# Entering A Formula In Multiple Cells In Excel At Once Zip Code Radius Calculations Using Microsoft Excel

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## Zip Code Radius Calculations Using Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Excel “custom functions” can be used to perform many tasks related to address and location-based information, such as importing demographic data, checking address accuracy, calculating driving times and performing route optimization. Custom functions, also known as user defined functions (UDFs), perform complex calculations or operations and are used in cell formulas such as standard Excel functions such as SUM or AVERAGE. In this article we will discuss how custom functions can be used to identify zip codes within a specified distance or “radius”.

Zip codes can be extremely useful for analyzing demographic information, and can help you better target customers and plan marketing campaigns. For example, identifying zips within a specified range of potential new store locations can help you select the location most accessible to your customer base. But instead of drawing circles on a map, a much easier approach is to use a custom function within Excel that can do the work for you.

Let’s say you are evaluating a potential store location in zip 07470 and need a list of all zips within a 10 mile radius. To use a function called RADIUS, simply input the formula into a worksheet cell like this: “= RADIUS (ZipCode, RadiusDistance)”. The formula for this case is “=RADIUS(“07470″,10)”, and the worksheet will display all results within 10 miles of 07470.

A formula can be combined to output data as a text string listed in a single cell, or as an array with individual results in multiple cells in a spreadsheet. To return a formula as an array in Excel, highlight the destination range with your mouse, then hold down the Ctrl and Shift keys and press Enter. The data returned may also include calculated distances and be sorted by proximity to the target zip. Additional options can be added to return the distance in kilometers or miles.

The customization function automates the process of finding all zips within a given radius by searching a local database and performing distance calculations based on latitude and longitude. All of these operations occur in the background, so the user works entirely within Excel and only sees the resulting list of zip codes displayed in their worksheet – there’s no need to learn a new application or import a zip code list from a web page.

A big advantage of custom functions is the ability to process large amounts of data in spreadsheet format. To perform zip code radius calculations for a list of zip codes in column A, for example, simply input the appropriate custom function formula in cell B1, such as: “=RADIUS (A1, 10)” where “A1” is the worksheet cell. The location of the first zip code. Then copy and paste this formula as needed in column B; This way you can calculate the radius for thousands of zip codes, without the time-consuming manual input required for other programs.

There are other useful Excel custom functions that complement these radius calculations, such as calculating the distance between two given zip codes. In this case the custom function formula would be something like “=DISTANCE(ZipCode1,ZipCode2)”. The calculated distance may be “as the crow flies” or an estimate of actual driving distance or time.

A Radius Custom Function is a great example of how Microsoft Excel functions can be used to automate complex tasks, all within a simple spreadsheet formula. From calculating driving distance and time between addresses, to identifying zips within a specified range, custom functions are a very useful approach to analyzing address and location-based information in Excel.

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