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Making Google spreadsheet functions easier to discover and use

From the simple SUM function to GoogleLookup, Google spreadsheets continues to add features that help you power through data. But sometimes it can be a challenge to find the one you need to use or figure out the right way to use it. We’ve made the following improvements to help you quickly discover and understand all of the powerful functions that Google spreadsheets has to offer.

Help snippets directly in spreadsheets
You shouldn’t have to interrupt your work to figure out how to build a particular formula, which is why we’re bringing help documentation directly into Google spreadsheets.

As soon as you start typing a formula into a cell, you’ll notice an auto-suggest box with the name and syntax of the function you might be looking for. Mouse over any of the suggested functions, and you’ll see a description that explains the function, its syntax, and how it’s used. You’ll also see links to related content and a link to the complete list of functions.

Auto-suggest displays syntax and help documentation for all 300+ available functions and even recognizes nested functions, making it easier to build complex formulas.

Revamped help documentation in the Google Docs Help Center
We’ve also completely rebuilt our help documentation for Google spreadsheet functions with invaluable input from some of our most active forum users such as ahab, yogia1, Ted J, A.P.L, MarinusP, and other forum Top Contributors. Here’s a look at what’s new:
  • A completely new table for browsing help documentation for all 300+ Google spreadsheets functions. This table is easy to browse, sort or search. To view the table, you can visit the Google Docs Help Center, click the complete list of functions link in the auto-suggest help snippets, or select Help > Function list in any Google spreadsheet.
  • Help documentation for nearly 60 new functions and formulas.
  • More detailed help documentation, including better instructions for some of our most sophisticated and complex functions.
All of these improvements are now in English, and will be available in additional languages in the coming weeks. So take advantage of these new resources at your fingertips and you’ll be a Google spreadsheets ninja in no time.

Posted by: Michael Schidlowsky, Software Engineer