In this Excel glossary you’ll find a thorough definition of most of the Excel related terms that we’ve used on this website. We aim to clarify as much jargon as possible with this Excel Glossary.

Array formula

An array formula allows you to perform multiple calculations at once, or, it can perform one or more calculations multiple times within a selected cell range.

What is an array formula

Cell range

A cell range in an Excel file is a collection of selected cells. This range is usually symmetrical (square), but can exist of separate cells just the same. A cell range can be referred to in a formula as well.

What is a cell range

Cell reference

A cell reference in Excel refers to the value of a different cell or cell range on the current worksheet or a different worksheet within the spreadsheet. A cell reference can be used as a variable in a formula.

What is a cell reference

Circular reference

A circular reference refers to a formula, that visits its own or another cell more than once in its chain of calculations, creating an endless loop which slows down your spreadsheet significantly.

What is a circular reference


A constant is a set value that doesn’t change and that’s directly inserted into a cell. It’s not a formula and it’s not calculated by a formula.

What is a constant

External link

An external link (or an external reference) in Excel is a reference to a cell, a range or a defined name in another workbook. It’s a great way to populate your spreadsheet.

Learn how to create and find an external link in your workbook


A formula is a type of equation. An equation says that two things are equal, that is why in Excel a formula always starts with ‘=’. A formula shows the correlation between two or more variables.

What is a formula

Formula breakdown

A formula breakdown refers to the disentanglement of the items in a formula. In Excel, most of these components will be clear at a glance, like constants, values, functions and operator signs.

What is a formula breakdown in Excel

Formula range

A formula range is usually a reference to a range of cells, within which a formula persists consistently throughout the full range. Cell references within this formula can however be relative.

What is a formula range


A function in Excel is a preset formula, that helps perform mathematical, statistical and logical operations. Once you are familiar with the function you want to use, all you have to do is enter an equal sign (=) in the cell, followed by the name of the function and the cell range it applies to.

What is an Excel function?


HLOOKUP in Excel stands for ‘Horizontal Lookup’. It is a function that makes Excel search for a certain value in a row (the so called ‘table array’), in order to return a value from a different row in the same column.

How to use HLOOKUP in Excel

IF Function

The IF function in Excel performs a logical comparison between two values. The result of the IF function is either TRUE or FALSE. For example, we can test if the value in cell B2 is greater than the value in cell A2. If so, the result is TRUE, if not, the result is FALSE.

How to use the IF function in Excel

MATCH Function

The MATCH function looks for a certain value in a specified lineair cell range and returns the relative position of that value within this range.

How to use the MATCH function in Excel

Operator sign

An operator sign is a symbol that indicates a type of computation between cells and/or integers and are often used in the more straightforward types of calculations in Excel. Excel distinguishes four types of operator signs: arithmetic, comparison, text and reference.

What is an operator sign in Excel


A spreadsheet is a file that exists of cells in rows and columns and can help arrange, calculate and sort data. Data in a spreadsheet can be numeric values, as well as text, formulas, references and functions.

What is a spreadsheet

Pivot table

A pivot table in Excel is an extraction or resumé of your original table with source data. A pivot table can provide quick answers to questions about your table that can otherwise only be answered by complicated formulas.

How to use a pivot table in Excel


VLOOKUP stands for ‘Vertical Lookup’. It is a function that makes Excel search for a certain value in a column (the so called ‘table array’), in order to return a value from a different column in the same row.

How to use the VLOOKUP function in Excel