Excel tip: How to fix #VALUE! errors


The next instalment of David H Ringstrom’s trans-Atlantic series of Excel tips tackles the pesky problem of  #VALUE! alerts.

It’s frustrating when Excel shows #VALUE! in a cell rather than the expected result. Sometimes the reason is obvious, for example if you’ve tried to do a calculation that mixes text and numbers, but sometimes the culprit can be harder to pin down.

In the example below, the formula =C2/A2 returns #VALUE! because the formula attempted to divide the value 5000 in cell C2 by the word Apples in cell A2. The same mistake would occur if I tried to divide cell A2 by C2, or add or subtract one of those cells from the other. With that said, I could sum cells A2 through C2, as in =SUM(A2:C2), and the result would be... 

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About David H Ringstrom


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12th Sep 2013 12:26

"Users sometimes erase values by tapping the spacebar"

Good grief! Bl**dy users!

I often despair at the appalling habits or limited training people get in Excel.

Mind you I've seen someone supposedly competent in a finance role create a formula which summed a cell on the same worksheet, a numeric variable typed directly into the formula and a link to a reference in another file entirely  and then send the file to someone who didn't have the referenced file. No wonder wrong results occur.

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