The Excel ERF Function

Related Functions:
ERFC
ERF.PRECISE
Error Function

The Error function is given by the equation:

Error Function Equation
For further details, see the Wikipedia Error Function page

Basic Description

The Excel Erf function calculates the Error Function, integrated between two supplied limits.

The syntax of the function is:

ERF( lower_limit, [upper_limit] )

where the arguments are as follows:

lower_limit-The lower limit of the integral.
[upper_limit]-

An optional argument which, if supplied, gives the upper limit of the integral.

If the [upper_limit] argument is omitted, the integral between 0 and the supplied lower_limit is returned.

Improvements in Excel 2010

The Erf function has been improved in Excel 2010 in that it can now accept negative function arguments.

In Excel 2007 or earlier, if you input a negative value for the upper or lower limit, the function would return an error. However, in Excel 2010, the function algorithm has been improved, so that it can now calculate the function for both positive and negative ranges.

Erf Function Examples

In the following spreadsheet, the Excel Erf function is used to calculate the Error Function integrated between different limits.

 Formulas:
 AB
1=ERF( 0, 1.5 ) - error function integrated between 0 & 1.5  
2=ERF( 1.5 ) - error function integrated between 0 & 1.5  
3=ERF( 1, 2 ) - error function integrated between 1 & 2  
 Results:
 AB
10.966105146 - error function integrated between 0 & 1.5  
20.966105146 - error function integrated between 0 & 1.5  
30.152621472 - error function integrated between 1 & 2  

Note that, in the above spreadsheet, the functions in cells A1 and A2 perform the same calculation - i.e. the integral between 0 and 1.5.


Further examples of the Excel Erf function are provided on the Microsoft Office website.


Erf Function Errors

If you get an error from the Excel Erf function this is likely to be one of the following:

Common Errors
#NUM!-Occurs in older versions of Excel (Excel 2007 or earlier), if one or both of the supplied arguments are negative.
#VALUE!-Occurs if one or both of the supplied arguments are non-numeric.