, on the Formula bar.
- Click the Enter button on the Formula bar to close the drop-down menu and insert the formula into cell B3.

Fig. 2-4 shows you the calculated result in cell B3.

Fig. 2-5: Using TEXTJOIN to combine text entries in an Excel table.

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The T function checks whether or not the Value argument is or refers to a text entry. If true, the function returns the value. If false, the function returns "" empty text. Note that Excel automatically evaluates whether any entry you make in the worksheet is text or a value. The T function goes a step further by bringing the entry forward to a new cell only when it's evaluated as text.

The TEXTJOIN function concatenates (combines) the text entries from multiple cell ranges as specified by the text1, ... argument(s) using the character (enclosed in quotes) specified as the delimiter argument. If no delimiter argument is specified, Excel concatenates the text as though you had use the & operator. The ignore_empty logical argument specifies whether or not to ignore empty cells in the text1, ... arguments. If no ignore_empty argument is specified, Excel ignores empty cells as though you had entered TRUE. Fig. 2-5 in the Function Updates gallery above illustrates the use of this function to combine the text entries made in the Excel table in cell range A2:F6 in the cell range, H. The original formula entered into cell H2:H6. The original formula entered into cell H2 reads:

=TEXTJOIN(", ",FALSE,A2:F2)

This formula specifies the , (comma) followed by a space as the delimiter separating the text entries combined from the cell range A2:F2. Note that because the ignore_empty argument is set to FALSE in the original formula when it's copied down column H to include all four rows of the Excel table, the formula in cell H4 shows that the Street entry in cell C4 of the Excel table is missing with the , , string between Miller and Boston.

The IFS logical function tests whether or not one or more logical_test arguments are TRUE or FALSE. If any found TRUE, Excel returns the corresponding value argument. This function is great as it eliminates the need for multiple nested IF functions in a formula when testing for more than a single TRUE or FALSE outcome. Fig. 2-6 in the Function Updates gallery above illustrates how this works. The formula entered into cell C4 with the IFS function tests for one of three conditions in cell B4:

- If the value is less than 5,000, the formula returns the label, Weak.
- If the value is between 5,000 and 10,000, the formula returns the label, Moderate.
- If the value is more than 5,000, the formula returns the label, Strong.

The SWITCH function tests the value returned by the expression argument against a list of value arguments (value1, value2,...) and returns the corresponding result (result1 for value1, result2 for value2, and so on) when a match is TRUE. When no match is found, Excel returns the value specified by the optional default argument. Fig. 2-7 in the Function Updates gallery above shows how this works. In this example, the formula with the SWITCH function entered into cell D2 evaluates the number returned by the WEEKDAY function (1 for Sunday, 2, for Monday, and so on to 7 for Saturday) from the date entry entered into cell C2 against the name of the day of the week entered into cells A1, A2, A3, A4, A5, A6, and A7. When the number returned by the WEEKDAY function matches a number specified as the SWITCH function's value argument, Excel returns the weekday name in the cell specified as the corresponding result argument.

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