How to Insert Function (Dialog Box) in Excel & Google Sheets

Written by

Editorial Team

Reviewed by

Laura Tsitlidze

Last updated on November 30, 2023

This tutorial demonstrates how to insert a function through the dialog box in Excel and Google Sheets.

insert function dialog box 4

Insert Function via Dialog Box

To insert a function in Excel, you can type it directly into the formula bar, or use the dialog box to insert a function. Say you want to insert the SUM Function.

  1. Click the Insert function icon next to the formula bar.

insert function dialog box 1

  1. In the Insert Function window, you can search for the function you need. Type the function into the search box (SUM) and click Go. As you can see in the picture below, you get all functions containing the searched term. Choose the function you want from the list and click OK.

insert function dialog box 2

  1. Now you get the Function Arguments window, where you can enter all arguments, and see their detailed explanation. Click OK to confirm.

insert function dialog box 3

Note: In the Insert Function dialog box, you can also choose a function from a certain category. In the drop down, choose the category you need, and you get a list of all functions from that category. By default, the most recently used functions are displayed.

insert function dialog box 4

Insert Function in Google Sheets

In Google Sheets, the dialog box for inserting function is not available. However, you can see the detailed explanation for function arguments. Type the function in the formula bar (=SUM(), and click the down arrow.

google sheets insert functions

As a result, you can see the explanation and example of the function, as well as arguments details.

google sheets insert functions 2


  • Open the Insert Function dialog box with SHIFT + F3.
  • Open the Insert Function dialog box while typing a function in a cell with CTRL + A.
  • Insert function arguments while typing a function into a cell with CTRL + SHIFT + A.
  • Toggle Formula View mode on and off with CTRL + `.
  • Expand the formula bar to show more cell content with CTRL + SHIFT + U.

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