The Excel FDIST Function

Related Function:


In Excel 2010, the Fdist function has been replaced by the F.Dist.Rt function, which has improved accuracy.

Although it has been replaced, the Fdist function is still available in Excel 2010 (stored in the list of compatibility functions), to allow compatibility with earlier versions of Excel.

Basic Description

The Excel FDIST function calculates the (right-tailed) F Probability Distribution, which measures the degree of diversity between two data sets.

The format of the function is :

FDIST( x, deg_freedom1, deg_freedom2 )

Where the function arguments are:

x - The (positive) numeric value at which the function is to be evaluated
deg_freedom1 - An integer specifying the numerator degrees of freedom
deg_freedom2 - An integer specifying the denominator degrees of freedom

If either deg_freedom1 or deg_freedom2 are decimal numbers, these are truncated to integers by Excel.

Plot of the F Probability Distribution with numerator degrees of freedom = 1 and denominator degrees of freedom = 2
F Prob. Distribution with deg_freedom1 = 1 & deg_freedom2 = 2

Fdist Function Example

The chart on the right shows the right-tailed F Probability Distribution with the numerator degrees of freedom equal to 1 and the denominator degrees of freedom equal to 2.

If you want to use Excel to calculate the value of this function at x = 5, this can be done by the Fdist function, as follows:

=FDIST( 5, 1, 2 )

This gives the result 0.154845745.

Further information and examples of the Excel Fdist function can be found on the Microsoft Office website.

Fdist Function Common Errors

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

Common Errors
#NUM! - Occurs if either:
- the supplied x value is < 0
- the supplied deg_freedom1 or the deg_freedom2 argument is < 1 or ≥ 10^10
#VALUE! - Occurs if any of the supplied arguments are non-numeric
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