Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
In addition, Excel has several built-in AutoCorrect symbols. For example, if you type (c) followed by a space or the
Enter key, Excel converts it to a copyright symbol.
To see the other symbols that you can enter this way, display the AutoCorrect dialog box by choosing File ⇒ Op-
tions. On the Proofing tab in the Excel Options dialog box, click the AutoCorrect Options button. You can then
scroll through the list to see which autocorrections are enabled (and delete those that you don't want).
The CHAR function
The CHAR function is essentially the opposite of the CODE function. Its argument is a value between 1 and
255; the function returns the corresponding character. The following formula, for example, returns the letter A:
=CHAR(65)
To demonstrate the opposing nature of the CODE and CHAR functions, try entering this formula:
=CHAR(CODE(“A”))
This formula (illustrative rather than useful) returns the letter A. First, it converts the character to its code value
(65) and then it converts this code back to the corresponding character.
Assume that cell A1 contains the letter A (uppercase). The following formula returns the letter a (lowercase):
=CHAR(CODE(A1)+32)
This formula takes advantage of the facts that the alphabetic characters in most fonts all appear in alphabetical
order within the character set, and the lowercase letters follow the uppercase letters (with a few other characters
tossed in between). Each lowercase letter lies exactly 32 character positions higher than its corresponding up-
percase letter.
If you find that Excel makes an autocorrection that you don't want, press Ctrl+Z immediately to undo the auto-
correction.
Determining whether two strings are identical
You can enter a simple logical formula to determine whether two cells contain the same entry. For example, use
this formula to determine whether cell A1 has the same contents as cell A2:
=A1=A2
Excel acts a bit lax in its comparisons when text is involved. Consider the case in which A1 contains the word
January (initial capitalization), and A2 contains JANUARY (all uppercase). You'll find that the previous formula
returns TRUE even though the contents of the two cells are not really the same. In other words, the comparison
is not case sensitive.
In many cases, you don't need to worry about the case of the text. However, if you need to make an exact, case-
sensitive comparison, you can use Excel's EXACT function. The formula that follows returns TRUE only if
cells A1 and A2 contain exactly the same entry:
=EXACT(A1,A2)
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