This Google Sheets upgrade will have formula enthusiasts licking their lips

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Flexing your formula skills in Google Sheets could soon be more powerful than ever thanks to a new update.

The spreadsheet software, part of the Google Workspace office suite, will now offer named functions, allowing users to create high-performance custom functions that support built-in Sheets formula constructs.

Users will also be able to import named functions from existing Sheets files, allowing them to use functions created in one Sheets file in a different Sheets file, boosting reusability across spreadsheets. 

Google Sheets formula functions

“Named functions provide greater formula flexibility, readability, and reusability within and across Sheets,” the company wrote in a Google Workspace update blog announcing the feature. “Formulas that were previously complex and difficult to understand can now be simplified into more comprehensible and reusable named functions.”

To enable the feature, users need to navigate to Data > Named functions > Add new function > enter details > Next > Create, where they can then enter a custom formula into a Sheets cell. 

Named functions created in a Sheets file will only be available in that file, so to use named functions in another Sheet, select that file via Data > Named functions > import function > pick the named functions needed. 

Google noted that the launch built upon several other recent formula upgrades, namely its intelligent corrections tool, launched in April 2022 to help users improve and troubleshoot many different kinds of formulas.

When writing a formula into Sheets, the feature will analyze it and see if any improvements could be made. If so, a suggestion box will appear with details on a new version that can replace the current formula, including the ability to accept or reject it.

The new functions feature is rolling out now for Google Workspace Essentials, Business Starter, Business Standard, Business Plus, Enterprise Essentials, Enterprise Standard, Enterprise Plus, Education Fundamentals, and Education Plus customers, as well as users with personal Google Accounts.

However, it won’t be available for Frontline, Nonprofits, as well as legacy G Suite Basic and Business customers.

Google also revealed several other new functions, including LAMBDA, which creates and returns a custom function, given a set of names and a formula_expression which uses them, XLOOKUP, which returns the values in the result range based on the position where a match was found in the lookup range, and XMATCH, which returns the relative position of an item in an array or range that matches a specified value.

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