In this comprehensive guide, we will explore everything you need to know about the NORM.DIST formula in Excel. The NORM.DIST function is a statistical function that calculates the normal distribution for a given set of parameters. It is widely used in various fields, such as finance, engineering, and social sciences, to analyze data and make predictions based on the normal distribution curve. By the end of this article, you will have a deep understanding of the NORM.DIST formula, its syntax, examples, tips and tricks, common mistakes, and related formulae.


The NORM.DIST function has the following syntax:

=NORM.DIST(x, mean, standard_dev, cumulative)


  • x is the value for which you want to calculate the normal distribution.
  • mean is the arithmetic mean (average) of the distribution.
  • standard_dev is the standard deviation of the distribution.
  • cumulative is a logical value (TRUE or FALSE) that determines the type of distribution to calculate. If TRUE, the function returns the cumulative distribution function (CDF); if FALSE, it returns the probability density function (PDF).

NORM.DIST Examples

Let’s look at some examples of how to use the NORM.DIST function in Excel.

Example 1: Probability Density Function

Suppose you have a dataset with a mean of 50 and a standard deviation of 10. You want to find the probability density function (PDF) for the value 45. You can use the NORM.DIST function as follows:

=NORM.DIST(45, 50, 10, FALSE)

This formula will return the PDF value for x=45, which represents the probability of observing the value 45 in the dataset.

Example 2: Cumulative Distribution Function

Using the same dataset as in Example 1, you can calculate the cumulative distribution function (CDF) for the value 45. The formula is:

=NORM.DIST(45, 50, 10, TRUE)

This formula will return the CDF value for x=45, which represents the probability of observing a value less than or equal to 45 in the dataset.

NORM.DIST Tips & Tricks

Here are some tips and tricks to help you get the most out of the NORM.DIST function in Excel:

  1. Remember that the NORM.DIST function can calculate both the PDF and CDF of a normal distribution. Make sure to set the cumulative argument to TRUE for CDF and FALSE for PDF.
  2. Use the NORM.DIST function in combination with other statistical functions, such as NORM.INV or NORM.S.DIST, to perform more advanced statistical analyses.
  3. When working with large datasets, consider using Excel’s Data Analysis ToolPak to perform more complex statistical analyses, such as regression or ANOVA.

Common Mistakes When Using NORM.DIST

Here are some common mistakes to avoid when using the NORM.DIST function:

  1. Using incorrect values for the mean and standard deviation. Make sure to calculate these values accurately based on your dataset.
  2. Forgetting to set the cumulative argument to TRUE or FALSE. This can lead to incorrect results, as the function will return either the PDF or CDF depending on the value of the cumulative argument.
  3. Using the NORM.DIST function for non-normal distributions. The NORM.DIST function assumes that the data follows a normal distribution. If your data does not follow a normal distribution, consider using other distribution functions, such as T.DIST or CHISQ.DIST.

Why Isn’t My NORM.DIST Working?

If you encounter issues when using the NORM.DIST function, consider the following troubleshooting steps:

  1. Check the syntax of your formula. Make sure you have entered the correct arguments in the correct order.
  2. Ensure that the mean and standard deviation values are accurate and based on your dataset.
  3. Verify that the cumulative argument is set to either TRUE or FALSE, depending on whether you want to calculate the PDF or CDF.
  4. If you still encounter issues, consider using Excel’s built-in help feature or consult online resources for further assistance.

NORM.DIST: Related Formulae

Here are some related formulae that you may find useful when working with the NORM.DIST function:

  1. NORM.INV: This function calculates the inverse of the normal cumulative distribution for a given probability, mean, and standard deviation.
  2. NORM.S.DIST: This function calculates the standard normal distribution (with a mean of 0 and a standard deviation of 1) for a given value.
  3. NORM.S.INV: This function calculates the inverse of the standard normal cumulative distribution for a given probability.
  4. T.DIST: This function calculates the Student’s t-distribution for a given value, degrees of freedom, and cumulative argument.
  5. CHISQ.DIST: This function calculates the chi-squared distribution for a given value, degrees of freedom, and cumulative argument.

By mastering the NORM.DIST function and its related formulae, you can perform a wide range of statistical analyses in Excel and make data-driven decisions with confidence.


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