While calculating something we often interchange the words, formula, and function. This is a very common mistake as the two are not technically the same. Formulas consist of values, defined names and in some cases pre-existed functions. The formula is a type of expression in an excel sheet that can calculate the value of a cell. A formula or a mathematical expression can exist with or without a function also. However, we cannot comment on the similarities or the interdependence of these two. A formula can be written as =1+2. The same calculation as a function is =sum (1, 2). Looking at this example, we can figure out the fact that a formula is much more flexible than a function in a field. Some examples of the functions used very often are, IF, AVERAGE, SUM, COUNT, etc.

## Major differences between a formula and a function

Any type of calculation is a formula in excel whereas function is designed beforehand. A function is often used in the formula that’s needed.

- One of the main differences between the two is, one can use any type of operation with a formula according to his/her need to calculate or get a value of something. A function is not something that can be customized. It’s a pre-existent operation.
- Formulas can be used to work within a range of cells or just within a cell in complex calculative measurements. On the other hand, functions are used in case of quick arrangements needed such as to find the minimum or the maximum, the highest or the lowest, an average of something, etc.
- To modify things, a function can be modified as per the developer’s requirement but the formula cannot be updated like this. One can use formula only in times of need.
- A function can be used as a formula but formula cannot be used as a function.
- The user can use a formula to do simple calculations manually but in the case of using a function, it’s not so easy to work out complex calculations using a function.
- In excel there is no structure or syntax of formula but functions do have a syntax.
- Every function has its own pre-designed parameters basis through which a function executes results. A formula can never have pre-defined parameters.

In complex situations of calculating something, we can combine formulas and a function to get results. These are often used in the times of calculating mortgage paybacks, mathematical problems, solving engineering calculations, etc. The easiest way to include functions in the worksheets is a formula palette. All functions have a dependent variable but we can’t say the same about functions.

### Also See:

- Difference between Atomic mass and Atomic weight
- Difference between Atom and Ion
- Difference Between Ammeter And Galvanometer
- Difference Between AM and FM
- Difference between Alternator and Generator
- Difference between Alcohol and Phenol
- Difference Between Acid Radical and Basic Radical

### Conclusion

Functions and formulas both are very useful tools while calculating in our daily life or even in office-related calculations. So learning their use properly has become a necessity. They have different operations to perform so there’s always some difference between them. It doesn’t have to be formula versus function always; we can easily combine them to create a more powerful tool to analyse. A combination like this is very useful in complex calculations like calculating major tax payments, mathematical problems, and also in creating financial models. Even though we have the drawbacks of using a machine, using technology makes life much easier in many ways.